How Being Concrete Can Make You Sticky

In the past few posts, we’ve explored the ideas set out by Chip and Dan Heath, in their book Made to Stick about The Curse of Knowledge, making our writing sticky, simple, and unexpected. In this post, we’ll continue our exploration of the six principles you can use to connect with your ideal clients.

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

The third principle we’ll explore is how to be concrete in your examples and writing. I don’t know you, but when I hear the word concrete, the words to AC/DC’s epic song, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, comes to mind. “Concrete shoes, cyanide, TNT/Done dirt cheap/Neckties, contracts, high voltage/Done dirt cheap.” Even if you’re unfamiliar with the song, reading these lyrics gives you a pretty clear indication of the topic.

In my post about how listening to Ed Sheeran can make you a better writer, I gave examples of how his words paint images in our minds. These are excellent examples of concreteness. Use sensory language to evoke connection.

One of the examples I shared in my video on concreteness was about then-third grade teacher named Jane Elliott who struggled in 1968 to teach her students about prejudice in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s assassination. She devised the controversial and startling, “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes” exercise. This famous experience labeled students as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposed them to the experience of being a minority. It was so concrete that her students never forgot the example.

Now You Try

Pull up an old blog post. Read it out loud. Look for areas where you could change your language to paint pictures in your readers’ minds. Make changes to your post and reshare it.

I’d love to connect with you to chat about how to make your words attract your ideal clients. Schedule a FREE 60-minute breakthrough session with me.



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