Slap An Old President: Your Golden Ticket To Better Storytelling
July 2001. The White House.
I was wearing a neck scarf because I thought it looked senatorial.
(Is that a word? It’s 11 p.m. I’m not looking it up. Just roll with it.)
After spending the previous day following a then very young Congressman Jeff Flake (yes, that Jeff Flake!) around the Capitol Building because my friend Christine and I were convinced he looked like Thomas Jefferson, I was ready for the *big* day.
The day all the 17-year old high school mock senators, chosen by their peers to represent their state, (2 girls per state) at Girls Nation met the President of the United States.
Right before bagels, we were told New York (that’d be me) would be the first to meet President George W. Bush.
Um. Terrified. Excited. Oh-Em-Gee.
We step up and I am the first person to shake his hand. As I say, “Mr. President what an honor...” my left-hand goes to his back and as if a robot had taken control of my body.
Whack. Boom. Right on his back. Kind of like a football coach. A weird one.
He laughed and totally took my nervousness in stride. He couldn’t have been nicer. We spent the rest of the time talking about “The Big Apple”, all the pizza I ate thanks to “Book It”, what actually defined “upstate New York” and “cows”. It was a moment I’ll never forget.
The moment I *technically* slapped the 43rd President of The United States.
How To Write More Compelling Stories To Your List
Why am I telling you this? Besides the fact that it’s a good story about me?
My reason is a tad more important than myself because I’m here for you after all. Yeah, it’s about you…
Listen, lately, I’ve been reading lots of marketing peeps talk about how you can write compelling copy without talking about yourself or your personal life.
Cue The Family Feud X.
I don’t mean to get all “Lovely Ladies” from Les Mis on you but you’re selling yourself. Your knowledge, your experience, your practical magic, and you’re super specific point of view (that will sometimes offend people - that’s ok). You're teaching through you.
Everything has already been said. The last original idea was probably said by Aristotle (again not even remotely gonna look it up) but it hasn’t been said by you, to this audience.
And that is the golden ticket.
“But, Marisa,” you say. “How many times can I tell my Elizabeth Gilbert ‘crying on the bathroom floor’ story?”
I sooo get it.
You Don’t Always Have To Share The Super Vulnerable Story
That’s why I just told you a story about the time I slapped The President of The United States. I could easily tell this story in an email to my list and then relate it back to my ideal client and ask about a time they did something they were super nervous to do like launch a course, go live on Facebook, send that email.
I’d further connect it to not being worried if you don’t do the exact right thing, that done is better than perfect, and the most important thing is getting out there (even if yah, you slap someone on the back in the process). Next step would be a strong CTA to book a call with me so I can help them get more copy and content out into the world.
See how that works?
It’s also a fun way to insert your personality. Instead of saying, “Take the bull by the horns” I could say “Slap the President” on a piece of copy and then ask - what’s your new go-to phrase in the next email you want people to read?
And I could, if I wanted to, take it a step further (for a longer piece of writing or speech) and tell you that week in July 2001 was the last innocent time in my life.
How I think about that girl nearly every day. A month before 9/11, before global and personal heartbreak. A girl with dreams so big she was certain she’d achieve, and then Mandy Moore’s “17” would start playing.
(By the way, I’ve always been a die-hard Mandy Moore fan. I didn’t just hop on for This Is Us Mandy. I’ve been there since the lyric, “I’ve got a crush on you. I hope you feel the way that I do...”)
The point is you have stories and it ain’t just the “vulnerable” one you’re constantly crafting at masterminds. Tell that story when it’s needed but tell other stories, too.
How to Generate More Compelling Stories
Recently, a client of mine collaborated on a blog that started like this…
Turns out whale watching is a nightmare for your weight loss…
The story had zero to do with how she lost 35 lbs and has never looked back (also true and super compelling story) but it was a different part of her story which we were able to directly link back to what her audience had been asking for - simple snacks when you’re traveling.
So, let’s take it one more step for you…
Right now - don’t think just write - tell me one of those quick stories.
That would be in the comments right below this. ;)
Here’s some more help to get you thinking...
Where were you the first time you tried a Ring Pop?
Eddie Jordan was teaching me how to ride my bike. We had just got them for a dime. (A dime, y’all!)
Who was your first childhood crush?
Mine was Judas from the Jesus of Nazareth miniseries. I never told a soul. Too terrified. I went to Catholic school, sweetie - can’t say ya’ love Judas,. Years later, I would learn that Judas was played by Ian McShane!
The *one* song that comes on Spotify that could cause an accident because you’re so excited?
“Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars you would think I was clinically insane if you saw me driving during this song.
I can’t wait to read your stories. Because I also bet I can directly link them back to your business. Gosh, I love games like this!!