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It all boils down to 7 basic plots…Simplify!

November 19, 2008
Here I am with author and marketing expert, Michael Port

Here I am with author and marketing expert, Michael Port

I just left Day 1 of Michael Port’s “Book Yourself Solid” Seminar in L.A. (he also has a book by the same name). I know you’re wondering why a marketing expert like myself would take a marketing and sales workshop, but the answer is easy: I love this stuff. It’s what I do. And I’m always looking for ways to improve on my expertise.

In fact, I also read all the time, too (right now, I’m reading “Blue Ocean Strategy”) so I can keep my brain fresh and alive and growing. I highly recommend this practice, by the way…just check out the book recommendations to the right if you want more ideas.

So as I was saying, I just finished Day 1. And yes, I did learn more about marketing my own business. Mostly because being in this sort of environment forces you to do the work you always promise yourself you’ll get to later. Today we learned a lot, not the least of which was how to talk about what we do.

What I love about Michael’s approach is his focus on simplicity. So many times we tend to overthink things and make them more complicated than they really are. But when you boil it all down, aren’t there really only about 7 different categories of problems that need solving in this world? (Or 7 basic plots, if you’re a writer?).

So describing what we do in terms that our prospective customers can “get” isn’t really that hard. Michael’s advice is to Just keep it simple.

You really only need to know 3 things:  Who you serve, the most important result they’re looking for; and what you stand for personally.

I went through the exercises with my fellow classmates and after fighting the urge toward verbosity, came up with this short and sweet tag line for my own company: Bigger Profits, Better Planet.

Of course, if you want to know more, then the tag line works!

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 27, 2008 4:22 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, Tea!

    Hey, what’s this about the 7 basic plots? Let me see now…Hero/heroine wins out over evil villain who refuses to to be de-haired or even deodorized…H/H learns and grows to defeat problematic situation brought about by youthful ignorence such as world population or hunger…slimy Invaders from outer space nearly crush us but are destroyed by microbes that are just as slimy but you can’t see them because they are tiny, and anyway, they’re okay because they’re OUR slimy guys…zombies come out and stagger around in an afterlife like fireflies and chase us when not pouring coffee down their pants, oh, wait, maybe that coffee bit is something else…vampires need human blood so they find people to drink and love up a little because vamps need love, too…H/H are costodians of virtue and battle bad guys while exploring each other’s innermost fears and secrets…experimental radiation developes superior/inferior creatures who either save or crush other people…people trapped in a submarine/blizzard/earthquake must be rescued before they kill/rape/eat each other…Jesus returns again to save us and we luckily still have the one true cross somewhere hidden in Rome and we hang him on it again. That’s seven, except I forgot chick flicks. Oh, damn. Maybe we can take something out. And I almost forgot, there’s that thing where Michael Douglas is a stockbroker, I don’t know where that fits. Oh geez, what about Louis L’Amour westerns, that guy wrote so much he needs a shelf all by himself. Remember Hondo where the grizzled cowpoke teaches the kid to swim by throwing him in the swimming hole and the mom comes running and you just know they’re going to get it on, not the mom and the kid, or Hondo and the kid–the mom and Hondo, but in the end there’s this gunfight and he leaves only maybe not, for sure that’s Alan Ladd in some other picture where the kid cries after him as he rides off into the West to save the kid’s mom’s and dad’s marriage because that’s the gentlemanly thing to do.

    Does that fit with your seven?
    John K.

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