Smoke On The Water (fire in the sky): 3 Rules For Telling Stories
Last Thursday and Friday I had a group of loan officers down here to launch the ARMS Marketing System. For two days straight I went through some very intense exercises specific to their marketing, and frankly I was exhausted.
I really needed the weekend to recuperate and recharge my batteries, and just to unwind from the intense amount of energy I’d just expended over the last two days. Now I’m back to “normal” (whatever that is)… so, let’s rock and roll.
In 1972, Deep Purple released “Machine Head.” This album contained what was to become their most famous song, and actually one of the most famous songs of all times — “Smoke On The Water.”
And although the song is most famous for it’s opening 3-chord intro guitar riff, the lyrics of the song tell the true story of an unusual set of events the band experienced. What happened was, in late 1971 the band went to Montreux, Switzerland to record an album using the Rolling Stones Mobile recording studio.
They were all set to record in an entertainment complex that was located next to the Montreux Casino, but the night before their recording session, a fire broke out at the casino. Someone in the audience of another concert (a Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention concert) fired a flare gun into the ceiling of the casino and wound up burning the place down to the ground.
This left the band with no place to record, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise when a few days later, Deep Purple’s bass guitar player, Roger Glover, woke up and told his bandmates he’d just had a dream about the smoke from the fire spreading all over Lake Geneva.
This of course, was the genesis of the title, and the entire event of course, was the origin of the song.
That’s a pretty compelling story, isn’t it?
Many bands use stories in their lyrics — in fact Bob Dylan is most well-known for his story-telling, not for his musicianship or technical skills as a guitarist.
And reality is, using stories in your marketing is one of the best ways you can attract and retain the attention of your buyers. Almost everyone will sit and listen to a good story (just ask any bartender), but if you’re going to use stories, then you must follow these three rules:
One, your story must be an emotionally compelling human-interest tale that your prospects can relate to.
Two, your story must be realistic and believable.
And three, your story must have a happy ending.
As long as you stick to these three rules, you can talk about almost anything.
This is a really important topic — I’ve made a lot of money for myself and for my clients by telling stories in my copy. So over the next few days we’re going to dig into each of these rules and I’ll show you how to make sure you’re following them, and why they’re so important to your success.
And by the way, it sure feels good to be back.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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