“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.”
Dale Carnegie penned those words in his 1937 classic, How to Win Friends & Influence People.
Nearly eighty years later, his words still ring true, a frank reminder that human psychology does not change. People have always enjoyed venting their own frustrations, talking about their own achievements, and hearing their own names spoken in conversation.
And they always will.
As copywriters, we must use this to our advantage. It would be foolish not to.
How to Win Friends & Influence People is not a copywriting book. It won’t teach you how to write a headline or sculpt a sales letter. But it will teach you everything there is to know about the human condition, which is at the center of all successful copy.
In other words, before you sell someone, you have to understand what moves them:
- What grabs their attention?
- What keeps their interest?
- What earns their trust?
Only when you’re able to answer these questions about your target audience should you start writing copy. Otherwise, your words won’t leap off the page, so to speak. They’ll just sit there, listless and ineffectual, like ants afloat in a puddle.
You don’t want that, do you?
How to Win Friends & Influence People is, perhaps, the most important book I’ve read.
I try to pick it up every year around Thanksgiving (because if there’s ever a time to remind yourself to put others before yourself, it’s during the holidays).
I recommend you do, too:
- Read How to Win Friends & Influence People
- Bookmark it
- Reference it often
Whether you compose one headline a year, or a hundred, How to Win Friends & Influence People will help you write copy that grabs people and holds them in place.
For example, below are several quotes from the book. Quotes that could lend invaluable perspective to your writing:
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
“The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.”
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”
“Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
“To be interesting, be interested.”
“A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people. A boil on one’s neck interests one more than forty earthquakes in Africa.”
“A barber lathers a man before he shaves him.”
“Arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”
Apply this wisdom to your copy for a better response.
Click here to read the book for free.
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This article was originally published on VeryGoodCopy.com, where you’ll find dozens of other micro-articles about copywriting, content marketing, and psychology.
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