Looking For Shorter, Taller, Or Different Customers?

Michael Hume - Word Play logo

March, 2022 * Volume II, Number 3

Dear Selective Reader,

Just when you thought it was the end of the month, here it is, the end of the month. And you know what that means! It’s time for Word PLAY!, your favorite news-free newsletter!

In this edition, we discuss acting, dating, and acting like you’re dating. In addition, we cover the topic of finding customers you LIKE to work with.


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 Casting Director
Firewords Creative Copy

Meanwhile, in this edition of Word PLAY...

Looking For Shorter, Taller, Or Different Customers?

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

Remember the ol’ classic movie Tootsie?

If you don’t remember it, or never saw it, you should see it (again, maybe). But no rush: I’m about to share possibly the best scene in the movie, right here in your email.

In Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman plays a struggling* actor who’s auditioning for a stage role. He nearly finishes his monologue, and the director shouts from the house “Thank You!” **

Dustin wants to get some idea of what the director thought of his brilliant audition.

“We don’t think you’re quite right for the part,” the director says (or something like that). “It’s a question of your height.”

“I can be taller,” Dustin says. (Like all actors, Dustin’s character has undying faith in his ability to be whatever he needs to be to get a paycheck.)

“We’re looking for someone shorter,” comes the director’s reply.

“I can be shorter.”

“We’re looking for someone different.”

“I can be different.”

“LOOK, Pal,” or something like that, the director says. “We’re looking for someone ELSE.”

You might wonder what this has to do with marketing, or with copywriting, or with the latest advancements in cooking oil. *** It’s marketing. And here’s the marketing point I’m making with this reference to this wonderful scene:
Are you looking for someone ELSE?

Look around your customer list. How did this heckling mob of never-satisfied, always-disgruntled, perpetual something-for-nothing-seekers end up with the privilege of being served by you and your business?

Probably, it’s because, at some point, you were a person who would take any business from anybody. You said “no” to NO-body. You came across as desperate, kinda like Hoffman’s character in Tootsie, and the crows swooped into your business and started mercilessly pecking away at your life energy

And your bottom line.

I understand desperation – and not just because, as a former professional stage actor, I’ve been “THANK YOU’d!!” in the middle of many an audition.

I once had a date, **** way back in my youth, with a girl I took all the way to the big city to attend the cinema (we may have seen Tootsie, come to think of it). The girl, whose real name was not “Ella,” must’ve been desperate indeed.

I had come to the erroneous conclusion back then that what I needed in my life was a girlfriend, and I was kinda auditioning all of the (three) girls I could get to go out with me.

When Not Ella ended up dumping popcorn over my head after I attempted to hold her hand, I knew that a long-term romance with her was probably not gonna work out. We took the evening to rule each other out.

I was ruled out of the Potential Boyfriend Audition Process by attempting to hold hands with Not Ella (I guess). Meanwhile, she was eliminated from the Michael’s Possible Girlfriend Sweepstakes by dumping popcorn over my head.

Turns out we were both looking for someone else.

Which brings us roundly back to that heckling mob of crows you call customers. Are you still as desperate as you were when you took on those accounts? Or has your business grown to the point where you can be more selective?

Here’s a great way to audition prospects to find grateful, enthusiastic, high-paying, fun-to-work-with customers:
Funny-Up Your Marketing Copy.

Yes, you heard (heard?) that right.

Just as an actor who reads the script for Noises Off will leave before his audition if his ambition is to play Hamlet or some other serious role, people who are looking for a formal, stiff, overly-serious business to abuse will rule themselves out when they read your fun marketing messages.

“This person comes across as not nearly as desperate as I’m hoping for,” you can almost hear them mutter. “It might be hard to abuse this person, who’s got the confidence to put their personality into their marketing.”

But FUN prospects will flock to your business – and not like discount-pecking crows! “Finally,” you can almost hear them say as they read your lightly HUME-orous newsletter, “I found a professional who takes her business very seriously, but doesn’t take herself too seriously!”

“I want to work with her, no matter WHAT she charges!”

(Well, you have to keep your prices somewhere near the going market rates, but you get the idea.)

Think about it. It might be time to fire a customer or two, and put out some marketing messages which have an excellent chance of replacing those crows with actual fun people.

“Thank you for your business,” you might say to that crow-like pain in your posterior. “But at this point, well, we’re looking for someone ELSE.”
*- I can tell you from experience that there’s almost no such thing as a non-struggling actor. Except maybe Dustin Hoffman.

**- “Thank You” are the two most dreaded words for struggling actors to hear. Those words can be spit with such bitter venom – in the middle of your audition, no less – that it can make you cringe.

***- Obviously, I have no clue what you might wonder about. That’s what makes each of us special!

****- True story!

Key Take-Aways From This Edition

  • Your business may have developed beyond the desperate need to take any business from any person.
  • When you funny-up your marketing copy, un-fun people tend to rule themselves out of your customer base.
  • They’ll say they’re ruling YOU out, but who cares? The point is, they know nothing of the latest advances in cooking oil, and also, they would be no fun to work with. They might even suck the life right out of you.
  • So good riddance!

These Take-Aways are certainly Key… but next month’s might be even MORE Key! You’ll just have to wait a month to find out… that’s when you’ll receive the next edition of Word PLAY!


Discussion Questions

  1. 1
    What are your three favorite Dustin Hoffman movies?
  2. 2
    Ha HA! You just showed your age.
  3. 3
    Is it time to use HUME-orous marketing copy to replace PITA customers with people who are actually fun to work with?

Send your answers to michael@michaelhume.net... 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 cadre of former – meaning, unemployed – professional stage actors. Top prize has nothing whatsoever to do with popcorn, cooking oil, or crows. So that’s good. You want that! Deadline is a vanishing mirage. Boring, lackluster, or unimaginative entries will have no chance of winning, and may be loudly and poisonously THANKED in the middle of their entry. “We’ll call.” But we really never call. That sucks. So send good stuff! Best of luck.)

Last Month’s Grand Prize Winner: Barb M., from somewhere in the depths of Saudi Aurora, came right to the point in her winning entry: “This is great!” Claim your prize before supplies run out, Barb! And thanks for being a loyal reader of Word PLAY!

Not yet subscribed to Word PLAY? (HORRORS!)

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
Email me: michael@michaelhume.net
Investigate me: FirewordsMedia.com
Sing me your best 16 bars: 195 South Rancho Vista Drive, Pueblo West, CO 81007

Hey, would you mind doing me a quick favor? Forward Word PLAY to someone you know who could use a monthly laugh and/or some extremely brilliant insights on marketing copy! If your friend subscribes, both of you get Word PLAY every month... for FREE!

Copyright 2022 by Michael D. Hume, M.S. All rights reserved.
Look for Word PLAY! in your grocer’s freezer
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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