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Settled | The Complete Trilogy

As part of my 100 Word Story challenge, I sometimes like to mix it up and create recurring characters or a series of 100 word episodes. The first episode of the trilogy was always going to be a stand alone story, but a funny thing happened – a couple of people asked me what happened next? Then I asked myself the very same question.

So here – together in one handy volume (???) are all three episodes.

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[thrive_headline_focus title=”Settled | Episode 1″ orientation=”left”]

“Come on, do what you came here to do.” Said Ben.

“And what’s that exactly?” Marcus took his glasses off and rubbed them on his sleeve.

“You’re going to kill me.”

Marcus held his glasses up to the light and put his glasses back on.

“Nonsense. Dead men can’t settle debts.” He inspected the sparse room.

“I don’t have $14,000.”

“Yes, I guessed that. It’s $19,500 now though. Interest’s such a bitch.”

“So what do you want from me?”

“Judge Wilkins drinks at your place.”

Ben’s eyes widened.

“Just drop this into his Whisky and your debt’s cleared.”

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Settled | Episode 2″ orientation=”left”]

Judge Wilkins was already on his second Whisky. Ben still had the sachet of powder in his shirt pocket. He’d lost his nerve.

“One more for the road.” Said the Judge.

It was now or never.

Ben dropped the powder into the glass and poured the Whisky. He slid the glass to Wilkins.

As Wilkins picked up the glass, his phone rang.

“Calm down. I understand.” He left the bar, and his Whisky, without saying a word.

“Can’t have that going to waste.” Said Julian, the busboy, before downing the Whisky.

Ben would start recruiting for a new busboy tomorrow.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Settled | Episode 3″ orientation=”left”]

He felt bad for Julian, but Ben was more concerned about his own mortality. How long would it take for Marcus to catch up with him? He packed his life into a plastic bag and left his apartment.
 
“Where you headed in such a hurry?” Ben recognised the voice.
 
“Nowhere.” Said Ben.
 
“You know who else is going nowhere – Judge Wilkins.” Said Marcus.
 
“What?” Said Ben.
 
“Car versus Judge – the car won.”
 
Ben’s eyes widened.
 
“Funny thing is – the driver worked for you. He collapsed at the wheel.”
 
“So we’re good?” Asked Ben.
 
“You’re lucky. But yeah – your debt’s settled.”

The End

Daily 100 – Your Origin Story

Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start With Why’ can be summed up by his most popular quote – 

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

A great way to share your ‘why’ is by telling your origin story.

How exactly did you get to where you are now? What’s your back-story? Share it as a blog post or as part of your About Us page. Revealing your journey – not just your destination, will help make a deeper, more authentic connection with your audience.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Big Idea” orientation=”left”]
Map out the key steps on your journey. Keep it short and simple.


To get a handle on the concept of the ‘start with Why’ philosophy, watch this Ted Talk from the Simon Sinek, the author of ‘Start With Why’. It’s one of my most watched YouTube videos. If I lose track of what I’m doing, I watch this video.

[video_page_section type=”youtube” position=”default” image=”https://thestoryedge.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Simon_Sinek_2_pr-1024×681.jpg” btn=”light” heading=”Start With Why” subheading=”Ted Talk Video” cta=”” video_width=”1080″ hide_related=”true” hide_logo=”false” hide_controls=”false” hide_title=”false” hide_fullscreen=”false”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA[/video_page_section]

Daily 100 | What is a value proposition?

A value proposition can help grab your reader’s attention. They are a promise of the value your product or service provides. They’ll typically include the following.

Headline

One, short, attention grabbing headline. This is THE key ingredient.

Sub-Head or a 2-3 Sentence Paragraph

More specific explanation of what you do. Including the benefit your product or service provides.

3 Bullet Points

Listing Features or Benefits.

Visual

Use a powerful visual to show the product, or reinforce one of your benefits.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Big Idea” orientation=”left”]Go beyond the humble tagline. Write a value proposition that clearly communicates what you deliver for your clients.

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WP Curve. A great business and a brilliant example of a value proposition in action.

 

Daily 100 – The World Needs More Stories

The World doesn’t need more yawn inducing content. And neither do your clients. They need more of you. More of your personality and more of your stories. Don’t hold back. Show them the real you. The you that is proudly different. The you that cares.

Create remarkable content. Tell the real stories that set you apart from your competitors.

Don’t paint by numbers. Don’t blindly mimic other people. Write the genuine stories that will make a much deeper connection.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Big Idea” orientation=”left”]The World needs more stories. Find your writing voice and produce content that will make a difference and be remembered.

Daily 100 – Becoming a Cloud Writer – Writing Apps

Keep your writing with you wherever you go by becoming a cloud writer. Being able to draft, write or edit your content on the go can make you a more productive writer.

I started with the ByWord writing app, before switching to iAWriter. Both work across my iPad, iPhone and MacBook Air. They’re known as ‘distraction free writing’ tools, as they strip away menus etc..

But, as I’m now collaborating with more people, some that don’t have Apple ‘stuff’ – I’ve made the switch to Google Docs.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Big Idea” orientation=”left”]Make your writing life easier. Get the right writing tools in place.

6 Word Story Competition

What started off as a silly idea yesterday morning has spawned something much bigger than I’d ever imagined. I created a simple 6 Word Story competition on my personal Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/kevanderson). I also shared it on some Facebook writing groups I’m involved with. I’ve now had entries from LinkedIn, Twitter, Anchor and email.

Someone has asked where they can read the entries. I’ll pull them altogether later – but for now – here are the Facebook feeds to give you a taster for the brilliant 6 Word Stories that people are sharing.

 

Bit of Easter Weekend fun AND a chance to win a £10 Amazon Voucher. Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a 6 Word…

Posted by Kevin Anderson on Friday, March 25, 2016

Daily 100 – Writing for an audience of one

When you’re starting a new writing project, take the time to ask who you’re writing for. And don’t be general – be specific.

What’s their name? What do they do? What are they interested in? And, why are you writing for them?

Truth is, you can’t write for everyone. If you try, you’ll end up writing for nobody. Think of it as an opportunity to have a great conversation with an audience of one.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Big Idea” orientation=”left”]

It’s just as important to remember who you’re NOT writing for. You’re not writing for Google. SEO juice should never be your soul writing goal.

Daily 100 – Case Studies v Testimonials

Testimonials are easier to produce than case studies. You can get a testimonial in minutes by emailing or phoning a happy client. And while testimonials have their place, they lack the context that a case study provides.

A case study is a story. It shares a client problem, how you solved it and what the final result was.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Big Idea” orientation=”left”]

Got a testimonial? Go back to the client and ask if you can interview them for a case study. Let your clients be your voice & help your prospective clients make better buying decisions.

Once you’ve got it – share it everywhere!

The Case for Case Studies – Making Better Buying Decisions

Case Studies are little-used marketing gems that use the power of storytelling to help people make better buying decisions. They’re more commonly used in business to business (B2B) organisations; particularly IT and business services, but I believe anyone can use them. A case study is simply a story. A story told, not by you, but by someone you have helped. You and your organisation take a back-seat and let your happy customers take the stage.

The way I buy has changed. Maybe it’s age, but the impulsive purchase that was a hallmark of my younger days has gone. I’m a far more considered consumer now. This has stopped me making irrational purchases. (It shames me – but yes, I did buy a set of digital DJ Decks for no apparent reason.)

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Asking My Chums” orientation=”left”]

If I’m considering a purchase, whether it’s for business or pleasure, I do a couple of things. Firstly I ask my mates. Being the 432nd most popular man in the world, you can imagine how long that process takes. Naturally, I cut through that by turning to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I ask for advice from trusted friends. I don’t have a structure, but as the conversation develops, this is what I typically find out –

  • What have they used?
  • Why did they choose it?
  • How much was it?
  • Where did they buy it?
  • What else did they consider?

I’m blessed with great real and virtual friends – but their recommendations and suggestions don’t automatically having me hitting the big bold ‘Buy Now’ button.

Their advice helps me draw up the shortlist. But I need to do my homework and apply my own filters before making a final decision.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Digging Deeper” orientation=”left”]

Once I’ve got my shortlist, the research phase begins. I’ll visit the potential vendor’s website and read about the product or service I’m interested in. If they’ve got a video, I’ll watch that. The time and depth I go into are directly related to how much it costs. The bigger the ticket the price, the longer the research.

All the while, I’m looking for social proof. I’m looking for people to help make my buying decision as simple as possible. If it’s a business product I’m buying, I look to see if it’s been used by other writers or marketing professionals. I’m looking for context. Would this product work for me? Is it the best product for my particular circumstances?

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Testimonial Turnoff” orientation=”left”]

If I’m about to spend a serious amount of money and time on a new product for the business, I want a bit more than a short, generic sounding testimonial. Don’t get me wrong, testimonials have their place and can add value, but they so often don’t. In some cases, I’m a bit cynical about the testimonials I read. They don’t give any detail or provide any context.

Case Studies – Testimonials’ bigger, bolder and better-looking brother.

A story well told, by someone who sounds just like me, is far more likely to peak my interest. I’ll engage with that. I’ll spend the time reading because it relates directly to me. I put myself in the shoes of the person telling the story. All the better if there are more than one case study available.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”The Case Study Structure” orientation=”left”]

Case studies work because the structure is much like the stories we come across every day. The ‘Problem – Solution – Result’ framework is much like the ‘Beginning – Middle – End’ structure of the tales we read in books and watch on the big and small screens. We remember stories, and we connect with them. That’s why I’m personally drawn to case studies. And that’s why they influence my buying decisions.

[page_section template=’2′ position=’default’][thrive_headline_focus title=”The Case Study Structure” orientation=”center”]

Overview – A Brief Snapshot of your case study.

The Star – Introducing the subject of the case study.

The Problem – What challenge did The Star face?

The Solution – How did your product or service solve their problem?

The Result – What was the end result?

The Quote – A direct quote from your happy client?[/page_section]

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Could Case Studies help your customers?” orientation=”left”]

Case studies, like so many things, are hugely personal. But I believe two things. Firstly, you should try them out in your business. And secondly – that you can do them yourself. If you have any current testimonials, maybe you could use these as the starting point for a case study? They’ve already shown a willingness to speak out on your behalf – would they be your case study ‘Guinea Pig’? Remember, the key thing is to identify your client’s problem, how you solved it and what the results were.

If you’ve got any questions about case studies, please let me know. And, if you come across any great case study examples – please add the link in the comments and I’ll add to a future case study blog post.

P.S. To help, I’ve created a free 5 Week Email course called The Case Study Code – you can register for free here. 

P.P.S. – You can download The Case Study Code Template by clicking here. 

P.P.P.S. – I have gone down to 433 in the list. #Gutted.

100 Word Story 3 – Wrong Number

“Listen to me. Don’t speak, not even once. Just listen.”

I looked at the screen. BLOCKED.

“If you want to see Mrs. Miggins again you’ll leave £5,000 in a Tesco carrier bag beside the recycling bin in the Asda car park.”

“Bag for life or normal carrier bag?”

“I said don’t speak. I will kill her.”

“Sorry.”

“Silence.”

“Asda carrier bag & Tesco car park?”

“No – other way round. Now shut up.”

“When?”

“Tuesday 9pm.”

“No can do, I’ve got Pilates.”

The phone went dead.

I peered out the window as my idiot neighbour fixed another missing poster to another tree.