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It’s Almost Thanksgiving, Busker– Don’t Forget The You-Know-What!!

November 25, 2014

Here in the United States, we’re preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving: a day set aside for feasting, watching football on television, eating leftovers, and watching more football on television. Some of us are especially thankful when it’s over.

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The supermarkets are packed! Grocery carts are stacked high! And I think I see our favorite street musician buying everything he needs for the feast.

Thankful? I’ll say I am: for all my wonderful fans and followers. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Busker the saxophone street musician walking past store window with sign Wilber's Supermarket, Stock Up Now For Thanksgiving

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Busker saxophone street musician with shopping cart looking at grocery list in store

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Busker saxophone street musician pushing shopping cart overflowing with Thanksgiving dinner food

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Supermarket checkout cashier scanning Busker's Thanksgiving grocery food purchases

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Busker saxophone street musician Thanksgiving food at cashier cranberry sauce squash potatoes oysters cider

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Busker saxophone street musician standing at end of checkout lane at supermarker food on conveyor belt big bottle of Tums antacid tablets to fight Thanksgiving dinner gluttony heartburn indigestion

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Busker saxophone street musician standing at end of checkout lane at supermarker food on conveyor belt big bottle of Tums antacid tablets to fight Thanksgiving dinner gluttony heartburn indigestion

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Note: For anyone not familiar with Tums: they’re chewable antacid tablets taken to relieve heartburn and indigestion. Americans will be chewing a lot of them this week.

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Are you celebrating Thanksgiving this week? What’s on the menu?

Do you help with the dishes afterwards– or do you sneak off and hide??

Are you feeling thankful for anything in particular this year? Care to share it?

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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If you enjoyed this post, please click the Like button below.

If you’d like to share this post with others, please click Tweet or Facebook or StumbleUpon or one of the other Share buttons.

I also invite you to get updates. Just click the Get Updates button in the sidebar below the Portfolio Thumbnails, or click + Follow in the blog menu bar.

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10 Storytelling Essentials For Marketers

November 17, 2014

man being lifted into air by balloons labeled with essential storytelling attributes: hero, villain, love interest, romance, suspense, tension, humor, anecdotes, conflict which are better than just boring facts

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You’re not relying on plain ol’ boring facts for your marketing, are you? That doesn’t work anymore. It probably never did.

Today, marketing is all about connecting with people, and building relationships. You do that thru storytelling.

What makes a good story? There are 10 essential elements.

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1. Hero

Every good story needs a hero/heroine. Who’s the hero? You are. Why? Because your product or service is going to rescue the client, and save the day.

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2. Villain

Every good story also requires a villain. In marketing, the villain is the nasty little problem that is causing your client grief. You, the Hero, will dispatch the villain, and save the day.

Please note: the villain is not your competition. Heroes do not disparage others. That would make them seem small and petty.

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3. Love Interest

That’s easy: the love interest is your potential client. You’re not reaching out to some amorphous group. You’re telling your story to an individual– a real person.

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4. Romance

It’s up to you– the Hero– to woo the prospective client. You must be passionate and sincere. Passion alone is not enough– you must mean every word you say.

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5. Suspense

Any unresolved problem creates at least mild suspense. By describing the kind of problem you can solve, you introduce suspense into your story.

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6. Tension

Stating the problem creates an awareness-based tension, which is positive. You have brought the problem into the open.

Using scare tactics is a mistake. Such tactics cause fear and resentment, which create negative tension. True heroes stay positive– it’s an important part of their image.

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7. Humor

Humor creates a receptive mood. People who are relaxed and happy are more open to your message.

Humor also boosts your likeability. People like to do business with people they like– and they like people who make them smile.

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8. Anecdotes

An anecdote is defined as a short account of an interesting or amusing event. In marketing, that equates to brief case studies with happy endings: how you solved a problem for a previous client.

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9. Conflict

Good marketing creates conflict: do I ignore the problem, or do I take action? Without conflict, prospects will not feel compelled to act.

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10. Resolution

The happy ending is a happy client. He’s happy because you solved his problem.

Marketing isn’t just about selling. It’s about building a relationship and winning a customer’s loyalty. You do that by solving a problem for a fellow human being.

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To sum up: facts don’t persuade, emotion does. That’s why successful marketing campaigns tell good stories.

The power of emotion also explains why good visuals are so essential to marketing. Visuals get attention. They stir emotion and arouse curiosity. Hopefully, my illustration (above) helped motivate you to read this post.

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Mark Armstrong has been a commercial illustrator for over 20 years. He’s a Photoshop expert specializing in humor, marketing, communication, editorial, and social media. He believes there’s a visual component to every communications problem. His goal for every assignment: illustration that gets attention, makes a point, and sends the right message.

Mark lives in New Hampshire, USA. You can follow him on Twitter @mrstrongarm, and connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Mark Armstrong Illustration. You can view his portfolio in slideshow format.

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Have I missed any? Are there other essential elements a good story needs to have?

Have you ever heard a story that prompted you to buy something, or donate to a cause?

Do you think the above illustration will help you remember the ideas in this post?

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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If you enjoyed this post, please click the Like button below.

If you’d like to share this post with others, please click Tweet or Facebook or StumbleUpon or one of the other Share buttons.

I also invite you to get updates. Just click the Get Updates button in the sidebar below the Portfolio Thumbnails, or click + Follow in the blog menu bar.

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