When you’re done reading this, there’s something I want you to do

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The next time you sit down to write something, before you begin, ask yourself, “What do I want them to do?”

Figure out what you want your reader or listener, judge or jury, prospect or client, to do when they are done hearing your words.

Yes, begin with the end in mind.

Why? Because unless you’re writing to entertain, you want the reader to do something. That’s the only way they will get a result. And you want them to get a result because that’s good for them and good for you.

When someone reads your article, for example, and that article persuades them to do something, e.g., read another article, sign up for your newsletter, contact you to ask questions, or contact you to make an appointment, they benefit and so do you. They get information or help and you get a new client or someone who is moving in that direction.

Don’t write merely to inform. Write to persuade. And don’t assume they know what to do next, tell them.

You’re almost done reading this. When you’re done, I want you to write the sentence, “What do I want them to do?” on a sticky note and post it somewhere on your desk or your computer where you’ll be able to see it when you are writing.

If you do, you’ll be more likely to ask yourself that question when you’re writing and if you do that, I know you’ll get better results.

Better results is good for you, obviously, and also good for me. As you get better results from my advice, you’ll be more likely to come back for more advice, more likely to buy my products and services, and more likely to tell others about me.

Decide what you want your reader to do and persuade them to do it. I’ll have some thoughts on how to do that in a future post, so stay tuned.

(See what I did there?)

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