Cheat Sheets


Overview

When I was starting out as a copywriter, I was desperate for materials that helped me unlock this bizarre form of writing that nobody taught but we all were just somehow expected to know.
After 12 years, nothing appeared. I’ve created this site to help fill that void. The following cheat sheets are snapshots of the deep dives found around this site. Feel free to download, print them out, and keep them handy during your writing process.

Use

All of these guides are available freely for personal, professional, and educational purposes. Creative directors, copywriters, strategists, and anyone else may use these for their work. Teachers are welcomed to distribute any of these materials to their students.
If you would like to use these for commercial or promotional purposes, I’d love to work with you. Please send me an email.
 

Inspiration

50+ Great Brand Manifesto Examples
Download your own personal copy of the manifesto examples found on this site. Great for offline mode access, detailed study, or nighttime reading.
59 Thought Starters to Crack Your Big Idea
Sometimes all you need is just the right question to kick your idea back on track. This is less a guide and more just a litany of questions if you get stuck.
 

Insights

8 Types of Brand Manifestos
Always have a handy guide to the different genres of manifestos. When you’re sharing your purpose, advice, or inspiration, you’ll always have the secret close at hand.
 
12 Tips for Crafting Brand Manifestos
Keep your hands sharp with this short list of writing techniques. You won’t use every one every time, but I’ve found it valuable to have all of them at the ready just in case.
 
7 Ways to End a Brand Manifesto
Need an exit strategy? This guide gives you a snapshot of all the different ways to make a clean exit. (When in doubt, just tell people what you want them to do.)
 
8 Ways to Open a Brand Manifesto
Amazingly, this is the worst place to start. Far better to step back and pick a genre and structure first. But if you’ve got those in place, this guide can help you nail the first line.

Structure

The Z-Shape Manifesto
Perfect for making one point really well. Use this structure when you have a strong point of view and a lot of examples to back it up.
 
The S-Shape Manifesto
The most common manifesto for establishing new ideas and big brand campaigns. Not great for setting a mood or celebrating something.
 
The U-Shape Manifesto
My go-to structure for creating emotion. Great for pulling folks the depth of your problem, then lifting them up higher on the other side.
The J-Shape Manifesto
A rare shape, but surprisingly effective at creating a mood. Can be used for new ideas, but requires a lot of craft to get right.
 
The E-Shape Manifesto
Ideal for celebrating or creating a tribute to something. Make sure to focus on breadth. Go wide and far. Don’t tell a story.