Stop Thief!

So you sit down to the computer, you need to write some hot marketing copy for your latest service or product, and you are blank, not one decent phrase shows up that sounds original or compelling.  You are deleting left, right and center – you just can’t find the right words.

I have to admit that I frequently 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.

I’m not particularly critical or picky, I just have a very limited attention span to things that don’t grab me immediately.  I suspect you are the same.

So what do you do?

Well, let me tell you a story.

It was a perfect spring day, bright, sunny and not too hot.  There was a cool breeze with that tingling in your nose feeling of new flowers that always reminds me of honey.  I could even hear the buzz of a nearby bush full of bees. 

It was late afternoon, I love the light at that time of the day.   I was walking home from work, I had left the street where my office was and was headed towards the main row of shops that led to the neighborhood I lived in. 

I had planned to stop and buy some pasta and a bottle of wine.  A good friend was coming over that evening for dinner, I was really looking forward to seeing her. 

I remember the next moment as strangely silent, even the traffic and passing crowd seemed to have gone on mute.  Perhaps it was simply the quiet before the storm.

Someone bumped into me.  I was startled and it took me a few moments to realize that he had rummaged quickly but efficiently in my bag and grabbed my purse.  He was running away with my week’s wages, my credit card and a picture of my father and I that was taken when I was about 3 years old.

I think it was the photograph that made me do it.  I knew I could replace everything else, but I really didn’t want to lose that photograph. 

I chased him and started yelling, stop him, stop him, thief.

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 have been drawn in by the feelings evoked by the description of the beautiful spring day (it is spring now!).

You may simply be curious as to what happens next.

Whatever the reason (and there are many, many more!), stories work.  A story turns dry theory into compelling copy; a story turns advertising into a sensuous experience that the reader wants to participate in.   A story makes marketing interesting and fun.  A story allows you be present authentically and openly.  A story attracts ideal clients to you.

As it happened, the truth was indeed stranger than fiction!

There was an undercover detective sitting at the café on the corner.  While the other passersby just watched the thief run away, the detective set chase.  The thief glanced behind and saw this dark shaded guy running after him.  Maybe he saw the gun that he had strapped under his jacket or maybe he sensed he had just picked the wrong day and the wrong gal.

He dropped my purse at the end of the street and disappeared into the crowd.  The detective picked it up and returned it to me.

Why was there a plain-clothed detective sitting at my local café?  I have no idea.  Why did the thief choose me?  I can’t tell you.

But 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 is the biggest challenge you face in telling your story?
Leave a comment below to let me know!

Best wishes and best stories


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11 comments on “Stop Thief!

  1. Hi Lisa,

    A wonderful example and plot twist. At first I thought the story was about copyright infringement. Then I wasn’t sure where you were going with it. All the right hooks in all the right places.



  2. Wow Lisa, you got me!! I had several emails wanting my limited attention this morning and your subject line grabbed and your story drew me in! Great story, beautiful and effective example. You definitely leave me curious and wanting more!

  3. My biggest challenge is just getting started. When I do read something else that’s in alignment with my thoughts, then it’s much easier for me to tell a story.

  4. What a great story! And I can relate since I’m a retired cop, and my focus has become victims and potential victims. I sell pepper sprays, Tasers, Stun Guns, alarms on my site, and I’ve been blog-challenged and marketing challenged. My marketing coach has helped me immensely, and you have just helped me with your story! I have a few to tell!

  5. Once again you managed to gain my attention. I love how creative you are. I myself have a great passion for creativity and discovering what will most allow my authenticity to shine. Thank you for your shining authenticity! 😀


  6. Lisa, You are totally correct about the compelling nature of story. I kept reading. My current challenge is not enough time and competing responsibilities. I keep thinking there is a way to handle everything but I have not yet found it.

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