I was just re-reading one of the most life-changing, mind-fucking books I’ve ever read:
Antifragility by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
Specifically, I read the chapter on „Domain Dependence“.
If you’re not familiar, Domain Dependence is the phenomenon that people understand & apply a concept in one area, but ignore it in another.
A few months ago, I was a decent copywriter. I could create some engagement and a few conversions here and there.
Still, I failed to be the least bit persuasive in my personal life—even though I did it for clients in writing.
I’m not saying I’m some sort of persuasive, charismatic genius today.
But I CAN say that I’ve managed to develop much more of a macro-knowledge of persuasion rather than knowing a few copywriting techniques.
I’m less domain-specific…
…and I’m also getting much better results for my clients.
What helped me get there?
�Not the fifteenth copywriting course.
Not „Breakthrough Advertising“ (Am I committing heresy yet?).
And—you might not believe it—it wasn’t a copywriting certificate either.
It was connecting the dots in ways I hadn’t connected them before.
It was reading books and articles completely unrelated to copywriting.
It was cultivating a view for how persuasion happens in everyday life.
And, most importantly, it was failure and daring.
You don’t progress without doing things that might not work.
But if you want to be a better persuader, copywriter or whatever other manipulator you would like to be, don’t make your next book the newest copywriting book.
Make it a timeless classic and reverse-engineer why it resonates for so many people decade after decade. Or find the copywriting lessons in fairy tales (there’s tons).
Or dig up how your persuasion knowledge applies to getting a table at the „booked-out“ restaurant.
I’m not saying copywriting books are useless—far from it.
But you need to connect the dots.
Or become a domain-dependent one-trick pony.