The ‘Breaking Bad’ formula to making an infographic that is the bomb! – Spoiler Alert

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Why Create An Infographic?

If you have been on the internet recently you might have come across either an infographic, most likely about ‘how cool Pinterest is’, or caught people talking about an awesome series on AMC called Breaking Bad. Being a fan of both and slightly bemused by the rash of complicated infographic design tips out there, I thought – using this expression ;/

“Why not mix these two topical things together and have some darn tootin’ fun?”

This is the result and I hope you find it as helpful as it is shareable (hint, hint).

In Breaking Bad – Walt’s reason for getting into meth cooking is due to his cancer diagnosis and his worry for his family’s financial situation after his death.

For you – In infographic could be just what you need. It’s about what the client wants. What is their Walt? – More traffic, social presence, links and/or brand recognition?

Who Is Your Link Distributor?

In Breaking Bad – Walt fears that he is running out of time to make money when his health rapidly deteriorates, so he pushes his meth partner Jesse into finding a distributor to help them move the meth in bulk. They choose Kingpin Tuco Salamanca based on Jesse’s loose connection with the guy and his sheer dominance in the drug trade.

For you – Like Walt, you need to position your product and work in conjunction with your own Tuco Salamanca – high profile blogs who know what their audience wants. You can even give them exclusivity and add their logo, if needed, to persuade them to host. If you want your infographic to be republished you will need at least one Tuco Salamanca in your promotional belt. If hosted on the Clients site then liaise with client on design and strategy, but always go back to your high profile blog to see that this is in keeping with the tone of their content. If you don’t do this, you will be left with a really expensive product and no way to move it.


Who Are Your Info Addicts?

In Breaking Bad – For Walt and Jesse, the main targets are meth addicts like drug addict girlfriend Jane.

For you – You need to have at least three different audience types for one infographic. For example, if it’s an infographic on James Bond Cars you should instantly be targeting car fanatics, James Bond fanatics and movie lovers. Info porn lovers are not an audience, they come with the territory so don’t include them.


What Is The Infographic Concept?

In Breaking Bad – Walt might have the capability to create top quality meth but he needs someone who knows the product inside and out. He finds out that former student Jesse Pinkman is a meth dealer, then seeks him out and makes him a deal.

For you – What is your Jesse Pinkman? What idea could make this infographic explode into viral status?  Most of the ideas will come out of initial talks with the client, trends on Reddit, Meme blogs, Stumbleupon or Tumblr. Do not forget to go back to your Tuco Salamanca blog for ideas, they will have a lot of experience in this and will want the infographic to do well. You will also need to double check that you have really found your Jessie Pinkman by running searches on the data. It might come up cold and then you need to change to another idea.


Produce Blue Magic Data

In Breaking Bad –  Walt is adamant that his product will be perfect, but when he starts producing more he is restricted to what chemicals he can get his hands on. He opts to change to using various chemicals to produce racemic meth and purify into a brand new blue form that becomes a signature for his product.

For you – Once you have found your Jesse Pinkman idea and you know you have a superb data source, you can begin. Perhaps the data is being supplied by the client, which is easier, but always think outside the box. Could you add more? All data must be checked and rechecked and all supporting URLS retained for the footer of the graphic. But like Walt, make it different by adding your own ‘Blue Magic’ data; by (where possible) run your own data collection via polls or questionnaires.


Mapping Your Product

In Breaking Bad – Walt and Jesse end up working in a lab owned by another Kingpin, Gustavo Fring. It’s a high tech meth lab and has everything set-up that they need to produce the product in bulk.

For you – Be as fastidious as Walt with your data, planning the layout to make sure that the customer gets that first pure hit of what you want to say. Can they absorb the data quickly? Does it flow? When you are done this should be like Walt’s lab, fly-free, spotless and ready to cook.


Cooking Your Infographic Design

In Breaking Bad – Because of Walt’s expertise in chemistry he can produce 99.1% chemically pure crystal meth. But he also uses a blue methylamine in the cooking process that gives the product the nickname of ‘Big Blue’ or ‘Blue Sky’ on the street.

For you – Like Walt, you should make sure that your infographic is as pure as it can be. It will go through a number of stages and also, like Walt’s meth, you will need a beautiful header and hook (like the blue colour) to draw them in and to understand what it is that makes your graphic tick. Then they should get the first hit of information and the graphic should flow and allow the readers to absorb it quickly. Don’t forget that the footer should complete the story and the URL references always need to be added here.


Moving Your Product

In Breaking Bad – Gustavo Fring does keep his end of the bargain and the Blue Sky is sold in bulk on the streets and makes both Jesse and Walt very rich

For you – You need to make sure that everything is perfect at this point, if you miss a keyword or have an issue with the embed code it can tarnish the whole promotion. If you are hosting on a client’s site you might have to anticipate this earlier to make sure they can set-up the embed code. Your Tuco Salamanca site will be used to adding embed codes and links, so you will typically just send over the infographic.


Plan Your Promotion

In Breaking Bad – Jesse uses his crew to sell Blue Sky both before and while working for Fring.

For you – Once your infographic is hosted on the client’s site or on high PR sites you need to look at promotion. Like Jesse, use a few dealers. Post on Reddit as an advert, publish to Twitter, Stumbleupon, Delicious, Ebaums and Facebook, if applicable. Do lots of blogger outreach and make sure that your infographic is selling, and selling like crazy.


Evaluate results

In Breaking Bad – Walt does get the money that he dreamed of, although some of the other events surrounding his change of career impact greatly on his family life.

For you – Like Walt, if you follow all these guidelines you will see a payoff. Unlike Walt, it probably won’t lead to almost getting killed a number of times. Check how well things are doing one week after promotion and results noted, and then one month after this to check links etc. These can then be relayed to client.


Brought to you by slightly more risqué department 🙂


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