Find Your Company’s True Love

Michael Hume - Word Play logo

January, 2023 * Volume III, Number 1

Dear Ever-Loving Reader,

Welcome to the start of Volume 3 of your favorite news-free email newsletter, Word PLAY!

This edition is all about the love. The love in your heart. The love in your business. And, primarily, the love in your marketing copy.


Joking aside, THANK YOU for reading, and for making Firewords Creative Copy your go-to source for the words that win and the funny that makes money. I am humbled by your support, and seriously grateful for your business.

- Michael

Michael D. Hume, M.S.
Senior Author and Suitor
Firewords Creative Copy

Meanwhile, in this edition of Word PLAY...

Find Your Company's True Love

Word PLAY… Playful Monthly Commentary
On Persuasive Copy For YOUR Business

I’m told we’re coming into The Season Of Love, so with Valentine’s Day on the near horizon, it seems like a perfect time to discuss the best practices in online dating for your business.

Now, from personal experience, I don’t know the first thing about dating, online or offline, outline or clothesline. But I have watched a fair number of romantic-comedy movies which cover dating thoroughly, so I’m sure that makes me a leading authority on the subject.

And the key to successful dating, according to the literature, is to present your authentic self. Nobody ever does this, of course… they instead project some kind of persona they think is generally attractive and/or “cool”… and this is what makes for a good start to a rom-com movie.

Just Like In The Movies

If you’re writing a rom-com script, you want the protagonists to start with this fake persona, then you have them proceed through various hijinx from which they learn that they should drop their façades and get real. Then they fall in love and live happily ever after.

Some of these movies do cover online dating, which is where you present your fake persona on a web page on the dating website. Then you look through the fake personas other people have put on there, and you create your own real-world hijinx in trying to find a match.

Again, I’ve never tried this myself, so I have no idea how these matches end up resulting in long-term relationships. But I’m guessing it happens when two people meet each other, get to know each other, learn who the people are behind the façades, and then simply give up and move in together anyway.

(That’s how I’ve seen it work in a few movies.)

The Hollywood Approach To Marketing...

This is very similar to the process by which many small businesses look to attract customers. They have websites they think are generally attractive and cool, packed with serious-sounding industry jargon which shows that they’ve done their homework and that they know serious-sounding industry jargon.

Then, if they set the price of their product or service low enough, potential customers might call, get to know them through their well-honed sales pitch, and in enough cases to keep the lights on, these prospects eventually give up and agree to become customers.

Back to our romantic dating analogy: Every now and then, somebody (probably a person who’s been trying online dating for a while and has become sick of the facades) dares to put up a profile which reveals their true self.

“Hey,” they say, “I’m a little chubby and I have zits. But I am pretty serious about having fun in my life. My idea of fun is to watch rom-com movies, eat stuff that’s bad for me, play amusing board games, mess around on the guitar, and play with my dog. If you’d like to join me, let’s meet.”

Obviously, anyone who’s looking for a clear-skinned athletic-type who promises a life of travel and luxury will not respond to this type of profile. They’ll find lots of other profiles that line up with their desires, though. Of course, they will later learn that many of those people are actually overweight couch potatoes with zits.

But that’s okay with Chubby. S/he is not looking for another façade. Chubby believes the key to a happy relationship is to find a real someone else who digs the same things they dig. Chubby’s looking for someone who’s looking for someone who wants to have fun.

... And A Better Idea

Back to your business: Every now and then, a business owner has come to a point in their career where they take their business very seriously, but they are through presenting a persona that makes them come across as though they take themselves super seriously.

Enough industry jargon. Enough sales pitches. Enough marketing-speak. This business person is now ready to put out messages that say “We’re a great company, and we’ve gotten rid of the zits that characterize our competitors… but, mostly, we’re FUN to work with.”

Anyone who’s looking for someone who’s done their homework and knows the jargon will not be attracted. But for those who are looking for someone who’s fun to work with, this is the perfect approach.

If you take your business seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously, you might want to announce that in your marketing copy. You can make your selling points, and show that you know your stuff, but you can do it in a way that’s fun to read.

And when you do that, you’ll weed out prospects who wouldn’t be a good match for your business – folks who wouldn’t be much fun to work with – and you’ll delight prospects who are the exact folks you’re looking for.

Some studies show that entertaining marketing copy gets 50% higher readership than the standard jargon-loaded stuff. More importantly, your readership will be comprised almost entirely of the people you want to have reading your messages.

Some overly-serious bargain seekers will “unsubscribe.” That will be fine with you. You’ve learned that working with them would just be frustrating for both of you.

And you won’t have to watch a bunch of movies to learn this immutable truth: Nothing Makes Money Like FUNNY.

Key Take-Aways From This Edition

  • Valentine’s Day is coming up, and you need to get on the ball and find something nice to give your valentine.
  • Your email newsletter is like a dating profile. Well, it should be.
  • Your competitors have done the same homework you’ve done, and they know the same serious-sounding industry jargon. If you want to stand out, cut the marketing-speak and publish stuff real people like to read.
  • Everybody gets zits. No point trying to hide the fact.
  • Movies are an excellent source of vital business information, especially romantic comedies.
  • You don’t have to take yourself too seriously to show that you take your business seriously.
  • Dating sounds like a lot of work.


Discussion Questions

  1. 1
    Have you done your Valentine’s Day shopping?
  2. 2
    What percentage of online dating profiles contain some fake stuff, in your opinion? Include a bar or pie graph to illustrate your answer
  3. 3
    Have you reached the point in your career where you don’t want to come across as “professional” as much as you’d like to present your real, fun-to-work-with self?

Send your answers to The most creative, inspirational response will be eligible to win a PRIZE! *

(* Prize is at the sole discretion of Michael Hume, his heirs and assigns, and a select committee of valentines. Very select, in fact. This month’s Grand Prize winner may or may not receive chocolates, flowers, or a trip to Palm Springs. Nobody’s in love with deadlines, so we did away with them. Boring, lackluster, or unimaginative entries won’t attract the prize, and will probably be fat and acne-riddled. To improve your odds, send in your most attractive entry. But keep it real. Best of luck!)

Last Month’s Grand Prize Winner: Joel E. of the greater Denver area sent in some stuff that can’t be published here, but also: “HA!! Great stuff, Michael!” That last bit really caught the eye of the judges… call before the non-existent deadline to claim your prize, Joel! Meanwhile, Reader… might next month’s big Grand Prize winner be… YOU?

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I write HUME-orous marketing copy for happy clients who take their professions very seriously… but whose customers like and trust them because they don’t take themselves too seriously. Want more info? Get in touch…

Call me: (303) 478-8702
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Copyright 2022 by Michael D. Hume, M.S. All rights reserved.
Word PLAY! should not be mixed with drain cleaner or other caustic chemicals
FireWords Creative Copy, 195 South Rancho Vista Drive , Pueblo West, CO 81007, United States

Michael D. Hume, M.S.

Michael Hume is a freelance writer, singer, and songwriter, and author of The 95th Christmas. He's an honor graduate of the Defense Information School, and holds an M.S. from the University of Colorado School of Business. Michael is the author of hundreds of online articles, including the popular series Great Leadership Requires Inspiration, The Conscience of a Restorationist, Appreciate Your Adversaries, and Take Care of Your Business.

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