New Years’ Eve Eve, circa 2003
“Have you read this?”
My friend tossed a book onto my bed.
We were staying at his mom’s condo in Whistler (notable party town btw) for New Years, and tonight we were having a low-key night in.
Because NYE? Was gonna be amazeballs.
I was plucking my eyebrows using a warped mirror. I figured I’d get it out of the way now so I wouldn’t be all red skinned and blotchy tomorrow night (well, at least not from brutally ripping my own hair out of my skin.)
“You should give it a try, I think you’d like it.”
I momentarily glance at the back cover. Mona Lisa, DaVinci, symbols, blah blah blah.
Sounds awfully… cultured for a weekend which was sure to be one for the books.
But later that night as everyone else was sleeping, I was pulling a Momo Specialty and fruitlessly tossed and turned.
“This is gonna put me to sleep FO SHO” I thought as I picked up the The DaVinci Code.
The next morning? Was ROUGH.
I looked like I’d been hard partying all night.
But The DaVinci Code?
Done. Cover to cover.
I’m no stranger to being a book junkie… but daaaaymn, Brown had mastered the infallible cry of “just one more page!”
What if you could use this addictive elixir in your business to keep people reading?
Because this stuff is POTENT, man.
However I’m proud to say that I’ve left some of the perils of youth behind and have succumbed only to binge reading long past bedtime instead of sacrificing it entirely.
Back to bidness…
Dan Brown published his 10 Best Tips For Writing Suspense. Short read, totes worth it.
But here’s a couple of my takeaways you can use in all sorts of ways in business if you get creative enough…
Matted greasy hair. Beady bloodshot eyes. Cutting off ties with the outside world. This is the unsavoury picture of what reading addiction can do to you, my friends. The struggle is real.
1 – Keep ’em on their toes
Good gawd, THE CLIFFHANGERS.
Here’s the deal…
Open the loop.
If you want someone to take an upcoming action – like open your next email – open the freaking loop. Tease it. Taunt it. Make them want it.
That’s the beauty of planning email campaigns in advance, instead of randomly dashing off emails helter skelter. (Do not look at my own personal email list as a good example plzzzz)
Toy with their emotions. What’s gonna happen?
She blinked nervously behind her thick glasses. “You’re not going to like this either.”
“Listen carefully. We may have a serious problem.”
Show an “ah-ha!” moment just before cutting off.
It could be a callback to something you talked about previously.
“Oh my God… Ambra Vidal is connected to Madrid’s Royal Palace.”
Sometimes the most compelling thing is how someone else reacts to information.
“Edmond, he thought. What have you done?”
2 – Take a stand
Leave that objective vanilla crap in college.
Pick a side. Be daring. Be you.
“There’s no money in the middle” so if you wanna get into the dolla dolla billz, you hafta have a voice and be opinionated. Own it, yo.
(Ever notice how Brown’s books deal with some mighty controversial subject matters? No accident.)
3 – Have a deadline
The characters are on the clock. There’s one big deadline… and a hefty sprinkling of micro deadlines along the way.
There may as well be a timer ticking away as you read.
It’s a total illusion because you, the reader, actually control the deadline. Whether you plow through the book in 1 night, 1 week, or 1 month – you feel the powerful tug of urgency. And this magnetic force keeps you glued to the page long after you should’ve had the lights out. (Good luck trying to hold out for a month!)
Amazing how a little urgency gets people to take action, eh?
4 – Less can be more
Sometimes the less words there are, the more likely they’re all get read.
(Key word here is sometimes. Does not work in all cases. Like a long form sales page? Almost ALWAYS wins.)
But if you have one loooooong chunky email, I bet you can split up that bad boy into shorter ones and tempt them along.
Brown’s chapters are rapid fire short.
And by using this concept, paired with stringing people along using killer cliffhangers – you’ll probably get a LOT more content read.
So by now I know you’re jiving to hear about how my NYE was…
Well, I’m pretty glad smartphones hadn’t been invented yet!
It WAS epic.
Crashed a fancy-schmancy soirée? Check!
Feature on the local news channel yelling a high spirited “WHOOOO!!!!”? Check!
Worst hangover of my entire life? Check, check, check.
Finally, are you gonna take what you learned here to write better in your business? CHECK!
And it would be rad if you shared it. I mean, I gave up my precious reading time to write this for you – so I would be super appreciative if you did me a solid and shared this baby!