Shiny: The Firefly Guide to Producing More Creative Content

image of Firefly characters Mal Reynolds and Zoe Washburne

I was reading Jonathan Fields’ new book Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance this weekend, and one of the insights that struck me the most was his breakdown of the two types of creativity.

Because analogies help us learn, and because Firefly is the best show that has ever been on television, I’m going to call the two types of creativity Mal Reynolds creativity (insight, vision, and brave new ideas) and Zoe Washburne creativity (actually getting something done).

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The Johnny Depp Guide to Mesmerizing Marketing

image of johnny depp

On Stranger Tides is just one more in the long line of big budget Hollywood movies. Or is it?

Actually, it happens to be just another movie that Johnny Depp refused to appear in for anything short of $42,000,000.

He charges that amount because the movie can’t exist with out him.

Johnny’s the star of the show. Pirates of the Caribbean without Captain Jack Sparrow is like an ice cream sundae with no ice cream.

But if Johnny Depp didn’t act in movies — if he were a regular job-holding guy from Kentucky — nobody would care about him. Nobody would pay him.

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A Social Media Marketing Case Study: Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields

image of Jonathan Field's Uncertainty

I started blogging in 2007 because I’d just signed my first book deal with Random House and I realized that social media was about to become a huge tool in any author’s marketing arsenal.

What I didn’t realize was how huge.

It’s become the core of my marketing outreach not just for books, but for everything I do.

But with the launch of my new book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance, I decided to take things to an entirely different level, test a bunch of new strategies, and bring video strongly into the picture.

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The Art of Irresistible Copywriting

image of ogilvy rolls royce ad

I’m going to tell you a secret.

It’s a copywriting secret that the immortals — from Aristotle to Ogilvy to Draper — have known, but few have stated as directly as I’m about to.

By now, you know the standards of effective copywriting

Know your audience. Know your product cold. Research. Nail the headline. Write plainly, in the language of your audience. Research more. Write fascinating bullets. Craft a great offer. Include a strong call to action. Et cetera.

These elements are the standard for good reason. They get the job done.

This little truth I’m about to tell you is the foundation that makes all the rest of it work.

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What Bestselling Fiction Can Teach You About Writing Better Landing Pages

image of spy with gun

Imagine you’re having a discussion with a talkative, hyperactive teenager.

The conversation goes something like this …

We went to the mall, and like, there was this fire in the mall. And we went from there to the movies, but we didn’t have any money and anyway the popcorn machine was broken, and so we didn’t really want to go to the movies without popcorn. But right after that we went to have some pizza and there was this creepy guy outside the store. But listen to this — because that’s not the best part. The best part is that Sylvie dumped Josh, and like, they ran into each other in the street …

Annoying right? Then why do we so often write our web copy just like that teenager talks?

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How to Make Your Writing Real

image of landscape

In this day and age, substance matters.

What you say must be meaningful to the people you’re trying to attract.

Your content must solve real problems and satisfy real desires.

So why should it matter how you say it?

The reality is, how you say it has always mattered, and it matters even more today.

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