A Mental Model for Persuasion Architecture

Recently, my erudite buddy Bryan posted a comment on an e-consultancy forum. His observations included a brief discussion of the value of Persuasion Architecture – which, as you dear readers know, is our synthetic philosophy for creating and managing your online presence. Bryan got a comment from a fellow named Chris, who said,

“I can’t help but think of persuasion architecture as one of those multiple choice ending books that I last read twenty years ago – ‘turn to page 121 if you think A, turn to page 84 if you think B…’ etc. There are a number of scenarios on each page and a persuasive writer would be able to channel readers towards the right decision.”

Let the Purpose Guide You

The other day, a guy comes up to me in the grocery store. “Hey, you’re that Martian what’s-it from SurfSentinel, aren’t you?”

I plaster on my how-nice smile as I poke through the tomatoes. “That’s me, alright.”

He settles into a soap-box stance. “You know, I read that book on copywriting … you know, the one with the picture of you on the cover? It was pretty good.”

“Thanks, dude,” I nod. “I’ll convey your reactions to Bryan, Jeffrey and Lisa.”

“Yeah, but …”

Here it comes. I hate this. The moment when I’m going to have to justify something in the nicest way possible when what I really want to do is zap the guy with a lightening bolt (if only Martians could).

It seems my grocery store commentator really liked Persuasive Online Copywriting, so he decided to visit the Web site for this newsletter. It was there he determined that while we might understand the theory of writing persuasively, we were inept at putting it into practice for ourselves.

“I was wondering what I might learn about persuasive writing from evaluating your SurfSentinel Web site. I’m still wondering.” I can still hear his toe tapping.

Every last one of my eyeballs was stuck rolled up in their sockets (but that how-nice smile was still plastered to my face), and then, suddenly, it dawned on me. He doesn’t get it. And if this regular dude who looks very normal and speaks quite intelligently doesn’t get it, then lots and lots of other folks aren’t getting it either (which actually is pretty obvious).

Every little thing you do on your Web site must have a purpose – an objective. You must be clear about what that purpose is, so you can develop all the associated elements with that purpose in mind. Lose the focus of your purpose and you will no longer be able to even communicate, much less persuade, effectively. Your purpose may change over time – very little stays static – but the changes must always be considered and intentional, shaped within the context of the evolving purpose.

I said to my confrontational dude, “The purpose of SurfSentinel’s copy is to inform and build long-term relationships with our readers by providing valuable content, not by selling them anything. Through this laid-back approach, we demonstrate our abilities, which, quite naturally, we hope will influence someone to contact us. But all this material is there for free, whether or not you ever contact us. And you can use it to perform large and small miracles on your Web site.”

“Our strategy not only works for us, it works extraordinarily well. Over 40% of the folks who come to this Web site sign up for the newsletter. Not bad, eh dude?” I grin, plucking the perfect tomato from the pile. “Although it could be a lot better, I’ll grant you that!” And I wink.

Keep this in mind as you puzzle over the many elements on your Web site. No one thing can be everything to all people. You’ll go berserk thinking otherwise. That’s why you need to think of any conversion system in larger terms – as a construction of Persuasion Architecture.

So think about what you need to accomplish, how you can best accomplish it, then head out and get it done. Webward Ho (with a purpose)!

Teasing Search Engine Advertising from the Soup

Alphabet soup is on the menu today, except I’m going to ask you to search among the floating pasta for these letters: S, E, A, O and M. Grab three Ss and three Es while you’re at it. The rest you can eat … and while you are slurping away, I’ll talk about some search engine stuff that is terribly important to how you manage your online marketing efforts.

Five Magic Motivation Techniques

“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you chances are it will burn very briefly.” Steven R. Covey

1. Count every little success. Don’t be so hard on yourself. When you first start writing blogs, it can seem like posts take forever. But with each completion is a success. When the blog is published that is success. Count each step as a success and it becomes easier and easier.

As your sphere of influence gets bigger, new problems will arise. View resolving each new problem as a success and your sphere of influence will grow again.

Business Organization Made Easy

How much of your business is organized and how much is production? If you guessed a ratio of 80 to 20%, you would be right. Think about it. Take a look at your day. Look at your business, see how much administrative duties are done to get a successful product made and to your customer.

Whether you are doing the tasks your self or having someone else do them the administrative duties take up a big chunk of time. Make it easy and follow these organizing tips.

How To Keep Your Blog Fresh

New ideas on your blog can definitely attract new readers and keep them interested if you know how to do it the right way. Here are various ways that this can be done.

Guest Posts Help Promote Your Blog – By getting the word out about your blog, you’ll be attracting attention and activity. Getting more traffic and attention can help to motivate you to take your blog to the next level. One of the best methods for this is by writing guest posts for other sites and blogs in your niche. These guest posts will contain a link pointing at your own blog, which can create a surge of activity for you.

Look Into Your Crystal Ball

Ready to dig out the crystal ball to figure out which internet marketing guru is right for you?

Internet Marketing is big business. During this economic recession, more and more people are turning to the Internet as a way to make money. There are a lot of “gurus” out there wanting to sell you their plan.

McDonalds, Apple, Nike and You

What does McDonald’s, Apple, and Nike have to do with you and your business?

In 1954, when Ray Kroc drove into the very first McDonalds Restaurant, he saw fast service! Ray took the idea and ran with it. It wasn’t long, and other companies were following Ray’s business model. McDonald’s restaurants served more than 58 million people a day in 2008.

For almost 30 years, Apple has maintained its lead in computer, consumer electronics, and innovative software. In 2008, Fortune Magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States. Devoted Apple customers boosted sales for 2008 to over 32 billion dollars worldwide.

Business- A “Just Do It” Attitude

Nike’s marketing campaign of “Just Do It” is one of the most successful campaigns on the planet. Nike took their campaign global during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

“Just Do It” works because it shows the drive and dedication of the Olympic athletes to overcome all obstacles.

Now that comes with ATTITUDE!

Somewhere I picked up that attitude means At- IT-U-DO. I have made this my motto. Because it works.

Are You a Geek?

You are a Geek if you love figuring out all of the technical ends of the Internet, computers and all the latest gadgets. Well, that is certainly not me! Although I most certainly appreciate what they do.

Finding a Computer Geek became a top priority, when my sister, Kathy had run into problems with her webmaster. Now, this couldn’t be your ordinary run-of-the-mill Geek. They had to meet certain criteria: be a WordPress Geek, live in Utah (for hands-on tutorials), willing to clearly answer in a language we could understand, and do the job!