5 Patterns How Words Define Your Business

When I attended Lawrence Chan’s SEO workshop a year ago at the home of fellow photographer, Gene Higa, I was pessimistic about actually learning anything. SEO was a mind-boggling subject for me – even though it is really important, I just didn’t have the patience for it. Two hours with Lawrence, better known by his moniker “Tofurious,” revolutionized my perception of SEO and I haven’t looked back since. Lawrence’s youthful appearance belies his sharp wit and inspired intelligence. Extremely giving and generous, Lawrence is a marketing whiz who will soon become a household name. Be inspired by his musing of words in the following guest post. Follow Lawrence Chan on Twitter.

Post By Lawrence Chan

“The pen is mightier than the sword” – term was coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy. If you hone your words effectively, what a sharp and clear business you will have. My 5 patterns on how words define your business:
  1. Words convey ideas
  2. Each word is equally important in delivery
  3. Mismanagement of words lead to confusion
  4. Words have a subtle and undeniable power because of its quiet and calm approach – no visuals or audio – that allow its reach to be as far as our own fathomable imagination
  5. Brevity is key – brevity is not the limitation of words, it is the limitation of extraneous words.
Words are every bit of an art form as your photography. It’s not easy finding the right words to define your business. But when you do, your resolve and business direction will be ever more clear!

Less is More

This morning I sent out a mass email with nothing more than…
  1. Was I afraid that people would unsubscribe? Yes.
  2. Did it get my point across? Hopefully.
I selected a number of companies that have short and powerful mantras. If we were to examine the phrases by themselves, they seem fragmented. Yet they make perfect sense. I added my own thoughts in [brackets]. Nike [Don't delay -] Just do it Google Don’t be evil [to end users] Starbucks Rewarding everyday moments Target Expect More [Design, Innovations, Experience]. Pay Less [Money]. Vons Ingredients For Life TBS Very funny. TNT We know drama. Intel Sponsors of tomorrow. Tropicana Pure Premium [what???]

Crafting Your Brand

Pattern #4 – “…subtle and undeniable power… that allow its reach to be as far as our own fathomable imagination.” What I meant was that you get to create the remainder of the above slogans however it fits you. What I put in brackets is what fits me at the moment. I wrote an article earlier about crafting your photography brand. It’s good, but very formulaic. Like the aforementioned, powerful brands can exclude superfluous or implied definers.


More accurately, the right words are powerful. They define…
  • what you are
  • who you are
  • what you want to achieve as a business
Similarly, how I define my dragon while reading a novel will be completely different from how you perceive yours. This is why movies rarely live up to our expectations. This is why my pen is my sword.

One comment

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  1. Sam

    It’s amazing how the right combination of words and images can have such an impact. Branding can definitely gain lifelong supporters/customers, especially once it instills a sense of familiarity and comfort. I will definitely keep those tips in mind for future projects.