Have you ever watched a UFC fight on TV?
Or any sport you’re not really a practitioner of…
Chances are when that happens, it’s because it’s considered “cool” or “fun”, or if you’re not really into that stuff, because your friends or family peer-pressured you into it.
One thing you’ll start to notice is that no matter what’s on TV, especially if you’re in a group context, you get pulled into it.
But really, when you have no idea how a game is truly played from a first person perspective, how’s it possible that you still enjoy watching it?
For me it’s American football. I still have no idea what the rules are, but it’s cool to watch and the speakers do such a good job at making it engaging.
Well, the secret is in the way they present it.
In the stories they tell before the event.
In the anticipation everyone builds up to it.
John Danaher, one of the top Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts coaches, explains (paraphrasing):
“Say a million people watch a pay per view event. What percentage of them have a genuine technical understanding of what’s happening? It’s tiny. So how do they relate to the fight? It’s through emotion. When they get a sense that these two hate their guts, than they can relate to the fight. They will form an emotional attachment.”
Which is why TV programs like UFC Prime Time focus on emotional elements like the preparation, the perspective of the family members as the athlete gets ready. etc.
It’s all in the show *before* the show. In the context and the set up leading up to it.
Conor McGregor is a master at it for example.
Just watch his Instagram and his pre-fight encounters…
What you see is an artist, a performer.
Sure these athletes need to be good at their sport.
But they also have to be outstanding showmen.
They need to know which emotions they must evoke in their audience in order to captivate them.
And if you’re still wondering why they get paid so handsomely, this is part of it.
It’s not easy to cover these two roles at the highest levels.
This is a great reminder for anyone in business.
Sure, be good at whatever you’re offering…
Build great products, serve your customers or clients with the highest attention to detail, master your craft…
…but don’t forget that you also need to perform in order to convince them to buy.
Your copy needs to do the same.
It needs to address both the logical and the emotional side of your prospect’s brain.
The emotional part can be easier in B2C because stories work very well.
In B2B, emotion works on another level.
Rory Sutherland for instance says that “In B2C decision making is about minimizing the risk of regret, while in B2B it’s about minimizing the risk of blame”.
It’s a good example of using emotion with a twist, but still it hits a very deep nerve in your audience.
So remember, next time you see your messaging not having the impact you were expecting, it might be because you have to emphasize the emotional component.
Or maybe just lower the volume of the logical one.
But you’ve got to have them both.
P.S. Wondering how the hell I come up with some of these stories? Yesterday I published an over-the-shoulder video, where I go step by step over my process for coming up with ideas and for writing daily emails (around 120k words and counting over 235+ issues). Check it out and let me know what you think.
Quote and reflection of the day:
“What matters isn’t the title. It isn’t the power. It isn’t the wealth. It isn’t the control. That greatness isn’t what you have. It’s who you choose to become. Or who you choose to remain.”
Ryan Holiday, Discipline is destiny
Master your decisions, master your life. Then stick to what you’ve built. The last part might be the hardest.