RATTLE: Use This Simple 6-Step Formula to Create Epic Content in Any Niche
We’ve covered the basics of information products.
Now let’s get specific.
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Have you ever sat in front of your computer staring at a blinking cursor wondering where to begin?
I’ve been there.
Deciding to make an info product is a great first step. But how do you actually create the content that goes into your product?
What you need is structure. A skeleton you can use to build your information product.
RATTLE: The Super-Simple Formula for Writing Content to Teach Anything to Anyone
What I’m about to show you is the exact formula I use to create epic educational content in any niche.
I call it RATTLE.
It stands for Resonate, Accept, Turn, Twist, List, and Ending.
RATTLE can be used with any educational content—regardless of the subject or how that content is delivered.
It can be used to create content of any length. I use it to create a few paragraphs for a social media posts. I also use it to create content for 3-hour long video training courses.
Here’s how it works:
Start your info product by selling your audience on the value of what they’re about to learn.
Do this by stating something that resonates with an emotion you know the people in your audience already feel.
For example, if you are creating an info product for golfers, don’t start with an in-depth look at the proper grip.
Start by talking about the pain of slicing your drive deep into the trees on every hole you play.
How many golf balls will you lose? How many hours will you spend hunting for a ball after yet another errant shots?
You don’t have to create a need in the mind of your prospect.
You just need to put your finger directly on a pain they already feel and know well.
You’ve agitated their pain. Now tell them that it’s okay that they struggle with this issue.
Help them accept their current situation without blaming themselves. Let them know you understand where they’re coming from. That you’ve been there. That you know the way out.
The idea here is to build a bridge between them and you. You want to say, “I’ve been where you are; I’ve solved the problem that seems unsolvable to you right now.”
At worst, you want to say, “I’ve found a person who struggled the same way you do today. And they made it through. Let me tell you their story.”
The turn is just what it sounds like. It’s the moment when you turn the conversation away from their experience and toward your unique knowledge.
The turn is usually just one or two sentences. Here a simple phrase you can use as an example to help you make the turn successfully:
- Because of [ the pain we just discussed], we’ve come up with a simple method we use to solve [pain].
For the twist, you tease your solution.
This is the moment you reveal the specific info product you’ve created to solve the audience’s pain.
If possible, give your twist a name. This can be the name of your product, or it can be a “technique” you teach within your product.
If you’ve done the first four steps, your audience will be primed and ready to hear how you can help them solve their problem.
They’ll be engaged. They’ll know why this training is important and they’ll be inspired to take action.
The list is your how-to content.
The list will usually make up 80-90% of your info product, sometimes more.
In your list, use numbers. For example, you could use phrases such as “There are six steps to the RATTLE formula.”
Break the larger group into smaller groups and write each one in succession. Explain how each one works, and how it fits together in the bigger picture of the full formula.
Each item in the numbered list can also have sub-lists if needed. In that way, it can be as simple or as complicated as you need.
Your ending should be your “payoff” section. Remind the audience of why they took the time to read or hear your course—and of the results they can expect if they take action.
Tell your readers, “If you take the actions in this training course, you could see [these] results in [this] amount of time.”
Writing Content with RATTLE Makes Creating Titles Easy
Numbers in product titles work because they make it easy for the reader’s brain to grasp how much mental commitment is required to learn this content.
Using RATTLE gives you a built-in list. You can split or combine these steps to create more “numbers” for your lists.
When you write the subject line, just use the numbered list in your content to frame the title.
How Writing Content Using RATTLE Works With Different Formats
In marketing, content is king. And luckily, as I mentioned earlier, RATTLE can be used with any format. But to be more specific, here’s are a few examples for you to use RATTLE in real life:
1. Books, eBooks, and Guides
For written content such as books, eBooks, and Guides, the RATTLE method gives you a simple formula you can use to write the content for your publication.
“Resonate, Accept, Turn, and Twist” happen in your introduction. “List” happens immediately after, followed by “Ending.”
This approach means you can write different sections of your info product at different times. If you get stuck on the “resonate” section, skip ahead to the next section and write it.
It’s a lot easier to write a few dozen 200-word sections than it is to sit down and write a 30-page PDF training all in one shot.
2. Video Trainings
To create a video training using RATTLE, use the different RATTLE stages as the different parts of your training slides.
The Resonate, Accept, Turn, and Twist sections go in the introduction. The numbered list becomes a series of slides you can use as you teach the material.
And the ending becomes the conclusion to the training.
3. Audio Trainings
For audio training, the process is the same as creating video content.
Use Resonate, Accept, Turn, and Twist in your introduction. Then go into your list and teach listeners the details of how to solve their problem. When you’re done, finish with the ending.
4. In-Person Seminars
In-person training content works just like video trainings. The great thing about live events is the Q&A opportunity at the end.
If you hear the same questions over and over again, simply add another item to your numbered list in your training to cover it.
Tools to Create Your Content Outline
Here are a few tools I use myself or that I know work for other people:
I literally start by creating branches with R, A, T, T, L, & E on them to make sure I get all the sections.
When I start writing, I use Hemingway for my first drafts. Then I keep the mind map open and simply fill in sections based on the mind map outline.
For longer projects, Scrivener is a fantastic way to keep everything organized.
Some of you prefer more traditional outlines to mind maps. If that’s you, try Workflowy, which is slick, cloud-based, and has a free-forever starter package.
Evernote is also a good tool you can use to create simple text-based outlines.
In my home office, I have a wall that’s painted in special whiteboard paint—allowing me to write on the wall as if it’s a whiteboard—even though it’s just paint on the wall.
Personally, I use whiteboards when I need to think with my pen. I’ll draw circles and lines and just kind of dump everything up on the board. Then draw a bunch of arrows to connect things together.
Usually when I’m done I’ll have a much clearer idea of how I want the content to flow. From there I’ll write out a more formal outline in either my mind map or in an outline.
4. Pen and Paper
For you traditionalists, nothing beats a good Moleskin notebook and a pen. Personally I like lined notebooks, but you can get them with blank pages or a grid-style.
I’m partial to the Fisher Space Pen, which writes amazingly well. It also fits in my pocket easily, and I don’t have to worry about it exploding on my shirt.
Final Thoughts on Creating Content
RATTLE has served me extremely well over the years.
What I love most about the framework is that I can use it over and over again with the same audience—yet they never feel like they’re being given a stock “formula.”
The content is unique for every piece. It’s just the structure of the content I’m using over and over again.
For this reason, if you use this method to create your info products, no one will ever know that you’re using a framework—unless you tell them specifically.
For example, have you caught on yet that I created this article using the RATTLE framework?
For your homework, I want you go back through this article and write down the outline I used.
Where’s the Resonate section? Where’s the List?
If you look closely, you’ll find them.
And just for fun, take a look back at two of my earlier Performance Marketer posts too:
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Information Products
- 13 Remarkable Ways to Profit from Info Products (Especially if You Already Have a Business)
Do you see the same pattern?