Hey guys,

I heard a really cool story about Frank Sinatra today.

In one of his biography’s an author debunks the myth sparked by critics and fans that Ol’ Blue Eyes was a natural born singer.

Back in 1935 after being expelled from high school after only 47 days of attending, Frank got his first break when his mom talked the “Three Flashes” into letting her boy join their band.

He stayed with them for almost a year, but then he started looking for greener pastures.  While on the prowl he noticed that he didn’t really have a unique presence that distinguished him from all the other boys wanting to do what he did.

What made him different from everyone else wasn’t quite clear to him.  But he knew he wanted to succeed. So he sought out a way to stand out from the crowd.

What’d he do?

He went to YMCA and started swimming laps.  After he built up his stamina he swam laps underwater.  He did this until he could go lap after lap without coming up for air.

His thinking was that if his lungs were strong enough to hold a note from line to line instead of having to gulp for air after one, his voice would sound amazing.  People would expect his line to end and the words would keep flowing.

People thought God blessed Sinatra with golden lungs.  People didn’t know Frank blessed himself with this gift.

Because he focused on what he could do to give himself an edge over his competition instead of whining about what others had that he didn’t, almost no singer had a chance when they’d audition against him.

In his own way he made a list like you and I talked about in my last post, “Small Things I Can Do About This Today” and this high school drop out took action and the rest is history.

What can you do day to day that would give you an unfair advantage in your ability to persuade in print or pixel?

Here’s a suggestion.  Write.  Write every day for a specific amount of time.  Nothing will substitute for this.  Second behind writing would be reading but it won’t do nearly as much for you as actually writing.

It’s no new idea that hand writing winning ads will help infuse your mind with how a salesletter is supposed to flow.  You’re imprinting salesmanship into your subconscious by doing this.

Years ago when I got started writing ads I’d find myself getting frustrated when I’d be re-writing an ad and it’d be 10-20-30 pages long.  Sometimes I’d only end up writing the first part of it before I quit for a while and came back to another ad.

I was attracted to re-writing Robert Collier letters because they were so short.

The Lazy Man’s Way To Improve Your Copywriting

Somehow, someway  I stumbled upon the idea of re-writing key sections only.  Openings, closings, P.S.’s, guarantees, value build ups, bullets, order form copy, testimonials, price justification copy, credibility statements, offers, sidebars and headlines.

I’d spend my ½ hour to an hour just focusing on one of these critical components from certain writers.  One day I’d hang with Joe Sugarman, the next I’d chill with Gary Bencivenga and the next day I’d spend with Max Sackheim.

I’d bounce all over because I wanted my writing to be a blend of mastery and I knew from past experience of spending all my time rewriting the whole long letter of the same writer every time… I’d ended up writing in a watered down version of their style.  Not mine.

I didn’t want that.  I never wanted to neglect the structure of a pitch but I never wanted to sound like I just copied someone.

“What if I don’t write ads?”, you say. Doesn’t matter.  You email don’t you?  Do you text?  You leave notes for people, once in while, right?  Whenever you reach out to someone with your writing it’s having an impact on them.  What impact does your writing have on people?

Are they bored?  Are they inspired?  Are they confused? Are they amused?

If you don’t write ads here’s a way to improve your print and pixel conversations.

Find some legendary screenplays online and hand write intriguing pieces of dialogue in them.  Make sure the characters lines fit who you’d like to emulate.

Remember, every single word that comes out of an actor’s mouth was written first.

With the exception of an improv show like Curb Your Enthusiasm, writers painstakingly pecked away at their keyboard for hours on end splicing and connecting sentences for dialogue that infuriated you, made you cry or got you laughing to your belly.

You can take bits and pieces of whatever writing you favor and inject that into your unconscious so that it flows out of your conversation in person and print.

These are two ways to give yourself an unfair advantage.  Try them out and I’m sure you’re writing will massively benefit for doing so.

Wishing you speedy and spectacular success,

Note Taking Nerd Numba 2