I signed up for Kate Northrup’s Do Less Experiment a few weeks back. My goal? Deliberately do less so I can claim more of what matters. I want to feel fulfilled as much as I want to fire through my to-do list. (Maybe you feel the same?)
Clearly, when it comes to the idea of doing less (and doing better!) I’ve already bought in.
What I didn’t count on was Kate’s Do Less brand marketing campaign grabbing my attention as much as the message itself.
Savvy content + cadence: I found myself hooked by the daily Do Less emails. Opened pretty much all of them. (I follow a bunch of brands and it’s rare I read all their info.)
These emails were everyday experiments in tackling all the things we feel and deal with when it comes to paring back, from juggling family and a burgeoning biz, to tuning out the sh*tty self-talk. Over two weeks, Kate unpacked these challenges, one by one, in a sequence that felt right. Unrushed. Doable. Like I was being led from heavy to light in ways that made sense. ‘Let go of this…a little easing up here…now try this…’
I was invited to ask for help, and carve out time to deliberately do nothing. (Like the staring into space kind.) At the end, Kate challenged me to invent my own creative way to do less.
‘More’ has always been my mantra. Some of the daily experiments I simply didn’t do—because they felt like another ‘to-do’ on the already chunky list. (But that’s on me!)
Yet I did find myself relieved that I’m not the only one fighting the good fight against overwhelm. And it turns out that I’m already doing far better than I thought, by unsubscribing from lots of email lists and saying no more often. So I’m well on the way, with a way still to go.
By modeling a successful campaign like this and making it your own, you can have a powerful impact on clients.
It’s what many strong small brands do (and plenty of not-so-small ones). Behind many of the businesses you covet is a model. Not the catwalk kind, but the blueprint kind.
By following a proven blueprint—be it for your product marketing campaign, regular blog posts or copy on the home page of your website—you save time figuring out what really works. (Because the pros have already done it for you.)
And it gives you confidence because you know the chances of people reading your stuff and taking action on it are the best they can be.
A blueprint is simply a series of ingredients that when strung together, make for a formula that works. Like Kate’s email series of Do Less experiments.
You know that if you do x, you can expect y. That if you end an email with a certain call-to-action, readers are more likely to respond. That if you pre-launch your product by asking prospects how they want it to help them, you create buzz before the thing even lands and up the ante on your eventual sales. (This last tip is one of Jeff Walker’s. His best-selling book Launch outlines each step in his famous product launch formula in detail. Well worth a read.)
None of this is about lifting other people’s work word-for-word, naturally, but instead, identifying the elements that stack up and adapting them for yourself. Take the blueprint and lay your own content over the top. Treat it like a template.
Let’s say you’re crafting a product marketing campaign, web page, blog post or sales email. This is a common proven blueprint you’ll want to follow—like Kate’s campaign did—if you want eyeballs that become clients:
1. Context. Establish who you are and why you’re talking to them. We respond far better to a conversation with a friend than a stranger striving to sell us something. Context boils down to why your reader’s hearing from you. Do they subscribe to your e-newsletter list, like I did with Kate? Then that’s the context. Assuming you found this post online, then your search for my services is the context.
2. Attention. Get their interest and keep it. Think: Unexpected or counterintuitive. What existing opinion does your reader hold you might contradict? What surprising info or intriguing story can you share? What intriguing headline will pull people in? Online you have ten seconds or fewer to make it count so cut to the chase. Take my headline for this post. Didn’t it get your attention? Kate got mine by leading with her own struggle with taking on too much.
3. Desire. They’ve got to want what you’ve got. So describe what they desperately want to be different. What they’ve tried to solve their problems already (and why it failed). Show you know exactly where they’re at and most importantly, what it feels and looks like. All this will prime desire like nothing else. Kate shared the sometimes-messy ways life played out for her, as a mother, entrepreneur, caretaker. It was clear she gets what her audience is going through.
4. Solution. Tell them outright that you have a solution that solves their problem or answers their need—and a bit about how it works. Share too much though and you risk needling readers’ objections. And keep it focused on how your solution’s going to benefit them—not the bells and whistles of your product or service. The solution in this post? This 5-step blueprint you’re reading right now!
5. Call-to-action. Round things off by outlining the one next step you want your reader to take now. Like signing up to your e-course to learn how to build the basics of their own brand. Or calling you to arrange a free consultation. (Not both. Make it easy for them and stick to a single action.) Then ask them to take it. See my bolded call-to-action below!
Are you too, committed to doing less and doing better? Or struggling to find the time or energy to put this blueprint into practice for yourself? Blog posts, sales emails, web copy or the like—contact me and I’ll write it for you.