27 Aug Brevity is Your Ally
I’ve heard it stated in multiple ways and from countless sources, but I couldn’t agree more: if you can’t explain yourself in one sentence and have nearly any audience “get it” then your idea won’t be able to sell. Our busy work-a-day lifestyles can handle the tripe longevity that many think is required to be an authority. Plus, most people don’t like to read long dialogues. The laziest people in the world just read the headlines, right behind those who read the shortest stories necessary.
Here are some great historical examples of this:
- The Gettysburg Address was so short, the photographer didn’t have time to snap a picture of Lincoln before he wandered off stage.
- Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount included what is known as Beatitudes–a bunch of quick and easy to remember, but significant one-liners.
- Confucius was famous for his “one liners”
- Twitter says it best…in 140 characters or less
In certain instances, however, the data doesn’t lie and even Winston Churchill’s famous “Never Give In” speech in 1941 was, in reality, much longer than it has often been purported to have been. Unfortunately, there are many instances when people think the mere fact that it is the longevity itself that creates the authority. I don’t fancy myself the most promulgated writer in the world, but I could have thousands of meaningless pages created on Fiverr with little to show for it.
The real trick is, can you engage your intended audience with less? Will decreasing the length of your message positively change the response rate (and thus the revenue generation) of your business? In some cases the answer may be yes. Provided you’re already running a fairly “scaled” site, it is wise to run a small series of A/B test to ensure any supposed theories you may have are 100% correct. After doing so, if you can say it more briefly, do it!
It is in that spirit that I end this post which is now currently approaching 300 words which is far too long!