Monday, December 17, 2012

Step 8 - Study and Practice Objective Writing

Long distance communication is an objective art form - anyone can learn how to do it. It is not necessary to be a great writer, or a good writer, or even an average writer. You can be a bad writer, and still be good at it. Why? Because it has deep structure: a logical, consistent form that is way easier to learn that becoming a teacher of the Alexander Technique!

If you can talk, you can write. Any story you carry around like “I can’t write” - get over it. There’s no choice. It’s take a job at the local supermarket, drive a taxi or make a fabulous career transforming people’s lives. It’s a no brainer. And writing is part of the skill set you need. 

Have you actually read Alexander’s books? The guy couldn’t write to save himself, but he still got his message across. Aldous Huxley offered to write for him - but Alexander knocked him back! He knew it was his job and he laboured over them while he taught his lessons… Today his books are studied, translated, re-published, and they are next to near impossible to understand - did that stop him?

I speak very simple Japanese - enough to get me around the city, buy some groceries and do small chat with curious strangers. I can not teach Alexander Technique in Japanese - I use translators. I had no choice - I had to write, so I started to learn how to do it. I realized I can write one letter and reach thousands of people. How else can you do that?

What I discovered is that writing for marketing purposes is a learnable skill. It is based on certain principles, and there are a ton of books, courses and online advice you can get that will show you how you can do it.

When I started out, I bought “templates” and wrote these dreadful sales letters that everyone in BodyChance hated. I didn’t care - I just kept going. After I had used the templates, I got a better feel for what I wanted to say, and wrote my own sales letters. Still most people in BodyChance hated them. I didn’t care. Why? Because they started to work.

I followed a formula, and I got 50 people to book into a month long workshop. It turned the business around in a particularly difficult time, so I developed faith that these writing formulas work. I mean - I followed the formula exactly. There were 10 steps, with several sub-steps, and I did every one of them, ticked every box and ignored the storm of criticism that brewed from within my organization about my new direction. One of the Directors of the Board even resigned!

What I learnt was - I need to know who I am writing to. I need to emotionally connect with their needs and concerns, and then I need to sell them on me, on my service, on the value I bring and on the special opportunity I am making for them. I am NOT writing for my family, my friends, my staff or even my current students. And neither are you - so don’t ask their opinion. The only opinion that matters is from the person who enrolls for your sessions.

What stops a lot of you writing is that you worry about the opinions of people who have no stake in the success of your writing. People critique it from a literary viewpoint - but this is not fiction or the great novel you are writing - this is you speaking directly to your niche. You know their frustrations, anger and fears, you also know their desires, hopes and dreams - and you must speak to all of those parts.

My guess is some people reading this are a little mystified about my comments - I’d love to rewrite this post, but it is now 7.16am and I go to Australia today, so I can’t fuss too much about my content. That’s part of writing things like a blog - you just get it out first, content evolves and improves as you practise.

So start.

1 comment:

  1. I gain a lot of understanding and insight from reading Alexander's books !


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