Shark Tales, Lobsters & Marketing

Ever touched a shark?

A LIVE shark?

I have. And I’ve done what some people would think is freaking crazy.

I grabbed one by the tail once and yanked it out of the hole it was resting in.

Now this wasn’t a Great White, Tiger Shark, or Hammerhead. All of which are dangerous creatures.

And it wasn’t a Mako, Bull Shark, or Black Tip Shark. All of which are more common where I was diving (Florida Keys), and all of which are also dangerous.

This was a Nurse Shark. (see photo)

Which has a rather small mouth. At least for a shark.

Nurse Shark

From National Geographic:

Nurse sharks are slow-moving bottom-dwellers and are, for the most part, harmless to humans.

However they will bite defensively if stepped on or bothered by divers who assume they’re docile.


So it was a calculated risk. (Though my mom did not agree.)

So, why the hell did I do it???

My friend the shark was in a big hole in the bottom that was filled with Lobster!

It was as we would say… A Lobster Bonanza.

But sticking my hand in front of the shark and wrestling lobsters out of their ledge was a guaranteed way to get a shark bite.

And there was no way I was leaving without my bag full.

So a quick yank of the tail and one surprised shark went zooming off for a safer spot to snooze.

Now what has this got to do with Marketing?

Two valuable lessons here:

1. A good headline/subject line

If you want people to read/watch/listen to your marketing copy, you need good headlines.

And I freely admit I ‘stole’ the headline from an article about another diver who did PUNCH a shark.

I Punched a Shark

A marine biologist recalls a jarring underwater confrontation.

I spotted this headline in the news and had to read the story.

After all, those of us who have had hands-on shark encounters are a very small group.

And it inspired this email as a teaching story.

2. Storytelling

We humans love stories. We are wired for them. It’s how most of human knowledge was passed down before we could “Google” it.

The story is a much better way show you about using storytelling, than trying to logic you about it.

You might even pass this story on. About a guy crazy enough to yank a shark’s tail.

Who knows… you might even use it in your marketing.

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