David Meerman Scott is one of the great marketers of our generation, and he recently taught me an incredible lesson…but first, an amazing, jaw-dropping story:
In 1980, David took the last photo of Bob Marley on a concert stage (at The Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh) before the singer died of brain cancer.
Nine years ago, the Marley family released the live recording of this last concert (at the time, there were no known videos or pictures to accompany it), and David thought, “Whoa! I may be the only person with any visual evidence of this historic event.”
So, what did David do?
He wrote a review on Amazon informing the family and record company that he had photos of Marley’s last show.
And then it got crazy.
That one review led David to be a part of history (READ WHAT HAPPENED HERE).
No one knows more about using the new, real-time tools and strategies to spread ideas, influence minds and build business than David.
And his story got me thinking… Am I telling all of my most interesting stories to those that could benefit from them? Have I really thought through them all? If I put these stories “out-there,” is there an opportunity to help our clients go even deeper with their customer base?
So last week I sat down and wrote the headlines of a few of my most interesting moments in politics, and I want to share them with you here.
But there’s a catch — one of them isn’t true. Let’s see if you can guess which one.
- 86-year old, former President Gerald Ford tripped over my foot, and I barely caught him from falling.
- President George H.W. Bush almost threw up on me.
- When George W. Bush was president, I poured alcohol into his mouth and called him “George” to his face.
- I saw President Barack Obama naked. (No picture available, get your mind out of the gutter.)
- Donald Trump took a selfie with me and we forgot to include legendary Alabama football coach, Nick Saban — who was standing next to us.
- Democratic presidential candidate “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg asked for my advice on political campaigns over lunch at The Palm.
Which one do you think is the lie?
That was a trick question because they are all true. (Keep scrolling to see personal photos of these accounts.)
Now, looking back, how many opportunities to connect and help others through my stories did I miss by not sharing these hilarious and interesting accounts?
In the last year alone, I released a book, gave 15 speeches on a stage in front of thousands of people, been interviewed over 50 times…and yet, I never once leveraged these stories to improve my brand, my marketing, or most importantly, figured out a way to leverage these stories to help others.
Sometimes I’m an idiot.
The point is, after remembering the great David Meerman Scott’s story, I carved out time in my schedule to really think through them all, and I realized I was leaving out so many funny, engaging and connecting stories.
Still intrigued? Here are a few others that I plan to explore:
- Dan Quayle and I played golf at his private country club, where I chipped-in from the fairway on Hole #1.
- When George W. Bush’s DUI story popped the weekend before Election Day 2000, I sat with the then Vice-Presidential nominee, Dick Cheney, discussing the revelation. *This story is in my book.
- First Lady Laura Bush once asked me what it was like living in South Dakota.
- The United States Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, made me the butt of his joke with President Bush (while I was standing in front of them).
- In one day, I attended a meeting in The White House’s West Wing Roosevelt Room, rode in the Presidential Motorcade and appeared on C-SPAN.
- Sadly, on 9/11, I observed chaos in the streets, watched the Pentagon burn, and witnessed Marine One land at the White House (it still haunts me today).
(Personal photos of these accounts at the end of this post.)
My next step? I’ll spend more time thinking about how I will tell these stories so they can help others and improve outcomes for those I serve.
As David Meerman Scott taught me, your stories should be explored, told and used to make the world a better place. I’m grateful for remembering this lesson.
Here is what you can learn from this:
- In marketing, we need a compelling story to draw in our customers, clients, audience, etc. and make deeper personal connections with them. If you haven’t figured this out, make it a top priority.
- To get started, ask yourself these questions: Have you really thought, mapped out and told your story? Does your business have a compelling story that needs to be explored? How can you tell the best stories to connect with your customer base and grow your business?
P.S. — If you know of a friend or a colleague that would enjoy my bi-weekly updates about incredibly cool, funny and idiotic marketing ideas, please forward this piece to them and tell them to subscribe by emailing me — (email@example.com) or signing up at PhillipStutts.com.
P.P.S. — Why is customer data so important when you’re trying to grow a business? Because it’s not about how you see your company — it’s about how the customer views it. Understanding your customer data will improve every aspect of your business. It’s the most important element in marketing today. Chris Michael Harris is a master at using data to grow the bottom lines of businesses. He’s also an amazing entrepreneur, speaker, business coach and podcast host. Check out our convo on his pod, Entrepreneur Hour.