So What, Justifying each step or word of communication. (photo by Paolo Mazzo click to link)

Years ago when studying copy-writing I learned a concept called justification.

Justification is when each and every word has to justify itself… why it exists in a headline, a sub-headline, or the beginning of a sentence and so on.

For instance, when creating a headline you want to go through it word by word and make each word justify itself. Take out words and if it had the same impact keep it out. Each word has to beg, borrow, and steal to literally be included in your headline.

When you put this into practice you end up with a very concise and hard hitting headline. A headline where each and every word has proven it deserves to be there.

This concept can be used for more than just headline writing. For instance…

Your Website

I come from the less is more approach to web development.

Go through each one of your menu items and justify why it has to be there. Is it in the best benefit of your visitor? Or how about other elements of your website.

Even Your Content

These days people are busy. The way people consume and read content is changing. Some would argue that there needs to be an updated version of how we classify quality (great read, I agree with most of what is written there). Justify each section and level of your content. Does it serve a purpose.? Does it add to a point you are trying to make?

Added Question – So What?

If you haven’t read the book So What? by Mark Magnacca I would suggest you pick it up. It’s a quick read and really gets right to the point. In each thing you do ask yourself So What… why should I care?

Now think about your audience. I recently started doing more presentations and presentations in front of groups. On my powerpoint slides I have asked myself for each and every slide… So what, why should I care? Keeping in mind my audience. What started as a bloated presentation was reduced down to a very concise and focused presentation.

This one powerful question once put into practice can make tons of difference in all your communications and marketing efforts. I suggest you put it in your arsenal as well.