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Chapter
3

Make your offering spiky

You know what you’re looking to achieve with Twitter. You know what makes a great profile. And you have an outcome-driven one-liner ready to go. Or so you think! In this step, we’re taking that one-liner and making it “spiky.” (I’ll explain what that means in a bit.) If the one-liner is attention-grabbing, then a spiky one-liner gets them hooked.

Add in a spiky point of view

I’ve been a big fan of Wes Kao’s Spiky Point of View ever since I first stumbled upon it. Now, for every article, product, and presentation I do, I make sure it’s spiky.

But we’re not talking about cactuses here. According to Wes, a spiky point of view is a perspective others can disagree with. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re being contrary just to be contrary. Instead, a spiky point of view is a strongly held belief that you’re willing to go to bat for. Even better? It’s yours and yours alone.

“A spiky point of view is almost impossible to imitate,” Wes writes. “It’s unique to each person, which is why it’s such a powerful competitive advantage. It’s rooted in your conviction and authenticity.”

In other words, it’s what makes you stand out from the other copywriters/designers/bloggers/you name it on Twitter. 

You’re probably thinking, “Okay, but… what’s my spike?” Luckily, Wes has already outlined the essential elements of a spiky point of view, so that you can figure it out for yourself.

  1. It can be debated: Can someone make a decent counterargument? If not, it’s too “blah” to be spikey. 

  2. It’s not controversial just to be controversial: We all know a guy on Twitter who says stuff just to rile people up. He’s called a troll. Don’t be that guy. 

  3. It teaches your audience something new: Your spiky point of view should make your audience think. You want an aha moment. Question something they’ve taken for granted and help them see differently. 

  4. You truly believe it: A spiky point of view can be a little off-putting so be ready, able, and willing to defend your ideas. 

Let’s look at examples of one-liners for website copywriters that are spiky and outcome-driven versus two which are not. 

Example 1:

Not spiky: “I write copy that converts directly to booking notifications.”

Spiky: “I write humorous copy, so you keep getting booking notifications.” 

Example 2:

Not spiky: “I write clear, conversational copy that brings results.”

Spiky: “I write conversational copy because your customers are your friends.”

See what’s happened here? I took what could be considered a pedestrian offering and made it more interesting. A spiky offering isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but it will appeal to some people. And those are the people who are going to want to hire you for their freelance gigs.  

Your outcome, made spiky

We will figure out your spike and work it into your Twitter profile. Before we do, let’s check in with Paul. As a reminder, Paul is a freelance graphic designer who works primarily with restaurants. Here’s his outcome-driven one-liner: 

"I create original, beautiful, and enticing restaurant websites that get customers through the door."

Sounds great! But now, let’s make it spiky. 

  1. First, Paul is going to list three to five spiky points of view that he has about his skills or his end product. 

  • A beautiful website isn’t enough

  • A restaurant website without a menu is like a chef without a stove: Useless

  • A restaurant's website can be the difference between failure and success

2. He’s going to see if any of them are a little controversial. All three fit those criteria, but the third might be the most.

3. Paul is going to identify something that frustrates him in his field. That’s an easy one: It’s annoying when restaurant owners think they’ll be fine without a website or they can do it themselves with a website builder, despite having no design experience.

At this point, it’s clear what Paul’s spiky point of view is: He strongly believes that a restaurant can succeed or fail because of its website! Now he’s going to incorporate that spike into his one-liner from the previous step. Here’s what he’s come up with: 

"I create restaurant websites that put butts in seats because a restaurant w/o a website is one thing: closed."

Paul’s spiky one-liner focuses on the outcome of his services and shows that he’s got a bit of an edge, which aligns with his personality. By writing a line like “put butts in seats” he shows his style. Restaurateurs who aren’t looking for that kind of attitude may not hire him, but edgy clients definitely will. 

Exercise: Find your spike

1. Identify your spike

Now it’s your turn. What’s your spike? Wes has a series of guiding questions to help brainstorm. 

  • Write down three to five spiky points of view that you have about your skills or your end product.

  • Are any of those something that others might disagree with? Make sure they provide value and aren’t just a controversial hot take. 

  • What’s something that makes you angry or frustrated that you wish people would just get

  • Think of the times you’ve made a client go “Hmm… I never thought of that before.” Write those down. 

  • In your experience, what’s something that everyone thinks is a best practice in your field that you don’t think works very well? Write that down. 

2. Out of the list you’ve just made, choose the spiky point of view that most resonates with you.

3. Now’s the time to integrate your spiky point of view with your one-liner from the previous step. It may take a few tries before you land on a line that works. Write it down when you’re ready. 

What did we learn?

What is a spiky point of view?

Why is a spiky point of view important for your Twitter profile? 

What are the four essential elements of a spiky point of view?

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