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“Friendly greetings!” The Power of Personal Catchphrases

“Friendly greetings!” The Power of Personal Catchphrases

Friendly greetings, I'm Torley!

    One of the nicest things you can do for other people is make yourself easy to remember. Instead of burning their brains trying to recall who you are and what you stand for, a personal catchphrase is a elegant anchor to the rest of you. It serves as a compact memory assistant that melts mental blocks. You don’t need to be a celebrity, but you do need to have personality.

    Ever heard of Rodney Dangerfield? The man said:

    “I don’t get no respect!”

    thousands of times (are you seeing him in your head as you read this?), and he literally built a prosperous and durable comedy career based on that catchphrase. Let’s make no mistake, he was a versatile performer who chillingly portrayed an abusive father in Natural Born Killers, but to many, his sheer lack of received respect coupled with mannerisms like tie-tugging helped him be recognized and succeed.

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    Whether you love, hate them — or otherwise — Donald Trump’s “You’re fired” and Paris Hilton’s “That’s hot” are unlikely to leave your head anytime soon. And you can’t get much briefer than 2 words. As a type of meme, catchphrases’ brethren include LOLCATS and other Internet phenomena like the many parodies of 300’s “This… is… Sparta!” which are immediately accessible, and thus, spread easily. As Internet marketing guru Seth Godin (who’s coined catchphrases) sez:

    “Ideas that spread, win.”

    My catchphrase is “Friendly greetings!”, and I use it to introduce my Second Life video tutorials (with almost 3 million views) and other public activities. If you google for it in quotation marks right now, you’ll find I’m the #2 match with this image:

    Friendly greetings!

      Without quotes, I’m still in the Top 10. This didn’t happen all at once, but in waves. Here’s my advice on popularizing yourself through a personal catchphrase so you can reap the rewards:

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      Your catchphrase must be natural

      Don’t hunt for the obscure: just about all catchphrases consist of simple words that are easy to remember. And even alien quips like “Klaatu barada nikto” have a singsong quality which is pleasant, especially if you’ve not just read, but heard the original. If you have an opportunity, record yourself saying your catchphrase. It adds a dimension that’s impossible in text alone, and almost all catchphrases originated from being said out loud.

      I stress that being creative doesn’t mean being alien — by appropriating words already familiar to other people, you’re well on your way. In fact, I’d hedge on “go for a catchphrase that sounds like it couldn’t be any more obvious”. Most people psychologically make the mistake of thinking “obvious = bad” when it can clearly be the opposite; my “Friendly greetings!” is certainly a fine example. And obviously, you need a catchphrase you’d say without sounding forced and artificial. It should connect with the surrounding conversation. This is why “Friendly greetings!” is such a strong lead to the rest of a discussion.

      You can’t overuse your catchphrase

      Family and friends may get tired of seeing your catchphrase, but the world has over 6.6 billion people and you’ll never, ever reach everyone who could possibly be interested in you and what you have to offer.

      Note that I mentioned “personal catchphrases”, because while there are a lot of similarities to advertising slogans, your catchphrase is dependent on your delivery, not an inanimate object’s. If someone else says it, they’re likely either parodying or paying homage, thus spreading it further.

      Also consider if others can be proud of sharing your catchphrase with their friends, bringing them in on you. You, first and foremost, must be willing to commence that fun.

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      You must often hear your catchphrase being said back to you

      I feel sorry for Wayne Knight because of how Seinfeld typecast him with “Newman!”, but it’s better to be known than forgotten.

      One of the simplest ways to tell if a catchphrase is working is if you put it out there and hear it echo back. I get awesome people saying “Friendly greetings!” back to me everyday, and one of the reasons it works so well is it’s an icebreaker and it’s comfortable to say.

      Target audience matters too: Beavis (Butt-head’s buddy) may have had an affinity for proclaiming “I am Cornholio”, but it’s unlikely buttoned-up academics will be chanting that phrase too (unless they have a wild, secret, subversive streak).

      Take 3-4 seconds and think about whether your catchphrase is something the people you target (whether it’s kinds of friends you want to make or a market niche you’re aiming for) will be able to relate to. If it works for you, it’ll attract like-minded people, I guarantee.

      And be brave to throw away dead-end catchphrases (yes, you can have more than one — I’m working on boosting “Yayzerama!”); it’s pretty easy to tell in weeks if they’re starting to work or not, so drop the weight.

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      Your catchphrase must have a purpose

      Even if your catchphrase doesn’t state the purpose, it’s pointless to have popularity without followup results. Is your catchphrase a hook to help you move product, get you gigs playing at parties (and hot dates afterwards), or simply to make you smile?

      They can sound nonsensical and stupid, but catchphrases absolutely must do something good for you, and desirably, your fellow humans. Otherwise, why bother?

      Share your catchphrase just about everywhere

      If you can put your catchphrase in a blog post title and make it flow, more power to younumerous SEO strategies observe that Google and other search engines weigh titles heavily. Flickr picture titles (as the one I showed you) and other opportunities to get your catchphrase seen matter, too. From experience, I’ve found this to be true.

      If you’re self-employed or otherwise have creative control, your catchphrase should be on your business cards. This gives you a fab opportunity to create rapport by saying your catchphrase out loud as you give your card to a fresh acquaintance. (Alas, if you work for a company that already has strong branding and isn’t in the business of letting your personality help boost them, your individuality can’t shine as much.)

      Remember the above steps and keep it terse yet memorable. All the best being catchy, and let me know your catchphrases in the comments!

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      Last Updated on July 15, 2019

      41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

      41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

      Some things in life are hard to describe, yet we can recognize them when we see them.

      Love is one of those things.

      True love comes in many different forms, but here are some that many of us know well.

      True love means supporting those who can’t support themselves

      supportive couple

        A young man comforts his date in Times Square, New York City. Image by mbtrama

        strong hug

          A young man holds his significant other close to him. Image by Brad Fults

          running help

            A young track competitor helps one of her injured opponents over the finish line. Image from ViralNova.com

            feeding kitten

              A soldier in the Korean War takes time to feed a baby kitten. Image from US Naval Insititute

              It’s having the perfect selfie partner

              mom and daughter selfie

                A mother and her daughter take a selfie together. Image by Andrew Fysh

                girlfriends

                  Two young girls pose for the camera. Image by Rolands Lakis

                  selfies

                    A happy couple takes a picture together. Image by Kayla Heineman

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                    selfie

                      Two best friends take a selfie together. Image by Jason Wahido

                      dude selfie

                        Friends take a selfie together. Image by Glenn Scofield Williams

                        It’s all the warm fuzzies

                        12748262703_84c008f4e5_z

                          A young man spends time with his dog on a beach. Image by Magdalena Roeseler

                          DSC06952

                            A pet owner hugs his dog while on a day trip in San Francisco. Image by Taro the Shiba Inu

                            It means having a friend to photobomb you

                            photobomb

                              A boy makes a funny face as he poses for a picture with his brother. Image by Michael Bentley

                              old man photobomb

                                A man photobombs his wife while their grandson snaps a picture. Image by Frank

                                family photobomb

                                  Family members photobomb their relatives’ Thanksgiving day family photo. Image by Beth Scupham

                                  boyfriend photobomb

                                    A friend photobombs the photographer and their friend, the woman in the foreground of this photo. Image by Lachlan Hardy

                                    True love means being there even when life gets unbearably hard

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                                    shoulder to cry on

                                      A family watches the Vermont National Guard depart for Afghanistan. Image by The U.S. Army

                                      flood dog

                                        During a monsoon in the Philippines, a boy carries his dog to safety. Image by Romeo Ranoco

                                        A woman is rescued from flood waters by a resident standing on top of her car during heavy rain in Chalandri suburb north of Athens

                                          A man helps a woman out of her vehicle during a flood in Chalandri, Greece. Image by John Kolesidis

                                          lunch

                                            A woman has lunch with her husband every day, even after he’s passed away. Image from ViralNova.com

                                            hug

                                              A woman hugs the mother of 6-year-old Noah Ponzer, who was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. Image by Spencer Platt

                                              rubble

                                                An Oklahoma couple pauses while trying to salvage belongings from a family member’s home after a tornado. Image by Adrees Latif

                                                sister and brother

                                                  A girl puts her arm around her little brother as they wait outside of Sandy Hook Elementary after gunshots are fired. Image by Reuters.

                                                  headstone

                                                    A woman sits at her husband’s grave the day before their wedding anniversary. Image from NBC news

                                                    It means taking the time for long goodbyes

                                                    110321-N-BT887-100

                                                      A man says goodbye to his son before deploying. Image by Official U.S. Navy Page

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                                                      national guard goodbye

                                                        A South Carolina man says goodbye to his son before deploying for Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                        saying goodbye

                                                          A Sergeant hugs both of his sons before being deployed to Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                          And cherishing reunions

                                                          husband home

                                                            A woman hugs her husband as she sees him for the first time since his deployment to Iraq. Image by The U.S. Army

                                                            boyfriend home

                                                              A young  woman hugs her significant other as he returns home for Kuwait. Image by The National Guard

                                                              mother hug

                                                                A mother drops to her knees as she hugs her son on her return home from the Persian Gulf. Image by The National Guard

                                                                True love is letting yourself feel young when they’re around

                                                                elderly women

                                                                  Two friends on their smartphones. Image by Robert Neff

                                                                  feeling young

                                                                    A young couple getting their picture taken. Image by db Photograph

                                                                    sprinkler dad

                                                                      A father plays in a sprinkler with his daughter at Millennium Park in Chicago. Image by Ben Forsberg

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                                                                      subway couple

                                                                        A young couple on a subway enjoys sharing time together, while the girlfriend’s father sneaks a photo of them. Image by Gareth Williams

                                                                        wheelchairs

                                                                          A couple holds hands on a fall day. Image by David Amsler

                                                                          It’s letting yourself be silly… just because they’ll enjoy it

                                                                          silly faces

                                                                            A grandfather makes faces at the camera with his granddaughters. Image by Tim Pierce

                                                                            vote for pedro

                                                                              A woman’s father wears a Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt to make his daughter laugh. Image by emdot

                                                                              True love is allowing yourself to show how you really feel

                                                                              date night

                                                                                A young couple kisses in the back of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Image by Derek Key

                                                                                playing violin

                                                                                  Violinist Nancy Dinovo plays at a memorial service for the victims of 9/11. Image by Christopher Morris

                                                                                  True love is timeless

                                                                                  old friends

                                                                                    Friends spending some time together. Image by Cristian Bortes

                                                                                    sitting around a fire

                                                                                      A group of friends sits around a campfire eating. Image by New Old Stock

                                                                                      elderly couple

                                                                                        An elderly couple walks down a street together. Image by Matteo Paciotti

                                                                                        Featured photo credit: Matteo Paciotti via flickr.com

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