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The secret copywriting technique from Charlie Munger

You might have heard of a guy named Charlie Munger.

He’s Warren Buffet’s associate at Berkshire Hathaway, one of the biggest investment firms around.

These two guys have become popular in the entrepreneurial world not only for their investment successes, but also because of their thinking.

They are two very smart fellows and popularized the term “mental model” when it comes to decision making.

Well, one of their mental models could be applied not only to your business, but to your copy and UX, too.

It’s the concept of “inverted thinking”.

In short, when you want to get ideas and solve problems, instead of thinking of all the ways you could do it, all the things you want to happen, you invert it. You start thinking of all the things you don’t want to happen, of all the ways your problem could get even worse.

The theory behind it, is that humans evolved to be better at thinking of the worst case, rather than the best one. To survive.

We want to avoid bad stuff from happening, more than we want the good stuff. That’s why when you start thinking this way you get a LOT of ideas.

How do you apply it to copy and UX?

Let’s say your website is not converting as you wanted. And let’s focus on your homepage.

A few thought experiments using inverted thinking:

  • How could you make it so that every single visitor bounced (landed on the page and exited right away)?
  • How could you make your value proposition as confusing as possible?
  • What visual elements should you remove to make your branding untrustworthy?
  • How could you present your product in a way that’s not enticing to your target audience?
  • How could you make navigation as hard as possible to use?
  • And so on…

Try it.

After the initial friction, you’ll likely find that you come up with ideas you weren’t thinking of before.

Not all will be great, but the exercise alone is worth it to get out of your own head and into the visitors’ shoes a bit.

This is where a lot of the value in working with a consultant comes from.

The outside, unbiased perspective and decision making skillz.

If you need help, get in touch.

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Every day (yes!) I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

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