I was checking out a new a cafe with my girl the other day when she asked me, “Do you like it here?” After a second of thought I answered, “Yeah, it’s good. There’s nothing wrong with it. But there’s no reason for me to ever return. It’s not compelling.”
That was the last time we visited the cafe.
A trip to the cafe reminded me of the 3 Reasons companies and people succeed.
Whether you want to make friends, make more money, build a better business, or meet more girls, you’ll need to learn the 3 Reasons. You already intuitively know and live by the 3 Reasons, as they influence your own decisions on where to buy from, what books to read, and what people to share your time with.
It’s time to deconstruct why you do what you do. From there you’ll learn how to apply these newfound rules to your own business, professional, or personal life.
The 3 Reasons apply to any social or business interaction you have.
- Reason 1. Give people a reason to come to you.
- Reason 2. Give people a reason to stay.
- Reason 3. Give people a reason to return.
Think about the last time you went shopping. Was it your first time in the store? If so, it’s because something about the store convinced you to walk in. Maybe the store met a need you have. Maybe the store met a want. Yet for some reason, you walked in.
Why did you go inside the store? Maybe it was because of good sales? Maybe it was due to brand loyalty.
Why did you stay inside the store? Air conditioning, open spaces, design? I can spend all afternoon in the Apple store. Why is that? I also spend a lot of time in cafes. To me a compelling cafe has large tables, excellent coffee, good food, and music that isn’t too loud.
Why did you return? Maybe they gave you a coupon for your next purchase. Or often you return for the same reasons you went inside and stayed inside.
The 3 Reasons apply to dating and relationships.
If you’ve ever met a girl, had a nice time, and she never returned your call, it’s because of a breakdown of the 3 Reasons.
You gave her a reason to meet you on a date, so you had something going for you. Yet that isn’t enough.
You perhaps didn’t give her a reason to stay, other than out of politeness. She stayed because she had to and not because she wanted to. People rarely stand up to leave dates. (I’ve done that to more than one girl, though!)
You certainly didn’t give her a reason to return. Otherwise she’d have returned your call or starting hitting you up as her booty call.
The reality is you were blah. You were good, safe, not compelling. Find out why that is.
The 3 Reasons determine your success in failure at a job or business.
If you own a business, you can see the 3 Reasons in every interaction you have. If you’re a lawyer, why do clients sign with you? Why do they remain with you throughout the course of representation, pay your bills on time, and generally not hate your guts? Why do they come to you for repeat business?
Maybe you work an hourly job. Even then the 3 Reasons apply to you.
If you’ve ever been a reliable employee who shows up on time for work, I feel your pain. I would always get more hours thrown at me.
A reliable employee is valued, as they give an employer a reason to keep calling you back on to the job site. Maybe it’s your skill. Maybe it’s your reliability. Maybe it’s your brilliance.
Whatever the case, you now have a useful way of analyzing your behavior. You’re going to start looking at the 3 Reasons people can’t seem to function without you.
You can apply the 3 Reasons to your website.
Why did you come to Danger & Play? You probably heard of me on Twitter, or through a friend, or maybe you saw a link to my articles on a forum. Or maybe you were on Google searching for something specific.
I give people a reason to walk into the Danger & Play world by writing compelling articles, which as you’ve heard me say before, means “articles readers will like and share.” (Either Seth Godwin or Matt Cutts came up with that pithy definition of compelling.)
Why did you stay? You arrived for one reason and stayed for another – namely the compelling articles. D&P is also well-organized. Each article links to other relevant articles.
I also put a lot of thought into the article’s titles. I toe the lie between writing exciting titles that aren’t clickbait. Compelling titles are more likely to be clicked than boring titles, and clickbait leaves you feeling misled or betrayed. Find the balance between compelling and clickbait when writing article titles.
Why did you return to D&P? You returned to D&P for a lot of the same reasons you arrived. Yet there’s more to it.
When you post comments, you want to see if people have replied. You appreciate that I reply to comments.
Few people engage the way I do. Sure, I can’t answer 100% of emails and comments, but you know I try to, and that keeps you coming back.
I get you to join my email list. Then I remind you there’s new content to check out.
I check out some of your websites, see a decent article, and never return.
I want to read your compelling content. Often you’ll send me a link. I’ll check out the article and think, “Yeah, this is OK.”
Most of you are perfectly workmanlike writers. I almost never read an article and think, “This is shit!”
Yet I forget about your site, and it’s nothing personal. You’re perfectly good people.
You give me a reason to check out your site, but you don’t give me a reason to stay or a reason to return.
Why do people find your website?
How can you convince people to stay on your website?
What can you do to encourage people to return to your website?
Those aren’t rhetorical questions. Sit down and write out the answers!
The #1 problem with your website is short articles.
While it’s important to write regularly, it’s far more important to treat each article as a first impression. Before hitting publish, ask yourself, “What if this is the first article someone found via Google or social media? Would that person want to read more?”
If an article is 500 words, people will scan it and leave. It’s almost impossible to create a compelling 500-word article.
If an article is 1,000 to 2,000 words and contains pictures you personally took, people might remember you.
If an article is 2,000 words, contains pictures you personally took, has headings for skimmers to read, and includes an email opt-in for some sort of social media link, then people are far more likely to remember you.
Don’t settle for mediocre, derivative, or throw-away content. Put your soul into writing original, insightful articles that give readers a reason to stay on your website and to return.
Start thinking of how you can improve each of the 3 Reasons.
In your business or social life, treat each of the 3 Reasons as separate parts in your life’s machine.
- Why would anyone come to your business, hire you, become your friend, or go on a date with you?
- Why would anyone not want to leave the room when you’re in it?
- Why would anyone want to see you again?
Find an answer for each of the 3 Reasons and watch your business and social life explode.
(Yes, there’s a 4th Reason.)
Once you’ve mastered the 3 Reasons, start thinking of the 4th Reason.
Why are your current customers and clients referring other people to your business? Why are people sharing your story to their family and friends?
Put that in the back of your head.