The Skybus Rules of Flying
Before Skybus went out of business, it offered “The Skybus Rules of Flying” which used straight talk to explain how the airline kept prices low. Brave choice…perhaps too brave?
3. Bring a book. We’re not big fans of fancy in-flight entertainment systems. So grab that best seller at the airport, or buy a Sudoku puzzle onboard if you’re feeling brainy. You’ll touch down before you know it…
5. Don’t be late. We won’t wait. Please arrive no later than 30 minutes before takeoff, or we’ll leave without you. Really. By that time, there won’t even be anyone to check your bag. It’s nothing against you–we just have to keep our flights on time, or things get expensive in a hurry.
Slicehost goes for the “we’re just like you” angle at its homepage.
Built for developers
We’re just like you. Sick of oversold, underperforming, ancient hosting companies. We took matters into our own hands. We built a hosting company for people who know their stuff. Give us a box, give us bandwidth, give us performance and we get to work…
The Why Slicehost? part of the site goes on to explain why it’s not the right fit for everyone.
We aim to please developers – people who know their stuff. People who write software, build servers and get things done. If you’re new to web applications and hosting in general, we’re probably not the best choice for you. If you want the cheapest price, go to any of the volume driven web hosts with outsourced support. But if you know what needs to be done and want a host who will help you get there, you’re in the right place.
Accentuate the negative?
Copywriting Tips: Accentuate the Negative says you should leverage (don’t fight) the customer’s belief in compromise by addressing a product’s downsides head-on.
People are as likely to assume that a downside has a corresponding upside as vice versa. They’ll also gladly accept negative admissions, whereas they’d otherwise demand substantiation for positive claims. Combined, these two principles work magic. For example, take this lame and totally unsubstantiated claim for a made up photo printer:
“Our new IQ268 photo-quality printer produces the most stunning, nuanced black-and-white prints in the business.”
Credibility on that one? Zero. Now read this:
The ink for our new IQ268 printer costs more than the competition’s — 30% more, on average. In addition to the normal five ink tones everyone else uses, our printer uses two extra gray-scale inks, exclusively for printing monochrome photos. Why the expensive ink? Because, without it, the IQ268 wouldn’t produce the most stunning black-and-white prints in the business.
Since the reader automatically accepts the negative admission, they become more likely to accept the implied upside. Does mentioning the extra grey-scale inks help, too? Sure, but only insofar as it’s linked to better picture quality. That association is more likely to be accepted coming on the heals of an admission. In other words, the downside still highlights the upside by contrast, making the bigger claims that much more believable.
Nice how-to blog post
How to Shoot Events is great example of an educational blog post.
2. Don’t Be a Dick
Dudes with cameras have a well-deserved reputation for being dicks. It probably has something to do with walking around carrying a giant phallus. Let’s not perpetuate that myth, m’kay?
Smile at people. Be friendly. If someone waves you away, they don’t want to be photographed – move on. I’ve even taken to winking at people when they look at me like “what’s that guy doing here.” Winking is a dorky thing to do. No one seriously winks anymore. But it makes people laugh (or at least roll their eyes) and that lets me keep doing my job.
Do not get pissy when people tell you not to shoot. Most events happen on private property, and though an event-goer can’t legally kick you out, they can get an employee who can. A simple smile can diffuse a lot of difficult situations.
Copyblogger offers 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work. Cheesy approach but maybe inspirational?
1. Who Else Wants [blank]?
2. The Secret of [blank]
3. Here is a Method That is Helping [blank] to [blank]
4. Little Known Ways to [blank]
5. Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All
6. Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]
7. Now You Can Have something desirable
8. [Do something] like [world-class example]
9. Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of
10. What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank]
Related: The Most Important Words You’ll Ever Write [WPDFD] offers “Top 5 ‘Unbreakable’ Headline Rules.”