What John Mayer Can Teach You About Effective Messaging

In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, singer-songwriter John Mayer admits to a fondness for tweeting his followers about – I’m not kidding – poop.

Much as I like his music, this does not make me want to follow him on Twitter. But maybe I should, because in a strange way, he’s on to something. Later in the interview, he says: “When I send a poop joke on Twitter, every single time, people write back: ‘LOL, that’s why I love you. You’re not like every other (insert profanity here) celebrity. It shows an artist dethatching from the matrix of trying to micromanage perfection…so it’s really not about poop at all.”

So there you have it: John Mayer has a message behind the message – one that sets him apart from other entertainers, and one that obviously works for him, as he has a huge Twitter following. 

I’ve just recently “bitten the bullet” and joined Twitter, and it’s fair to say that I’m still figuring it out. If you follow me (and, shameless plug here, I hope you do, at http://twitter.com/alankravitz), don’t expect to find dictates about what I’m having for lunch, let alone when I’m going to the bathroom. It’s just not me to write things like that. 

But even I can learn something from John Mayer’s Twitter habits. I’m a good writer, but there are lots of good writers out there. I need to think about what sets me apart from other writers, just as Mayer obviously thinks about what sets him apart from other entertainers. My clients tell me I’m easy to work with. And my writing usually does produce high favorable results for them. So, even if I never tell you when I’m going to the bathroom (and trust me, I won’t), I do need to make sure that my messaging communicates these attributes, and more.

Special thanks to Alan Kravitz, copy writer/editor/consultant who founded The Infinite Inkwell

What about you? What are your “messages behind the message” – aside from your obvious talent?