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I’ve been hard at work creating templates for an author marketing course I’m teaching with a few others (launching on the Teachable platform in Jan) – and my primary role has been codifying some templates that can be used by just about any type of author, to write any type of “how to” or non fiction book in any niche/market/industry or vertical under the sun.
It’s funny how I personally tend to eschew most of the super cheesy sorts of templates when other people put them out, and yet…..when I’m working on my own, I find that they end up being the most useful for my own stuff 🙂
A good example of that is the “Tell them what you’re going to tell them” template, which has been around forever, feels really Dan Kennedy-ish in that polyester jacket sort of way, and yet….when you actually put it into use, it’s utility shines through for both your readers (or “students” if used for a course) as well as for simplifying the structure of communicating an idea with clarity as well.
The idea (if not already obvious) is:
- Tell them what you’re going to tell them
- Tell them
- Tell them what you told them
- Test them.
(and I added, for this graphic anyway, resist the urge to tell them something else – as my over-caffeinated self is wont to do)
- I’m going to teach you how to meditate using a mantra.
- Here is how to meditate using a mantra.
- I just told you how to meditate using a mantra.
- Show me exactly how you are going to meditate, using a mantra.
The key I’m discovering, whether it’s writing a book, teaching a course, or creating content of any kind that improves people’s lives, or shares your gifts in an area you have experience, authority or expertise, is this:
Teach one thing at a time.
Make people better, with one specific thing, that regardless of whether they never come back again, they know something they can use in the real world, that helps or heals, by dint of having stumbled along your way.
I always harken back to this example in my own life, but it’s really been that profound. Years ago, after spending a long weekend watching a myriad of meditation teachers across a multitude of disciplines, all data dumping their wisdom on a room full of eager ears, I really heard nothing.
With my mind fuzzy and buzzy with information overload – after 20 some hours of continuous content, I remembered one thing.
“Breathing in I calm body and mind. Breathing out I smile”
But that one thing has made all the difference. And it was worth far more than the 20 hours of background noise I had to sit through, and sift through, to hear it well 🙂
Anyway, if you find yourself becoming too wordy, or are struggling with structure in your content, courses, books, blog posts or even products/programs, this is really a great way of communicating clearly, and with an economy of words as well.