How Dangerous Dave and Big Brian drive conversations for this artist.

Big Brian pain brushes

I write and talk a lot about the power and benefits of conversational copywriting.

Today I want to share an example of how the power of conversation extends way beyond just the words we write as copywriters.

Let me introduce you to Dangerous Dave, Big Brian, Flat Phil and Miss Rigger.

As you may have already noticed from the photo above, these are the names of four different paint brushes.

These four brushes arrived in the mail because my wife is an accomplished watercolor artist, but still likes to take classes. And one of the instructors she likes to follow is Andrew Geeson, from Wales. Andrew, as well as being an artist and instructor, clearly has smart marketing skills coded into his DNA.

For his particular style of painting, these are the four brushes he uses. When it became clear his students also wanted the same brushes, he obliged… and began to sell them as a set.

But he also took the unusual step of giving the brushes names… Like Big Brian, Dangerous Dave and so on. As well as being names on the packaging, each brush has the name printed on it.

But that’s just the start.

During his online classes he refers to his brushes by name and, over time, has developed different characters for each. Its seems there’s quite a rivalry between Big Brian and Dangerous Dave. And everyone is a little scared of Miss Rigger.

Andrew even took them with him to Italy this year and shared a photo with his students, showing the brushes “enjoying a gelato” with him at a restaurant.

He’s having a lot of fun… but he’s also driving conversations between himself and his students, and among his students as a group.

He’s telling an evolving story with those brush characters, and he’s making his students part of that story.

His whole approach is playful. It’s enjoyable for everyone to jump in, take part and join the conversation. He is tearing down barriers between teacher and student, and between merchant and buyer.

Most important of all, in my view, is that his idea is inclusive. This isn’t a branding gimmick that he uses to stamp a brand on his business. It’s a discussion point, a conversation piece, an invitation to his students to join in and share the fun.

In fact, inspired by the “gelato” photo, several of his customers have set their own scenes with his brushes, taken photos, and then shared them with the group.


And remember, Andrew Geeson is a watercolor artist. He’s doesn’t work for some fancy startup. He’s not a social media marketing guru. And he didn’t hire some high-priced ad agency to come up with this idea. At least, I’m pretty sure he didn’t.

Honestly, I can’t imagine an ad agency ever coming up with an idea like this. And if they did, they’d end up on the front page of industry publications, basking in praise for their fresh and innovative thinking.

My point being that whether you’re a small business owner, a solopreneur or a freelancer, great ideas are accessible to us all.

As you search for that idea… do what Andrew did, and find something everyone can share, talk about and enjoy.

Create a conversation piece that is also an ongoing story… and a story that makes your customers feel they are part of something special.

NOTE: I have an entire course devoted to Selling With Stories…

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