Close to the Edge

By Ron Rosenberg

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut was a prolific author, having written14 novels, five plays, and several short stories and non-fiction works.

I read many of his books when I was in college, and they opened my mind up to some very unique ideas and innovative thinking.

Many years later,  I came across an interesting quote, and when I tried to find the source, I discovered that it was none other than Kurt Vonnegut himself.  The quote was:

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.

This is a powerful statement and can be easily applied in your marketing.

We actually talk about this idea often. You see, one of the cardinal sins of marketing is being boring. And when I ask different business owners and marketers why their own materials seem a bit "tame," the answer is usually something like, "We don't want to offend anyone."

The problem is that in their attempts to not offend anyone, they frequently fail to actually connect with anyone.

That's why we teach a powerful strategy called "Walk to the Edge of the Abyss." In this approach, you look at your markets - and walk right to the edge in terms of their hidden fears, their secret desires, and the exposed nerves that you can access to get them to sit up and take notice.

Then, take a couple of steps back from the edge so you're not quite so direct, while still capturing the essence of the emotion to effectively make your case.

The beauty of this method - as shared with me by several people who've actually implemented it - is that the "edge of the abyss" isn't nearly as close as they thought it was, meaning that they felt comfortable venturing a bit more deeply into the creative, the edgy, and, yes, even the outrageous.

As Vonnegut said, "Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center." So why not take a step closer to the edge, and see how you can make your marketing more exciting, more interesting, and more effective!

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