As an author who enjoys the marketing aspects of my business, I am always hungry in good marketing strategies or psychological persuasion analysis. As such, I’ve been following Scott Adams for some time, as he’s been keen to talk about the topic. His citing of Robert Cialdini’s Influence only gave him more credibility in my mind, as I have read the book and apply several of its methods to my online presence.
That said, I was primed to feel as if I wouldn’t fill up on the content of this book. I’d read Adams’ autobiographical How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big, and while I enjoyed learning about the trials of his life and how he worked hard to overcome them, I felt like it was a little lacking in terms of deeper content applicable to me overall. But, by the same token, I still recall several phrases and life-advice blurbs he gave in the book, so perhaps it was better than I give it credit. But this is also a political book, and I’ve seen a trend of a lot of authors use their blog posts, retool them, and push a book out for marketing purposes. As I’m happy to support Adams because I do love his blogs so much, I did buy it. But I was firmly expecting there to be little meat to the book where I’d already satiated my interest in psychology with a good meal on his blog.
Getting into the book though, I found a nice refresher of the persuasion topics, The first ½ of the book or so delves deeply into that, the techniques both he and President Trump use in marketing, including some points I hadn’t paid attention to along the way of the election, or that Adams added for this book specifically in order to make it more substantive. While I’m typically a slow reader, If I have something I find incredibly compelling, I find I read a book in just a few days—and Win Bigly did that for me.
There’s some expert advice in here, but it’s on the reader to apply it to your own life or business. I’m fine with that as I’m good with taking abstract constructs and modifying them for my own use. I’ve built a brand on that kind of persuasion myself in the last year, and both some of my fans and critics have noticed it. Reinforcing the concepts was very useful for me in that regard. The sections on the Persuasion Stack and How To Design a Linguistic Kill Shot I found most flavorful and substantive.
The last third of the book for me or so was skim material. It had all the ingredients of the blog content I had been concerned about when I bought the book. For someone who already follows Adams’ content closely, it’s like the filler at a Poke Bowl restaurant where you’ve got your nice ahi on top with some of the good stuff, and the carbs of the rice or noodles on the bottoms are designed to fill you up a bit cheaply for the restaurant. Now Adams specifically says not to use analogies in persuasion, but bear with me in this review. Believe me, you’ll want to keep reading.
Going over the election cycle, process, all the scandals, all the persuasion points used, and the final victory didn’t do much for me, but if you didn’t read Adams’ blog every day and you’re not already in the know, the content is really compelling, even spooky (a word he often uses). I’m not sure I buy into how heavy his influence was on the election, as my vote didn’t change based on what he said, but he did change my life in the way I perceive the world. I’m chowing down bigly on the persuasion filter and it’s partially because of the way the events lined up and the way Adams described it. If you’re interested and you haven’t followed his work, the final third section might be the most compelling part of the book for you.
Overall, I enjoyed it as much as I do a good meal. Win Bigly solidified what I already believe in terms of influence and persuasion, brought up some fun new points and a couple of good laughs along the way. He did rely a bit on reposting blog content, but not so heavily that it deterred me from enjoying the book. It’s a must read for anyone new to marketing or with interest in the persuasion game of life. There’s a lot to chew on.
Overall, I give the book a 9/10. Entertaining, useful, and just about the right length to hold my interest.
Post Review Important! Read!
Now my real persuasion plan with this review is to try to get Scott Adams to read and let me take him out to lunch. I live about 10 minutes from Scott Adams and it’s been on my bucket list as an author. I layered my review with food metaphors, in hopes that he reads it, it made him hungry and that he might reach out and contact me. We do have a lot of similar friends on the online presence and I believe we’re firmly on the same team. I’d even use WhenHub to let him know when I arrive, and I’m buying if he’s in! We’ll see if my persuasion was up to snuff. At the very least, I know I delivered a good laugh.
If you like persuasion and Trumpisms, you might also want to check out the new anthology MAGA 2020, some of the only pro-Trump pop culture out there, which features a story by me, a nice intro by Milo Yiannopoulos and a great essay by Ivan Throne. You can check it out here.