Leveraging the Human Attention Algorithm to Unlock $120 Million in Sales with Donnie Bryant #084

Show Notes:

Struggling to make your mark in a sea of sameness? In this espresso shot episode of “Dealing with Goliath,” host Al McBride converses with Donnie Bryant, a direct response copywriter and marketing consultant who’s mastered the art of standing out. Donnie, whose strategies have powered over $120 million in sales, delves into the essence of leveraging the human attention algorithm to not just capture attention but to convert it into meaningful action. He emphasizes the critical mistake businesses make: focusing too much on themselves rather than on the unique value they bring to their customers’ lives.

Donnie’s expertise in distinguishing your offering in a crowded market could be the game-changer your business needs.

Don’t let your message get lost in the noise. Tune in to discover how to showcase your unique value and truly connect with your audience. Listen now to “Dealing with Goliath” for your quick fix of profound business insights.


Donnie Bryannt is a direct response copywriter and marketing consultant who helps his clients leverage the human attention algorithm, then convert that attention into action.

His copy has generated over $120 million dollars in sales for his clients.

Donnie believes your marketing needs to showcase your unique value and communicate what that actually means in your customer’s life in a compelling way. Otherwise you’re wasting time, effort and money.

Worse than that, you won’t be able to accomplish the purpose your business exists to carry out.

That’s where Donnie can help.

Topics explored:

  • How his copy has generated over $120 million in sales.
  • How to stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself.
  • Common mistakes people make when they are trying to improve their marketing results.
  • The most compelling thing to do is focus on the pains, problems and fears.
  • You have to be appealing in a way that is talking about those things that matter to your audience.
  • “Ferrari has the opposite appeal”.
  • For many financial companies, they are really targeting men, even though 50% of the population are women with plenty of money.
  • Take the time to think about how your audience makes a buying decision and align your messaging with that.
  • Hack the human attention algorithm.
  • How to get attention from the people you want to talk to.
  • The number one insight on negotiating.
  • Put everything in terms of understanding your core audience.
  • When people feel understood, it is the start of trust and it buys goodwill.


Al McBride 0:02
Welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission with dealing with Goliath is to sharpen the psychological edge in negotiation, ethical influencing and high impact conversations for business leaders who want to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value and build greater connection all while increasing profitability. This is the short form espresso shot of insight podcast interview to boost business performance, using our five questions in a roundabout 15 minutes format. My guest today is Donnie Bryant. Dani is a direct response copywriter and marketing consultant who helps his clients leverage the human attention algorithm of talk and ask you about that the minutes and then they and then convert that attention into action. His copy has generated over $120 million in sales for his clients while others don’t he believes your marketing needs to showcase your unique value and communicate what that actually means in your customer’s life in a compelling way. Otherwise, you’re wasting time, effort and money. And worse than that, you won’t be able to accomplish the purpose your business exists to carry out. But that’s where Danny can help. Johnny, welcome to the show.

Donnie Bryant 1:17
Thank you for having me. I don’t drink much, much espresso espresso. So this is it. This conversation will be the jolt that we need for today’s show me

Al McBride 1:25
the children we did for today. Excellent. All right. So let’s just clarify down a little bit. So who tends to be your ideal client, and what’s the biggest challenge they tend to face.

Donnie Bryant 1:36
These days, I’m primarily working with people in the financial industry in various niches or various verticals and financial advisors, and wealth managers, but also newsletters are totally opposite side of the spectrum. And the main, the main challenge that everyone everyone is facing, I think in every industry is standing out from the crowd getting the attention that you need to, to touch the people you want to touch and help the people that you can help. So that’s, that’s what I work to help them accomplish.

Al McBride 2:10
Very good. So they’re struggling with that sense of differentiation. I get this when I talk to lawyers, we’re going to talk to accountants, you know, when I’m working with, with people in those sort of a lot of the old professionals are particularly but a lot of other areas, too. And they’re not great at defining why someone should go with them, rather than their competitors down the street. Right. Exactly. So okay, well, I mean, it’s

Donnie Bryant 2:33
really like if you if you mentioned lawyers, right? Where’s What do you have to differentiate? I mean, you do have a lot to differentiate, but the thing that you think of naturally, oh, you know, I know all these different laws of when all these cases, there’s stories involved that you should bring out. But it’s it’s not necessarily obvious to most lawyers, how to make themselves stand out? And obviously

Al McBride 2:53
not, absolutely not, of course, it’s their culture as well, because a lot of law firms, you I do a lot of training a walk into different ones with radically different law, different cultures all together. Yes. To get that across in their in their, in their marketing would make a big difference. Yeah. So what So what are some of those common mistakes people make when they’re trying to improve their coffee when they’re trying to improve their marketing and as you say, stand out from the crowd up Mr.

Donnie Bryant 3:21
The biggest one that I see all the time and across multiple industries, because interestingly, my clients tend to be financial, but I have conversations and do trainings for any niche you can think of. But when the when the SE constantly is, they’re focused on this is gonna sound weird when I say they focus on themselves first, when the most compelling thing that you can do is focus on the pains and problems, the dreams and desires, and the fears and frustrations of your core audience, the people you want to talk to you. They’re interested in themselves, primarily. So if you’re, if you want to get their attention to talk about what they’re interested in, and then you can turn it back around and show how you fit into that equation for them. Everyone else was talking about, I have an 87% win rate in the courtroom. That’s good. It’s cool. But there’s other people can say that, but you being able to speak to my dreams and desires or my fears and frustrations, that sets you apart and it gets my attention at least and I’m paying attention to you and thinking this person understands me. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Al McBride 4:29
Absolutely. Absolutely. As I always say, it’s not about you, it’s about your audience. It’s Trump does that also not make it a lot easier for a lot of financial institutions because they can write they’re a lot more constricted and what they say they’ll allow other other industries. Right. So your approach is very appealing that.

Donnie Bryant 4:51
Yeah, it’s, it’s very regulated, I think. I mean, it’s one of the most and it should be right when we’re talking about people’s retirement funds and their bill Ready to, you know, live well, you know, well into their 80s 90s Hundreds, hopefully longer, you know, that it’s important that we don’t mislead or don’t manipulate, quote, unquote manipulate people in those truths. And so there’s a lot of regulations and rules. So yeah, you have you have to, you had to be appealing in a way that’s talking about what those things that are the values that your audience has. You can’t you can’t necessarily compete on IRAs, or, you know, there’s the financial tools that are out there, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of options, this overwhelming amount of options, right? And then it’s confusing. And then you can’t necessarily impact what the Fed rate interest rate is. So, you know, there’s all these things that are that are not that differentiating, what will differentiate you is your ability to understand and connect with your audience on their on their values, the things that mattered to them. And showing that you understand that, rather than just talking about, we can get you a 0.4% interest rate on your savings. It’s not that appealing right now, for the people are giving you 5%. Sure, right, that’s appealing. But for the most part, it makes more a lot more sense, to at least start with those personal connections, build value connections, and then work your way back to, you know, by the way, I mean, we can actually really help you in your financial and your financial performance.

Al McBride 6:23
Today, weirdly, you actually reminded me and I’m actually gonna go over a dose here. So like, the fever brain that I’m just coming out of, so I apologize if it sounds totally random. But you remind me of a great piece of advertising, when Rolls Royce were trying to break into the US, you know, this one? Yes. Right. What was it again, um, that the picture of the dashboard on a highway, right, that was like, at 80 miles an hour down the highway, and all you can hear is the ticking. Right? It’s the same thing is speak directly to the the interest the desires of your ideal audience. Right.

Donnie Bryant 7:00
Right. And that’s a differentiator, right? Because in my Toyota Camry, I can hear the flies buzzing around. Yeah, exactly. Put

Al McBride 7:08
in a Ferrari like, they’re the opposite. Right? They will, yeah, they all you can hear is the engine, right?

Donnie Bryant 7:14
That’s the the people running Ferrari said, we, we have, we’re having a hard time with the electric, which is the direction everyone wants to go on. But you buy a Ferrari to feel and hear the roaring of the 700 horsepower engine. Actually, that’s it, right? It’s a totally, totally opposite appeal. But for the people who they’re targeting. You want luxury, you want peace, that push to the ride down the highway that. So right, you’re appealing to those desires that that audience has, but the sports car driving, you can say that it wouldn’t be?

Al McBride 7:43
It wouldn’t be interesting at all. But it’s very interesting then for the financial people, is to kind of think in that way. Are we Royals Royce, are we a Ferrari to these people? What do they want? You know,

Donnie Bryant 7:54
it’s a it’s a great point, because there are totally different audiences, there are aggressive options traders, who, who can you almost liken it to blackjack players? Right, it’s fair, some of them I’ve spoken with them, they they kind of get the rush out of getting in and out and and seeing what they can do very quickly, versus someone who wants to buy something and never sell it, you know, the Warren Buffett approach, you know, my holding time is forever. So that you got to speak to those individual segments in different ways.

Al McBride 8:26
Do you feel the love of the financial organizations work with have that very clear avatar? Or is that something you have to help them with? First?

Donnie Bryant 8:33
It depends. There are some who were very, very clear. And we’re always learning and trying to expand, because it’s a pretty small target audience. And sometimes the the idea is they’re a little older. And if we can expand into a younger audience, we can give ourselves more people to work with in a longer period of time to work with them. But it’s tricky, because 20 year olds aren’t thinking about retirement, right? 30 year olds are just barely thinking about it, except the responsible one. So some are very valid, and some are, some are less so that and they’re just, you know, trying to figure it out. And over time, they will. But sometimes, you know, it takes a little while to do that.

Al McBride 9:11
Definitely. And they said it’s interesting, they talk about opening up new markets, because that’s that’s a very could be a very appealing thing to where they go away. We’re have to aim at this group. It’s like, Yeah, but there’s all these other potential niche, it’s yeah,

Donnie Bryant 9:27
it’s very interesting. And I don’t want anyone to be mad when I say this, but for many financial companies, they are they’re really targeting men. And they don’t really speak to women even even though I mean obviously 50% of population more or less are women and women have plenty of money, they have plenty of control over the household money, and they definitely are included in the family decisions. So why does Why is the language traditionally because I think some of the some of the things is old school in the 70s and 80s. Maybe it was more men and I and then probably there’s still some of that but For the people who say, let’s talk to the women, you open up a market that many people are not even trying to address.

Al McBride 10:07
Absolutely, it sounds like you can put it when you’re opening that new segment, and that segment feel they’re being spoken to whatever that niche might be, as you said, maybe it’s 3030 year olds who are actually doing extremely well. And they’re professional, and they’re raking it in and don’t know what to do with their money, but don’t want to be foolish, you know, whether, as you said, it’s under served, like half the population, which is quite shocking, I didn’t realize that, that so little financial stuff was aimed at the language was changed more, as you said to, to a female audience. That’s pretty shocking. Actually, that’s a massive opportunity. Oh, my God, you see,

Donnie Bryant 10:46
commercials or you see the ads that they’re, they’re men, and then the people in charge, not that there’s anything wrong with that. But we don’t see as many women represented on on the, in the, in the imminent imagery in the advertising. And then also, the voices were speaking, a lot of times, there’s, there’s a under representation of women. So so if there’s someone who wants to break in that market, let’s put some women voices here, you know, and there’s, there’s just a whole different feel from what many of the institutions are doing. So I don’t want to down talk anybody because everyone is doing the best that they can. But there’s an opportunity to speak in a different way and appeal to a different audience. If that’s interesting to anybody.

Al McBride 11:32
Massively. Sorry, just saying I can see dollar signs now. That’s insane. Yes, no, definitely. So look at that, no, you know, what might be one valuable free action that the audience can implement, that’ll help with this. So it might not solve it. But just even getting their headspace pointing in the right direction?

Donnie Bryant 11:54
Yeah, the advice I give everyone to start with is just kind of what we said, a lot of times, we think about our marketing, and we say, what’s cool about me, what what’s, you know, exciting about me, what do I like about me, and take some time to, you know, get a piece of paper out and think about, again, we say, pains and problems, fears and frustrations, dreams and desires that your audience has pertinent to your industry, or the kind of service that you provide a product that you sell. Think about the decisions that they make in that area, and what drives those decisions, and then figure out how you fit in to that. And you may just, you may discover, even speaking, but all the wrong things. But take the time to think about how your audience makes a buying decision. And, and then try to align your messaging up with that, rather than thinking about, and I know way too many marketers who only talk about themselves. And it’s you do have to do that, because who you are is important. But again, people are thinking about themselves in their own needs before they’re thinking about you, thinking about them, and then think about how you can present yourself in a way that matters to them.

Al McBride 13:04
Absolutely, I have to double down on that, you know, when when an audience feels Oh, you’re talking Oh is talking to me, you’re not talking to those people that were there. Then it’s like, oh, now you have my attention. And that’s when I care, like, Oh, you have X many years experience, you have X amount of successes and want domains and all the rest of it. If I don’t know that you that you’ve got me and I feel understood, then I don’t care. You can have all the everything that you say, but so what you know, right?

Donnie Bryant 13:35
If you said, you know, I’m a lawyer, specifically, I’ll give you an example from my own life. Sure. I’m not legally allowed to talk about this. But we we had to sue my, my children’s school at the school district. And we had a lawyer who specialized in that. So lawyers in general, fine, but we found a lawyer who specialized in the particular suit that we brought against the school district, he’s specializing in that kind of little niche, you think it’s too small to have a practice. So we knew this is the guy, there’s no, there’s no question, who we’re going to talk to. This is the guy who specializes in this kind of suit for this kind of, for educational purposes, right? So I knew he was from me, everything else is like, Okay, you’re telling me more about what I already you know, I already know, it’s for me. And I’m just filling in the details. And we can do the same thing. When we when we call out our audience. They know this, this guy or this gal is from me. They they’re talking about what I want to accomplish. They’re talking about me specifically, obviously, you’re seeing as they pop up and they’ll say, you know, 50% off for New York residents and say I’m in New York. And they said okay, well I’m interested in this. So 50% off may not be appealing, but it’s for New Yorkers. Okay, cool. I’m not in New York. But if you but when you see that, especially like if you’re in a smaller town seems like it’s for you. It’s generalized, right? They have technology that can say Are this up everyone in their specific area, serve it up for them, but just that individual individualization, it feels like it’s a personalization feels like it’s for me. And at least it grabs my attention because I feel like it’s from me.

Al McBride 15:14
That’s, that’s the key thing. That’s the key thing. So what is one valuable free resource that you could direct people to that will help them with all the things we’ve talked about, or an aspect of the things we talked about?

Donnie Bryant 15:24
Yeah, this the, I’ve recently created a report, it’s called I think it’s called hacking the human attention algorithm. Specifically about how you how you create messaging that will not necessarily differentiate you, but will, but it’s designed specifically to get attention from the people that you want to talk to. And it’s intentionally I use the word algorithm, not because we’re talking about math, but because I wanted to differentiate from artificial intelligence, there’s a lot of talk about artificial intelligence, it’s an amazing tool. But it’s not designed specifically to, to appeal to how attention works. For the human mind, at least not yet. It’s putting together words, putting together, you know, sentences and paragraphs, but it’s not a it’s not optimized for attention. And so I want to help people to understand how to optimize your message for attention. So that you can then do the serving that you want to do the helping that you want to do and bring the the transformation that you can create for people. You got to get attention first, though, because otherwise, you’re talking to yourself. So when Eric’s it’s called, hacking the human attack attention algorithm, and it’s free for you.

Al McBride 16:42
Excellent. And we’ll, we’ll link to that at the bottom of the podcast and below the video. So what would be your number one insight or principle on how to negotiate build rapport or connection? Or uncover hidden value with clients?

Donnie Bryant 16:59
Okay, yeah, I was thinking deeply about this. Because connecting is, is what we do. You have to you get attention, and you connect so that you can transfer whatever you got to transfer, right? You I want to sell you something or I want to buy something for you. It has to be connection there. And whether you’re doing it face to face, seems like I’m gonna say the same thing over and over again, I’m doing a face to face or if you’re doing it online, it’s it’s critically important to listen and understand the person who who’s speaking who you’re speaking with. Because whether you’re negotiating, selling whatever, connecting, again, people, people start with themselves, why am I even in this conversation? Why should I talk to you? Why should I listen to you, and you can get them to listen to you by listening to them. Right? And let them say what they need to say. Or if they’re online, like they’re not necessarily speaking directly to you. But you take the time to discover things about your audience, so that you understand how they would speak to you in person, what they’re thinking about how they’re feeling, what they’re in the market for. So I consider that to be listening as well. Listen to them. It’s especially in person, it’s very effective, right? When people feel heard. Now, now, the barriers come down, the walls come down, and people are ready to have a conversation, and then they’re willing to hear you, you out. And I think it happens online as well. When people feel understood. They feel like you’ve you understand them, and that you care about what they what they care about, that they want to listen to you. And they know you’re for them. So I would say that just listen. Pay attention to the people you’re talking to. And put everything that you say in terms of how you understand them. Now, that doesn’t mean tell story. Like I only work with, you know, I only sue schools, school districts. And when I’m talking to you, and you want something else, and I’ll tell you something else, that’s not what I’m saying. But you can also saying, you know, now that I’ve heard you, I’m really not the person to help you. But I know someone who is I can direct you to the person who can really help you. But you have to listen first. So anyway, that’s uh, I should have been more succinct in saying that. Let’s listen. Just listen. And that’s where you want to start your negotiations and all the connecting that you want to do.

Al McBride 19:14
Absolutely. As you say, when people feel understood, that’s the Star Report. That’s the start of, of trust. And it buys goodwill, because you can, you can drop the ball and all sorts of ways where people go, I’m not sure about that. I’m not sure about that. But if they inherently like you look at the power of brands that’s all about being liked. Okay, there’s something they respond to. and easiest way to start being liked is to listen and show that you’re understand. Absolutely, absolutely.

Donnie Bryant 19:43
I think and I’m doing it now, like people like to talk, you get into a negotiation and you want to do all the talking, right? You get into a sales conversation and all you want to do is talk, spend some time listening it will change the dynamic of every conversation you have for the better.

Al McBride 19:57
I couldn’t agree more. A good degree war. Tony, where can people reach out and connect with you or discover more about you? Yeah.

Donnie Bryant 20:06
My website if you like, I don’t update it very often. It’s basically just a blog right now is Donnie hyphen bryant.com. I’m also on LinkedIn a lot these days. You can if you look up Donnie Bryant, I’m one of the few.

Al McBride 20:19
You don’t even price. Yeah. Yeah,

Donnie Bryant 20:21
those would be the best places. Very good. And

Al McBride 20:23
where can they where can they get the algorithm?

Donnie Bryant 20:26
Yeah, we’re gonna have the link that’s gonna be on my website is Donnie hyphen bryant.com/attention algorithm? I think we’ll have. We’ll have the direct link. We’ll have a bill of excellence that’s on the website. Yeah.

Al McBride 20:39
Tony, thank you so much for being on the show. It’s been a pleasure. appreciate having

Donnie Bryant 20:43
having the opportunity to speak with you today.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


Donnie’s Website and Blog: https://donnie-bryant.com/

Free Training: Hacking the Human Attention Algorithm

Connect with Donnie Bryant:

On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donniebryantjr/

Ready for more:

If you’re interested in more, visit almcbride.com/minicourse for a free email minicourse on how to gain the psychological edge in your negotiations and critical conversations along with a helpful negotiation prep cheat sheet.

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