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In this edition: ​
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  • The Cutting Room returns
  • Why the forces of antagonism hold us back
  • Content on writing better intros
  • Why specificity matters
  • A reminder on what you should do after you get the click

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How Katelyn Bourgoin made $14,950 in 57 minutes with two emails and a Google Doc​
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Count down to 2023-11-14T18:00:00.000Z​

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Katelyn Bourgoin is the founder of Customer Camp, author of the wildly popular “Why We Buy” newsletter, and co-founder of ” The Un-ignorable Challenge” a cohort-based program that shows entrepreneurs how to create “thumb-stoppingly good content”.
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To test demand in late 2022, she limited pre-sales seats to only 50 people, and to keep things simple and break expectations, she used a no-frills Google Doc instead of a fancy landing page.

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The result? She closed $14,950 in sales in less than an hour.

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In this conversation we’ll discuss:

  • How she primed her readers to buy in advance
  • The psychological principles she used in the lead-up to the sale
  • How “The Un-ignorable Challenge” has evolved since.

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You’re not going to want to miss this one.

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Top of mind:

What do you want?
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Right now, what do you desire, and what’s standing between you?
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In story, this is called the gap.

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Like the image shows, the gap is the chasm between expectation and result.
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It is the space between subjective expectations and objective reality.
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As soon as the protagonist takes their minimum, conservative action, to cross the gap, it backfires, causing the forces of antagonism to push back with a disproportionate response, reminding the protagonist “this won’t be easy.”
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The stakes increase and the protagonist must take more risks until they overcome all obstacles and get what they want.
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These forces could be:

  • Internal
  • External
  • Physical
  • Metaphysical

An example of this is Walter White having cancer and struggling with self-worth, while also dealing with drug dealers and the threat of being found out.

We deal with the forces of antagonism any time we want to do something new in real life too.
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For example, I want a new website.
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To have the website, I need something designed, but I don’t know a designer. (external / physical)
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Once I have a designer, I need to properly communicate my vision for the site (internal / metaphysical)
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To hire the designer, I need a budget, but I’m broke (external / physical) and I’m afraid to ask family because they think my ideas are a joke and often pick on me (external / physical / metaphysical)

Now being the savvy marketer you are, you might say, “Well Tommy, you could use a template on a site builder, or go to Upwork to find a cheap designer if you want to close the gap.” and you would be right.
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10-15 years ago the gap existed due to a lack of options, but if you look around now, the problem isn’t too few resources, it’s too many.

As B2B storytellers, we must understand 3 things to resonate with our protagonist:

  1. How wide is the gap between want & desire?
  2. What are the forces of antagonism at play?
  3. What is the protagonist’s minimum, conservative action?

Put another way, how far are they from their goal, what’s holding them back, and what have they already done to try and get what you want?
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Once, and I mean only once we’ve answered these questions, can we create narratives that meet our protagonists where they are, and craft characters that will help them reach their ultimate goal.
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But that’s about doing research and we’ll cover that another day.

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Thank you to our sponsor aHrefs



Find the issues that prevent your site from ranking. aHrefs webmaster tools scans up to 5,000 pages website for 100 technical SEO issues that may prevent your site from ranking, absolutely free.

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What’s on our radar?

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🧠 How is inner conflict a force of antagonism?​
🏃🏽‍♀️ Define “The Gap” [Story Structure]

📚 3 books to be a better YouTuber (51 min)

✍️ Write intros that stand out (4 min)
🤖 AI recreated South Park (1 min)

Let’s get social

​Katelyn Bourgoin regularly talks about psychology principles in her work, but this one on Confirmation Bias is particularly relevant to what we’re talking about.
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Here’s an excerpt from her post:

If you want buyers to change their minds you must first meet them where they are… and then give them an “out”.

This plays so well into what we’re talking about. Before we can sell anything, we have to understand where in the story our protagonist is, and then we can start swaying them in one direction.

Katelyn Bourgoin on Linkedin says: "As humans, we like being right.  When presented with new info that contradicts our beliefs... we may dismiss it or search for evidence that it’s wrong.  This is called Confirmation Bias.  What does this mean for marketers?  If you want buyers to change their minds you must first meet them where they are... and then give them an "out".  An "out" is presenting new information or a new solution that allows buyers to see the world has changed.  Show them that they weren't necessarily *wrong* in their past beliefs, but something has shifted and now it's ok for them to update their beliefs.  Changing beliefs is very tricky but not impossible.  There is a better option though:  Don't try to change people's minds.  Focus on attracting people who already believe what you believe.  Does that make sense?"

More episodes on storytelling

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Data isn’t direction

Emily shares an interesting POV that data should help expose The Gap so you can fill it.
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Listen here

Please be specific

It’s hard for people to know you know their problem if you’re not specific in how to articulate it.
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Watch here

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From “The Vault”

​The Vault is a collection of articles that have been edited by guest editors on The Cutting Room.

Look at raw drafts and see how editors from companies like Writer.com, Calendly, Airtable, and more give their feedback in the doc.

Jay Acunzo from Unthinkable media says: "Where are the open loops? Feels like the entire point of this post is to rank on search...and maybe drive the click. The point does not seem to be for me to read this piece. Over-optimized to GRAB attention, not HOLD it.

Jay brings up a point I think a lot of us miss when it comes to writing content for search.
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“SEO content” isn’t a format, it’s a front door, and by using very intentional choices with words and link placement, you can absolutely earn deeper clicks into your site.
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See all of Jay’s comments here.

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Tommy Walker | The Content Studio

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