Advertising
Advertising

“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.

    Advertising

    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:

      Advertising

      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.

      Advertising

      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.

      Advertising

      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!

      More by this author

      How to Love Yourself, Even if No One Else Does Determine Intent & Destroy Misunderstanding 4 Firefox Add-Ons to Ease Your Online Life Be a Comment Rockstar: 10 Terrific Tips! Life Lessons You Can Learn From The Joker

      Trending in Communication

      1 How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated 2 How To Find Meaning in Life: 9 Simple Ways 3 How to Stay Consistent and Realize Your Dreams 4 How to Find Happiness in Your Everyday Life 5 How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on March 25, 2020

      How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

      How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

      How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

      Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

      That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

      Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

      1. Write Your Goals

      The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

      Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

      As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

      Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

      2. Beat Procrastination

      Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

      Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

      Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

      Advertising

      What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

      When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

      3. Celebrate Small Wins

      In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

      Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

      It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

      So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

      4. Practice Gratitude

      It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

      Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

      So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

      60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

      By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

      Advertising

      5. Be Optimistic

      Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

      At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

      Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

      6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

      A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

      Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

      What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

      So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

      10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

      7. Face your Fears

      You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

      If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

      Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

      Advertising

      Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

      How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

      Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

      8. Visualize your Success

      You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

      One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

      Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

      9. Find Inspiration

      Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

      From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

      Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

      Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

      10. Enjoy Downtime

      You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

      Advertising

      Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

      You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

      11. Meditate Regularly

      Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

      Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

      Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

      The Bottom Line

      Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

      However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

      So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

      More Tips About Staying Motivated

      Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

      Read Next