No One Reads and It’s My Fault

laptops Having given several hundred people access to my new project, the Owner Mastery Foundation Group, I’ve been slapped hard with the realization that no one reads. Several hundred people somehow missed the part on the welcome letter that said, “You have to do THIS to get access to the group that goes with the program.” And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s my fault.

Well, Not Fault

I am every one of these people. I don’t read things all the time. I miss the instructions. If they’re not made easy to understand, I miss them. That’s how I broke my Dell evidently. Somewhere on page 9 (9!!!!!) of their documents, it said, “If you use any power source other than the fussy fancy pants one that comes with this device, you’re gonna have a bad time.” (Not an actual quote.)

So, if the group is really important, it’s my job to say, “HEYYYY!!!!! HERE’S HOW YOU SIGN UP!!!!” And not put it in the third paragraph.

But I’m not writing this to complain. I’m writing this to instruct. No one reads what YOU are saying, too.

Brevity. You MUST be brief. And concise.

Because no one’s going to read it.

I publish a magazine. Have I told you that lately?

Concise.

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  • http://wichita.schoolofrock.com/blog Jason Ramsey

    LOL, John Philpin has been telling me for years that ‘no one reads’, I guess it’s true.

  • http://www.jeffreysass.com sass

    I read this post. Just sayin’.

  • https://plus.google.com/104485087205161540376/posts Darlene C Cote

    Ouch. I read. I hear you.

    Concise vs Engaged
    Text Blip vs Story Telling
    Tumbleweed vs Tree

    What is the magic blending recipe for that?

  • http://dreamsthatinspire.blogspot.com/ Allan Calder

    Brevity, that’s a concept! I guess there’s a fine line. You want to say something worth reading, but not so much that they can’t be bothered. Simple right? Thanks for the suggestion Chris.

  • Rory

    Ha ha. My daily email correspondence is a lot of practice of this – trying not to bury the lede, trying to make sure the core, vital instructions or responsibilities aren’t lost.

    Sometimes, on the most important emails, I get as blunt as to say, “Here’s a summary of the most vital parts – read below for details”, or just summarise the next action(s) right there below the “Hi”.

  • Philip Strange

    It’s not the customer’s job to understand my business. It’s my job to make it easy for him to buy.

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  • http://teachgoodstuff.com/ Jennifer Kennedy

    As a former teacher, I know this all too well!! My biggest fear is hearing my students say, “Ummm..what are we supposed to be doing right now?” after I thought I explained things thoroughly.

    Because of that, I’ve gotten into the habit of providing instructions multiple ways — mostly in written format (bolded for extra emphasis!) and visually (because people love flashy buttons!).