The copywriter’s guide to coming up with a TLA

If I’ve learnt anything interviewing some of Australia’s top online entrepreneurs, it’s that they are experts at coming up with TLAs.


TLAs are Three Letter Acronyms. Yes, I’m being slightly facetious, but I’m serious too. Why? Because in the highly competitive world of writing copy for an internet business, you’ve got to stand out, get cut through and get remembered.

Creating a catchy TLA that sums up your IP, your process or your view point can be the very thing that lands you a book deal or that game-changing TV interview. And the sooner you can come up with a TLA (three letter acronym) to describe your process, the sooner you can start charging big money on the speaking circuit. And it works! People love pithy phrases, catch cries and the like. Here’s just a few I’ve heard from the entrepreneurs I’ve been interviewing.

1. The ABC of Data:

Kate Morris, from, a very cool online beauty store, said:

“We have to remember the ABCs of internet marketing – Always Be Collecting. The secret of success for any online business is a really good list and the only way to build that list is to Always Be Collecting.”

2. Another TLA: PAG

Jane Huxley, Managing Director of Pandora Internet Radio said that when they collect data, they always focus on PAG – Postcode, Address (email) and Gender. In America, where Pandora’s head office is based, their data collection process is so sophisticated and they have so many people on file, they can actually predict how their customers will vote in a political election!

3. The 3 Cs:

Mark Middo, founder of Social Empire and author of the 5-Minute Business, created his own TLA with his 3 Cs: Castle, Content, and Communication. This is a good one for internet marketers as it gives a structure to the process of setting up online businesses quickly.

Castle = set up your website.

Content = write great stuff for the site and create loads of other content

Communication = get those aforementioned pieces of copywriting (blogs, webinars, reports, eBooks) out into the world

How? Send them out to forums, LinkedIn, blogging sites, aggregator sites and start commenting on things you’ve read, seen or heard. Get active.