Bonus Chapter: The Secret Sauce

Bonus Chapter

Congratulations. You made it.

Well … almost. (This is where we say “But wait, there’s more…”)

We’ve saved the most important chapter for last. However, if you haven’t finished all of the work in weeks 1-5, stop reading now (seriously).

This chapter only makes sense — and it’s only valuable — if you’ve written first drafts of a Facebook ad, landing page, relationship building emails, a bridge email, and promotional emails.

OK, if you’re still reading, we’re going to assume you’ve done the work. (Last chance to turn back — we won’t tell anyone.)

To understand what we’re about to share, it’s essential to understand what you’ve accomplished so far from a 10,000′ perspective.

Broadly speaking, you established a thematic arc by working backward from your desired endpoint (your offer) that you know in advance, but your prospect doesn’t

Then, you framed a journey for your ideal prospects from the point of first contact (Facebook ad), established a world for those prospects to inhabit (landing page), and built rapport and trust step by step (relationship-building emails) before presenting your offer only to those prospects who gave explicit permission (bridge + promotional emails).

Writing all of that content in five weeks created the ingredients you’ll need to generate leads and sales. However, those ingredients need to be edited, polished, and arranged for maximum effect (if you’re anything like us).

And that’s where the magic happens.

For many of us, regardless of if we’re a natural “plotter” or “pantser” — or as George R. R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame calls them, “gardeners” and “architects” — our shitty first drafts, from ad to final email, will be a discovery process where new ideas will emerge on the page quite literately out of nowhere — pop, pop, pop!

Listen from 1m57s

In one way or another, this dynamic happens to everyone (it certainly does for us).

We know our offer, we know what our ideal customers need to believe to want our offer, and we’ve engineered a journey to get them there…

… and then we start writing (from left to right; ad to final email).

Which is when best-laid plans make contact with reality. It rarely emerges predictably and as planned in our outlines (or our imaginations).

This is why our shitty first draft writing needs to be completed BEFORE we can shape and mold what we have into something that can effectively move someone from point A to becoming a (happy) customer.

We could have called the Momentum Building Workshop the ‘Shitty First Drafts Workshop,’ but we didn’t want to draw attention to the ‘secret sauce’ that makes this process such a powerful forcing function.

From Week 1, our evil plan — Muahahaha! — was to create an environment (purposefully driven by uncomfortable weekly deadlines) that, week after week, forced you to produce imperfect work.

There wasn’t time to procrastinate.

There wasn’t time to spit-and-polish.

This was raw asset creation at an uncomfortable pace.

Now here are you, six weeks later, and you have a fistful of assets, thousands of words that take your ideal customer on a journey from unaware stranger to an informed potential customer.

Your assets aren’t production-ready, but you’ve done the work to turn a block of wood (below left) into a sculpture (middle) that just needs the spiky bits filed down, a coat of beeswax, then some polishing (bottom right).

Credit: WoodBeeCarver

It’s a process of:

  1. Outlining…
  2. Discovery…
  3. Iteration…
  4. Refinement…

(Numbers 3 and 4 are a continuous feedback loop.)

The work you do now (numbers 3 and 4), post-MBW, will turn your raw assets into a value-producing narrative-driven journey for the people you seek to serve.

If you’ve done the work, congratulate yourself.

You’re one of the very few people who have moved from consumption (easy to do with no stakes) to practice (hard work with high reward).

Let’s talk about the process of filing and chiseling the ‘spiky bits’ down and polishing your work.

Editing is too broad of a subject for us to explain in a meaningful way in this workshop. At a minimum, spell check, use Grammarly, and read your writing out loud yourself (or here’s how to get your Mac to do this for you — of if you’re looking for a service, we love NaturalReader Online, which uses Natural Sounding Voices).

Then, remove anything that doesn’t need to be there — ruthlessly.

If you’ve written the same idea three different ways across five paragraphs, rewrite the idea once (succinctly) and delete the rest.

Look for every opportunity to remove words, sentences, and paragraphs. Fewer words = more powerful messages.

(Shawn’s mantra is “omit unnecessary words.”)

Once you’ve edited the content, it’s time to move on to the last — and arguably most important — step.

This is where we reconstruct / rearrange our writing so that it:

  • Flows seamlessly, step by step, from beginning to end.
  • Builds tension gently, but continuously, in the direction of the value created for the prospect by your offer.
  • Creates and resolves micro-tensions along the way (opening and closing loops to pull the reader forward).

To accomplish those three objectives, you’ll need to repeat the same process you went through when you started the workshop. However, this time you’re not creating — you’re arranging.

Start by establishing the flow of the writing. Create an outline of your ideas as you’ve written them in order.

Does one idea lead naturally to the next?

Are the points you’re making logically sound and easily understood?

Have you supported those points with evidence, anecdotes, metaphors, and stories?

Pro tip: make an outline that includes ALL of your writing (Facebook ad through your final promotional email). It’s much easier to see the flow of your writing in outline form.

And, it’s much easier to rearrange the flow of your writing in an outline first. When the structure feels right, update your written content to match the outline.

Next, clearly identify the overall tension you’re creating that is only resolved by your offer.

What visceral, emotional needs does your offer fulfill for your ideal prospects that they can’t fulfill without your help? We don’t care about the surface-level needs — we want to think in terms of deep emotional desires.

For example, if your offer shows business owners how to improve cash flow, it’s tempting to focus on your prospect lying in bed at night worrying about meeting payroll. That seems like it’s a powerful emotion (and, of course, it is).

But, we want to look beyond that. When that business owner is lying in bed at 2:00 a.m., staring at the clock and wondering how s/he’ll meet payroll this week, how does s/he feel?

Like a failure?

Like s/he has let her family down — again?

Like everyone who said s/he’d never make it was right?

Those are the feeling we want to speak to (if — and only if — we can genuinely help).

Once we have identified the primary tension that’s pulling the reader along, we want to make sure we’re doing two things throughout our writing.

First, we’re always building to the larger tension we have identified. That’s the ‘spine’ that orients our work. Our prospects have a BIG challenge they’re trying to solve, and ultimately we’re going to show them how we can help solve that challenge.

Second, we’re creating and resolving micro-tensions along the way (but we NEVER resolve the larger tension — that is resolved only when our offer is purchased).

These micro-tensions are loops that we open and close within a single piece of writing (for example, a landing page) or across multiple pieces of writing (for example, throughout a series of emails).

In an ideal world, we would have a workspace large enough to display all of our working documents in one view. Facebook ad, landing page, three individual relationship-building emails, bridge email, and three promotional emails.

That’s nine files, arranged left to right, representing the prospects’ journey from moment of first contact to reading a description of the value (for them) your offer creates.

From that perspective, we would see the main ideas flow from one to the next.

We would see where we’re opening and closing loops within and across those nine files.

And, if we could arrange the files like a staircase, we would see the ever-rising tension we’re creating from beginning to end.

Fortunately, you don’t need to literally see those files arranged that way to get the benefit. Instead, you can use your imagination to approximate that view.

That’s only possible because you’ve done the work to create and edit your first drafts. You have all of the ingredients you need. All you have to do is arrange what you’ve already written in the most powerful way possible.

This final step — arranging your ideas for maximum effect by looking at your edited writing from a 10,000′ view — is incredibly powerful.

It’s worth the effort. Trust us, we’re doctors.

— André & Shawn

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