Photo credit: Jeff Kubina / / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Jeff Kubina / / CC BY-SA


Knowing how to focus your ideas is the #1 obstacle to communicating effectively. But I’ve got a tool that will help immensely.

It’s called the “Power of One.” If you’re a copywriter, you’ve probably heard of it – and hopefully you use it daily. If you’re a business owner, it will change the way you look at your marketing.

When you’re trying to communicate with customers, your natural instinct will be to try to create a message that resonates with everyone. After all, you want to reach as many customers as you can. And you don’t want to risk alienating anyone. The problem is that a common outcome of that natural instinct is that, in your drive to not alienate anyone, you end up not particularly targeting anyone, either. If you’re not targeting anyone, you’re not going to excite anyone, either. You risk ending up with a message that’s a little bland and not terribly compelling to anyone. It won’t necessarily repel anyone, but it won’t necessarily attract anyone, either.

The “Power of One” flips that on its head. This simple yet powerful tool helps you focus your ideas, so you can create a targeted, exciting message.

Put the “Power of One” to work every time you need to communicate with customers. Here’s how it works:

  • Before your start writing, imagine a single customer you’d like your message to attract. You’re going to imagine you’re having a conversation with that person about your topic.
  • What do you know about this person? What does this person look like? How does this person act? How does this person talk? How does this person think?
  • Related to the topic you want to talk about, what problem is this person facing? Why is the problem important to this person? What happens if this person doesn’t solve the problem?
  • If you were sitting next to this person, how would you explain to this person how you can solve this problem? What sorts of words would you use? What sorts of examples would you use? What questions might this person have? How might the conversation flow?

Use everything you know about this One Person to focus your thoughts. Don’t worry if ultimately your message needs to reach a whole bunch of people. Resist the urge to expand your message to reach all of those people. Being focused is more important than trying to please too many people at once. If you can excite this one person and get this one person to take action (even if it’s still just part of this imaginary conversation in your head), then trust me, you’ll end up exciting a lot of people. And a lot of people will end up taking action.

You’ll be amazed at how effective your message will be when you’re properly focused.  So stop spinning your wheels trying to please everyone. Focus your ideas using the “Power of One,” and you’ll end up speaking to more people than you realize.