Did You Cheat?

 Has this ever happened to you?

You sit down to the computer to write some
marketing copy for your latest program or for your
website and you are completely blank.

You look at the white screen and nothing shows
up; not a word that sounds original or interesting.

When you finally write something, it reminds you
of everything you’ve read in other places; not
particularly compelling, not something you
yourself would like to read.

You’re desperate, it feels hopeless and you begin
to wonder if you are really any good at this.
You begin to question if what you are offering is
really worthwhile, and if feels awful.

I often come across smart, attractive websites or
flyers, emails or posters that are marketing
services that I might be interested in. 

More often than not, I read the first couple of
lines and then quickly move on to something else
entirely.

It’s not that I’m so critical; it’s just that I
have a limited attention span for stuff that does
not really speak to me. 

I don’t like reading the same old copy, making
the same promises that, to be honest, I don’t
really believe.

I suspect you are the same.  So what do you do?

Well, let me tell you a story.

It was the end of a long, busy but incredibly
exciting day.  The project I was working on was
finally coming to fruition.   We had completed the
presentation to our clients and they loved it!

After the meeting the whole team had gone out to
celebrate, they had signed the contract and it was
the perfect outcome for all the hard work we had
put in over the last few months.

As I walked into my apartment I was tired but happy.
My partner was sitting on the couch with a beer
in hand.  He looked suntanned and relaxed.

Earlier that day, he had told me that he was
meeting up with an old girlfriend that he hadn’t
seen in years.  They were planning to go to the
beach and then have dinner out.  He was excited to
see her.

He offered me a drink but I said I needed to take
a shower, to change into something more comfortable.

Before I stepped into the shower, I caught a
glimpse of myself in the mirror.  My short haircut
was beginning to grow out, I needed to get it cut!
 I noticed the dark shadow under my eyes, the last
few months of hard work had taken its toll.

I threw my clothes onto the bed, barely noticing
that the sheets were ruffled, I was sure I’d made
the bed that morning.

It was when I reached for the shampoo that I
noticed it.

…the long black hair on the shower floor.

Suddenly, I could barely breathe.

There are a few reasons that you are still
reading this.

It might be that you love stories.

It could be that you have experienced a similar
situation and can relate to it.

You may simply be curious as to what happened
next.

Whatever the reason (and there are many, many
more!), stories work. 

A story turns dry theory into compelling copy; a
story turns marketing into an experience that the
reader wants to participate in.  

A story allows you be present authentically and
openly. 

A story turns your vulnerability and humanity
into connection and trust. 

A story attracts clients to you.

So, you might want to know what happened.  But I
know you know!  You’ve been there, you’ve faced
this; you’ve made your choice.

What’s important is that it makes a pretty good
story.  And you’re still reading.  Think about it!

So, next time you’re stuck on writing your copy,
or trying to do any kind of marketing of yourself
or your services, stop for a moment and tell a
story.

What’s the one thing that stops you from telling
a story?

Leave a comment here to let me know!

Best wishes and best stories
Lisa

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5 comments on “Did You Cheat?

  1. Damn ! this was really good !
    Had me hooked, and made me realise that potential clients wouldn’t want to hear the same old stuff over and over again – they respond to interesting, ‘storified’, copy because it helps them relate to what’s being said and think of themselves as the lead in the story !
    I stopped half-way through as I read this, because I thought to myself, ‘who is this woman, willing to share something so personal with a stranger?’ I did a google image search and immediately looked at you and thought, ‘this is someone I could trust to guide me, not to take me for a ride.
    Great work, I’m thinking of ways to work a story into my copy now !

    • thanks for your reaction and feedback….be happy to hear the story your working on! best wishes, Lisa

  2. If the story is just that…false…….it can do a lot of harm to others not just the storyteller….
    good luck with the “true story”……m

    • Hi m, thanks for your comment….in my experience, our choice to tell a story is our truth…that’s what makes it so powerful…I’d love to hear your story! best wishes, Lisa

  3. I wrote my story out to the Bad teacher blog. I went over it and edited out any glaring inconsistencies. It took a while to make it perfect, to my satisfaction. I clicked submit. I meticulously copied out the letters and ciphers to prevent machine submissions. I erred. The story was erased. I wrote it again. This time the story didn’t flow so easily. The hour was late. I had an early rise next morning. Well, just a little proofreading and click the submit button, copy out the letters and ciphers and… Not Again! The story vanished into cyber space. Well I don’t trust those machines anymore and try to keep an old fashioned notebook with pen and paper when the real creative juices start flowing, preferring poems to prose anyhow. But sometimes somebody’s blog evokes a response that begs to be answered. So defying sleep and better reason, I blog on.

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