What Swallowing a 2 Inch Needle Can Teach You About Making Your Business Stand Out

by Logan Marshall · 25 comments

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This is a guest post courtesy of Logan. I think you’ll find it an entertaining, interesting, and downright useful read.

If you do, please help share this post and make him feel welcome in the comments below.

Take it away Logan!

Back in high school I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

I did some pretty stupid things. Things that Johnny Knoxville would be proud of.

But when I think back on my “glory days”…it isn’t climbing the school in the middle of the night, swimming across a semi-frozen river on January 1st, or snowboarding behind my friend’s Jeep that comes to mind.

Nope. Compared to what you’re about to hear…that shit is tame. And far less dangerous.

My hands are sweating just writing about this so bear with me.

Here’s how it went down:

It was senior year and I was in study hall.

Well I was supposed to be in study hall…but I was actually hanging out with my friend in a tech classroom connected to our high school “wood-shop”…when we had a brilliant idea.

Somehow, between searches for “I’m on a Boat” and “WKUK: Abe Lincoln”… we stumbled across this:

A seemingly harmless idea for how to make a BLOWGUN out of a pen, the end of a shoelace and a standard sewing pin.

Click here to read the full master plan.

Anyways, upon seeing this we immediately sprang into action and got to work collecting materials and assembling our primitive weapon.

After a few minutes our blowgun was complete and ready for action…and we walked into the wood-shop to test it out.

The first few tests were flawless. The dart flew with expert speed and precision — slicing through paper and sticking into two-by-fours.

And then it happened.

Cocky by my initial success I made an amateur mistake. Instead of inhaling BEFORE I put my lips to the gun, I put my lips to the gun…and then took a breath.

Immediately, the dart shot between my teeth, teetering on the back of my throat. In a blind panic I stuck my hand into my mouth in an attempt to pull the 2.5 inch NEEDLE out…

Click here to continue the story

After reading that story, you’re probably looking at your computer with a look of amused disgust on your face wondering, “What the HELL does this have to do with marketing??”

Well…I’ll tell you.

It’s a stretch I’ll admit, but I thought this ridiculous story would be an engrossing way to convey something CRITICALLY important. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the past few years.

And that’s this:

If you want to grow a thriving online audience, if you want people to LISTEN to what you have to say…you can’t be boring. You can’t sit alone in your cybernetic fortress and crank out humdrum articles about “academic proficiency and their concordance with the state of modern political affairs”…and hope that people flock to you in droves.

Here’s the thing…

People come for the information, but stick around for the drama. As much as people want to learn and educate themselves, they also want to have a good time. The want to be ENTERTAINED. They want to smile, cry and let out “gafaws” of side-splitting laughter.

Now I’m not saying you have to be a stand up comedian or create ridiculous videos like Frank Kern…but you can’t be boring. You must avoid the “customer coma” like the bubonic plague of instant death.

How?

Keep reading.

Surefire Ways To Boost Your Enthusiasm

Hey, you made it.

Great.

Here’s where the fun begins.

Here’s where I show you how to increase the drama/suspense/action/comedy/enthusiasm without coming across like overzealous noob who’s trying to hard.

Yes, it’s a daunting task. But it can be done.

Let’s start with storytelling.

Tell Stories

If you’ve read any of my guest posts across the internet (or are a member of my free training program), you know that storytelling is one of my favorite weapons.

Why?

Simply because stories are the most basic and universally understood form of communication. Everyone can appreciate a good story.

Not only this…but stories hook, excite and engage people. They keep em’ coming back for more. Like a kid to the cookie jar.

While truly MASTERING the art of storytelling can take years, here are a few key pointers that should get you started in the right direction:

Always Have An Objective

Every good story has a purpose. A clearly defined point that the author is trying to convey.

Online, this often translates to a specific “call to action.” For example, you might create a story that is designed to get people to share your content, subscribe to your email list, buy your product or simply pay attention to your message.

So before you start…determine your objective.

Make it crystal clear.

Then move on.

Every Story Needs Conflict

In order to get people HOOKED on your story…you need conflict. Suspense. Tension. You need some sort of challenge, test or horrible dart swallowing incident that your character is trying to overcome.

As Oscar winning screenwriter William Goldman once wrote, “No one wants to listen to a story about the valley of the happy people.”

And it’s true.

People want to root for someone. They want to CARE.

So keep the pressure high. Find the mystery. Find the drama. Even if your writing topic is as boring as a brick…find a way to weave in some suspense and anticipation.

For a complete guide to storytelling, I recommend you check out my guest post over at YoungPrePro.

Use Smart Comedy

If you can get someone to laugh, even for a second, you’ve got ‘em. Their yours. Comedy is one of the BEST ways to instantly create a ironclad bond between you and your prospects.

That said, this one’s a bit tricky…because if you get it wrong you can easily come off looking like a big ol’ dummy. An absolute bonehead.

With this in mind, here are a few surefire ways to weave “smart comedy” into your content.

Make Fun Of Yourself

Nobody likes being made fun of, but they LOVE when other people make fun of themselves. They can’t get enough of it.

“HAHA punch yourself in the face again. Now call yourself names! OH now say I’m a worthless pile of dogcrap! HAHA (enthusiastic knee slapping).”

Frank Kern is a master at this. He’s constantly saying “I’m no good” or “I’m really just a simple surfer dude who doesn’t know anything about marketing”…yet people love him.

See how that works?

Know Your Audience

Not every audience will respond well to a “that’s what she said” joke…just like not every audience will respond well to political humor.

You gotta know who you’re serving.

This is key.

Personally, I know that my audience is made up of younger people with a more open (immature?) sense of humor. Understanding this, it’s fine for me to use “potty humor” and design my flagship training program around the plot of an epic fantasy saga.

But this might not be the right approach for you.

So…before you dive off the deep end and and start talking with your butt, make sure you know who you’re serving. Do the research…then refine your approach.

Be Yourself

Above all, it’s important that you are authentic in all aspects of your business. If you are naturally a more reserved person but try to come across as some slapstick goofball…people will sense the disconnect.

Here’s a good rule of thumb…

When creating content and putting yourself “out there” online, try to be an exaggerated version of your authentic personality. Take what’s naturally there and crank it up a notch.

D. Bnonn Tennant calls this your “super alter-ego”…and I think that describes it really well.

Be yourself.

But be bold.

Employ The Pattern Interrupt

Okay so right now you have two weapons in your armory. Two weapons that you can employ in every piece of content to keep people engaged and excited:

  1. Storytelling.
  2. Comedy.

But how can you capture someones attention IMMEDIATELY? How can you bypass the humdrum kill-me-now introductions and suck people in the moment they land on your website?

Well…that’s where the pattern interrupt comes in.

Now I’ve written about pattern interrupts a few times before but essentially here’s what they are: Pattern interrupts are strategically surprising statements or actions that catch people off guard because they goes AGAINST the norms.

They’re really pretty easy to create.

There are only two steps…

  1. Identify what everyone else is doing.
  2. Do something completely different.

For a great example of what I’m talking about, watch the beginning of any of Frank Kern’s videos. They are all so random, funny and unusual that you can’t help but pay attention.

Bottom Line

I could go on and on…but what I really want you to take away from this post is this:

One of the easiest ways to boost your readership, engagement and ROI in your business is by being more enthusiastic. It’s something that virtually no one pays attention to…but it’s critically important for one reason:

In todays day and age, people are more distracted than ever before. Their inboxes are overflowing with unread, unwanted messages. Their Twitter feed is blinking “off the chain” with alerts from people they don’t care about. Their Facebook friends are posting pictures of kittens on their wall…everyday…nonstop…like right now…seriously check your wall I bet there’s a picture of a kitten on it…do it…I’ll wait…lalalala…cmon…I TOLD YOU SO!

Anyways…caught up in this vortex on never ending interruption, people aren’t going to rush to your door because you have some “relevant information” compiled in a neat little PDF document.

They don’t care!

They’ve got kittens to look at!

So…if you want to have a CHANCE of hooking even one scatterbrained visitor, you have to take your content to the next level. This may sound weird, but you have to turn your business into a “soap opera”– a platform that not only delivers great content, but also entertains, excites and inspires.

The playing field is changing.

You excited?

Get excited.

 Over to You

Boom! That’s how you DO it. 😉 Like this post? Please help share it and leave any comments for Logan below. 

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