Some people would do anything for a dozen donuts.
It’s true. Back in the late seventies, I was a college sophomore working a few evenings a week at a Mister Donut coffee shop. I commuted to Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA, so I needed to earn gas money for my Mercury Comet with rusting-out floorboards.
I remember that Saturday evening like it was yesterday.
It was around 6 p.m., and the only people in the shop were me and two middle-aged ladies sitting at the bar drinking coffee.
Yeah, this was pre-drive-through days, when coffee shops had bars and swivel stools, and customers came in, sat down, ordered a coffee and donut, and consumed them there, drinking coffee from real mugs.
That Saturday night, I was behind the counter, mindlessly constructing donut boxes in preparation for the following day’s rush of donut sales. (Sunday mornings were always a goldmine for Mister Donut.)
I’d made up about 30 boxes when this kid pushed through the front door.
I stood up from behind the counter and looked at him.
“Welcome to Mister Donut. Can I help you?”
Barely glancing at me, he mumbled, “I’d like a dozen donuts.”
He was skinny, with short, dark tousled hair, and wore jeans. He kept his hands shoved in his pockets.
From under the counter, I grabbed a just-folded donut box in one hand and a piece of tissue in the other and, looking at him with raised eyebrows, signaled I was ready.
He rattled off his order. I don’t remember what he asked for because I was thinking about what donuts I’d bring home that evening. Since I was closing, I could help myself to donuts that hadn’t sold. I hoped there’d be some lemon-filled in my future.
After filling the box, I quickly closed the lid and taped it shut. I put it on the counter beside the register and rang up the sale.
The register drawer sprang open, and I said, “That’ll be $1.49, please.”
I looked at the kid, and he wasn’t looking at me. He was looking straight ahead. Both his hands were behind him like he was feeling for his wallet in his back pockets.
Then, suddenly, he grabbed the donut box from the counter, spun, and bolted through the doors and out to the sidewalk.
I was speechless!
With jaw dropped and eyes popping, I looked at the two women still seated at the bar. Their expressions were as dumbfounded as mine. After a few eternal moments, one broke the silence.
“Thank goodness he didn’t have a gun!”
So why did I tell you this story?
To illustrate the value of storytelling in your content.
It humanizes you and makes you relatable—a key ingredient to building a relationship, which content marketing aims to do.
Before you read my donut ripoff tale, you knew little about me except maybe what’s on my LinkedIn bio.
Now you know…
1. My age (yep, I gave details. You do the math.)
2. I’m partial to lemon-filled donuts; yum.
3. I drove a crappy car in college.
In the grand scheme of things, do these details matter? Who knows? But some of them you can likely relate to. (Everyone has to have a favorite donut!)
More importantly, you’ll see that I’m a person who, like you, has had a plethora of life experiences. Distinct, unique, but relatable, and that connects us.
As a practicing veterinarian or veterinary entrepreneur, the better your customers know who you are, the better the chances they’ll do business with you. Why? Because they’ll come to like and trust you.
And one other thing, those distinct, unique experiences belong to you. They can only be shared by you, not by artificially derived content.
So tell your stories and stand out from the rest.
Suzanne Quigley is a content writer/consultant and former veterinary assistant specializing in the animal health and veterinary markets. She works with clients in both the pharmaceutical and technology arenas.
Need help with content or copy? Email or call 508-277-4929!
Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter