AI is the new swipe file

Swipe File (n) A collection of advertisements or content pieces used to gain inspiration for future work.

“Bad artists imitate. Great artists steal.”

This well-worn quote has been attributed to many people in the past, some of which include Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, TS Eliot, Steve Jobs and even Banksy at one time or another.

No matter who was first, the quote itself is an example of great art: taking something awesome and making it your own.

Great art (and content) is often created in this way.

While some people say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - I’m not too sure; I worry that straight imitation just makes you look like a copy cat instead of being an artist.

The idea is to take inspiration from someone else’s work and make it your own, which is an art in itself.

Enter ‘the swipe’ file

For years, as a marketer I have meticulously kept different swipe files of inspiration both online and offline.

Whenever I see a good advertisement, a good piece of copy, or a great landing page I save it for a time when I’m working on a project and need inspiration.

The online tool I’ve been using for a number of years is called Swipewell and I don’t know what I would do without it.

I also created a swipe file for Transform 12 a couple of years ago, there’s plethora of marketing and prospecting ideas for agents in there and I’ve popped it below the paywall as a little mid-week bonus for my premium subscribers (as always thank you!)

Anyway I was listening to a video over the weekend and all of a sudden I had a bit of a lightbulb moment in that if one of the three main functions of ChatGPT is idea generation (the other two being assistance and summaries) then AI is indeed the new swipe file. 

You just need to know what questions to ask it (and of course who to steal from!)

Prompt of the day

There’s a famous marketing letter by the Wall Street Journal, “The Tale of Two Young Men”, by Martin Conroy.

Image: Dalle

Many great marketers consider it the greatest sales letter of all time, and legend has it that this one piece of copy sold more than $2bn worth of subscriptions from 1975-2003 (so well worth taking inspiration from it).

I’m not going to break down what makes this letter so awesome - I’ll let you guys read all about it if you choose to, but what if I told you you could easily make your own version of Two Young Men to sell whatever it is you’re selling?

Your first prompt to ChatGPT should go something like this:

Are you familiar with the two young men sales letter by the Wall Street Journal?

In my case the response was:

Yes, the "Two Young Men" sales letter by The Wall Street Journal is a classic example of effective copywriting in the direct marketing world. Written by Martin Conroy, it ran successfully for several decades and is estimated to have generated over $2 billion in revenue. This letter excels at storytelling to illuminate the value proposition, using relatable characters to demonstrate the long-term benefits of subscribing to the Wall Street Journal.

The narrative contrasts the career trajectories of two men who started in similar circumstances but ended up in very different places, attributing one man's success to the insights he gained from reading the Wall Street Journal. Through its story, the letter connects with the reader's ambitions and fears, implicitly making the case that a subscription is an investment in one's future success.

Actionable Advice:

  • Emulate the principles behind this letter when creating your own marketing copy. Use storytelling to create emotional resonance, and focus on your product's unique value proposition.

  • Apply A/B testing to evaluate the efficacy of different storytelling approaches or angles in your marketing strategy, just as versions of this letter were continuously tested and refined.

Remember, data is invaluable: Continuous performance tracking can offer insights into what resonates most with your audience, allowing for optimised return on investment (ROI).

And your second prompt might be something like:

Could you re-write this letter but make it an invite for a property management firm's investor networking/information evening?

Here is the response I received from ChatGPT. As always, it’s not perfect, but it’s a great start.

Subject: Two Investors, Same Starting Point, Different Destinies—Unlock Yours

Dear [Name],

Imagine: Two investors, both equally ambitious, both with similar financial means. They both recognise the transformative power of property investment and are committed to growing their portfolios. Fast-forward to ten years later, and their paths have diverged drastically.

Investor A struggles with tenant issues, maintenance costs, and the complexities of compliance, seeing marginal growth in his investment.

Investor B, however, enjoys a robust portfolio, stress-free property management, and impressive ROI—all while dedicating time to other ventures.

What made the difference? The insights, connections, and resources gained at [Property Management Firm's] Investor Networking and Information Evening.

On [Date] at [Venue], we invite you to be Investor B. Here's what's on offer:

  1. Market Insights: Get the latest data on property trends and investment opportunities from industry experts.

  2. Networking: Connect with like-minded investors and seasoned professionals who can provide valuable contacts and resources.

  3. Actionable Advice: Walk away with strategic tips on portfolio diversification, risk management, and maximising returns.

Don't miss your chance to tip the scales in your favour.

Register now to secure your spot. Your future self will thank you.

Best regards, [Your Name] [Your Position] [Contact Information]

Key Takeaways:

  • Craft your invitations to deliver a compelling narrative, placing your audience at the centre of a beneficial transformation.

  • Ensure the event provides genuine value in terms of insights, resources, and networking opportunities.

  • Utilise metrics to gauge the success of your invitation approach, so you can fine-tune for future endeavours.

By leveraging storytelling and clearly defining your event's unique value proposition, you are well on your way to hosting a successful investor evening.

Inspired to create your art? I hope so!

As always remember everything ChatGPT gives you is a first draft and you should always edit, and adapt the tone and style to your own brand voice.

AI is the new swipe file.

Happy Hunting 🚀


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