Your Business: Just As Distinctive As The Next

Michael Hume - Word Play logo

November, 2022 * Volume II, Number 11

Dear Distinctive Reader,

Here it is at last! Your very-own copy (copy?) of your favorite monthly news-free newsletter, Word PLAY!

In it, you’ll find amazing tips on how to make your business just like everybody else’s, especially your chief competitor’s. Also, some amazing tips on why you shouldn’t do that.


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 Uniformed Personnel
Firewords Creative Copy

Meanwhile, in this edition of Word PLAY...

Your Business: Just As Distinctive As The Next

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

I remember when I got my first dress uniform, back in the good ol’ Army days which, years and much therapy later, I’m still trying to forget.

On the jacket of this uniform, there was a tag which proudly announced: “The Army Uniform: For Soldiers of Distinction.”

I’ll never forget this, because I was running late getting to formation, and I had to get the darned tag off my dress jacket before I donned it, or suffer a punishment of, like, one bazillion push-ups.

I also remember that tag because, even at the ripe old age of 18, I knew that the words “uniform” and “distinction” were words with pretty-much opposite meanings.

I sometimes think “marketing experts” sell their clients on the notion of promoting themselves as “Businesses Of Uniform Distinction” – meaning, proclaiming to the world something like “We’re Different, like everyone else.”

You see evidence of this every time you turn on the TV, if that’s something you do.

You see ads for everything from financial advice to legal representation, and in many cases, the commercial says something like “We’re different,” and then proceeds to tell you that they do exactly what every other firm in their industry does.

Small businesses can fall prey to this same kind of thinking. I’ve known clients who spent lots of money developing a brand that “stands out,” through graphic design, beautiful images, lovely websites, catchy slogans, etc., and then market their business the same way their competitors do.

They spend money on banner ads. They spend money on non-banner ads. They even spend money on promotional items, such as pens and coffee mugs.

(I love my pens and coffee mugs. So distinctive!)

But when it comes to the words they use to promote their company, you’ll often find their marketing messages loaded up with industry jargon and other gobbled-gook that nobody wants to read.

I think many people do this to illustrate that they know the key bits of jargon related to their industry, and that they’re smart. That they have nice clothes and are professional.

Like everybody else.

When a client has the courage to promote themselves with lightly-humorous marketing copy, it gives me a thrill. It also means they might hire me, since HUME-orous copy is what I write.

But it also gives THEM, the client company, the kind of instant credibility – the golden “Know, Like, and Trust” factors that every business wants, but that only truly distinctive firms earn.

When the copy is fun to read, it sends the message that the company is fun to work with. And when you’re fun to work with, not only are you truly distinctive – you can actually charge what you’re worth.

When you take your business seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously, you have a serious advantage in the marketplace.

When you take yourself super seriously, though, it shows, and people might start to wonder whether they can trust you to have their best interests in mind, or whether you’re just in it for the money.

Just like everybody else.

Key Take-Aways From This Edition

  • Get to formation on time, properly dressed in your uniform, or do a bazillion push-ups.
  • It makes little sense to spend money on marketing elements that could make you stand out in the marketplace, but then publish boring copy that’s just like what Brand X publishes.
  • Fun copy has the potential to instantly make your customers and prospects begin to feel as if they know you, like you, and can trust you.
  • And want to work with you!
  • And pay you what you’re worth!

I know, these Take-Aways are so Key, you wonder how next month’s can top them. We’ll just have to wait a month to find out!


Discussion Questions

  1. 1
    What words would you put on the jacket tag of the dress uniform if you were in charge of the Army?
  2. 2
    How many push-ups do you think people who publish boring copy should have to do?
  3. 3
    How do you demonstrate to your best potential customers that they will LOVE working with you?

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 focus group of Army uniform tag writers. Meaning, these are people who write tags exactly the same as anyone else would. You might think you can sneak a sub-standard entry past a group like this, but watch out, they are also highly trained combat professionals. Top prize is a weekend furlough, probably. Deadline is oh-dark-hundred, date to be determined at a later date. Boring, lackluster, or unimaginative entries will drop and give me twenty. That would suck, so send your best work. Good luck!)

Last Month’s Grand Prize Winner: Jim C. of the greater Denver area won with this gem: “I can honestly say I’ve never used ‘swimmingly well’ in any sentence.” Now, here’s a guy who definitely does stand out from the crowd! Call to claim your prize, Jim, in case there actually is one. Who will next month’s Grand Prize Winner be? YOU, perhaps?

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:
Investigate me:
Knock out some push-ups: 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.
Only Word PLAY! has the stain-fighting power of two secret ingredients
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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