Use inspirational stories to drive engagement and sales.

Mountain bike inspiration

With some product and service categories, we automatically expect marketers to inspire us.

For example, if we are being sold a weight-loss program, we expect to hear inspirational stories about those who have come before us.

We expect to see before and after photos, and to hear about how people’s lives are improved as they shed those extra pounds.

Weight-loss and wellness coaches help us succeed by inspiring us with positive messages and stories.

It’s what we expect.

But we can also create inspirational content for slightly less obvious categories.

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Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. It fed the cat.

A curious catI’m a pain in the behind when I first start working with a new company.

I have a zillion questions I want to ask about their business and their marketing. And most of my questions reach out way beyond the scope of the project they want me to work on.

Why do I ask all these questions? Is it part of some cunning plan or process I use?

Nope. I ask them because I’m curious by nature. Business fascinates me. Marketing fascinates me. Business people and entrepreneurs fascinate me.

I read books about business and entrepreneurship.

I invite business people to lunch so I can find out what they are doing and what they are thinking.

It’s not about working smarter. It’s not about prospecting.

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Monday Spark: Stop worrying about bad news.

sign of bad newsWhen you watch the news on TV or browse your favorite news websites, it’s guaranteed you’ll find some really bad news on page one.

The news media put a lot of emphasis on bad, scary and generally depressing news.

Right now you can take your pick from rising gas and food prices, the looming “fiscal cliff”, riots in Europe, nuclear weapons in Iran and so on.

And if world news doesn’t do it for you, there are plenty of depressing stories you can find closer to home – about bullying in schools, people losing their homes, and whole communities being washed away by hurricanes.

One way or another, whichever news source you look at, you can be guaranteed to be overwhelmed with bad news.

Before you go hide under the bed for the next 10 years, here are a couple of things to consider.

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Monday Spark: Spending 20 minutes a day outside makes you smarter.

nature lifts your spiritsMost of know this intuitively, especially in the spring. We know that stepping outside for a while seems to lift our spirits and make us smile inside.

And the more of nature we see when we’re outside, the better we feel.

A view of brick walls and concrete does little to make us feel good. But the sound of birds singing, spring flowers pushing up through the ground, or an expansive view over rolling hills to the horizon seems to lift a burden from our shoulders.

It turns out that this is a proven, scientific fact.

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Monday Spark: Sit down and do the best you can each day [VIDEO]

creative inspirationYour job is to sit at your desk each day and do the best you can.

This applies to managing your time, being productive and, above all, doing your best work, whether that be writing, designing, coding or anything else.

Will the “muse” be with you every single day? In other words, will you be at your most creative every day? Almost certainly not.

But as Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, says in this video, “I would like the record to reflect that today I turned up for my part of the job.”

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