What a pirate can teach you about marketing

September 19th is one of my favorite holidays – albeit a made-up one: International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

And shiver me timbers… today I’m sharing how a pirate could teach you a lot about marketing.

Rules? What rules?

Pirates, privateers and buccaneers didn’t let regular or governmental rules get in the way of owning the high seas. They saw something they wanted, and they went after it. They did have a pirate code of ethics however, when dealing with their own crews and fellow pirates. (Example, don’t steal from other pirates.)

Your takeaway: if something has always been done the same way, maybe it’s time to change it up. Be different, but be ethical – and don’t steal ideas from a fellow marketer.

Sail around the obstacles

If the Royal Navy was sailing in a certain part of the ocean, guess what? Pirates would sail somewhere else. They would also find interesting ports to land, in order to carry out their business.

Your takeaway: be where the competition isn’t. There is plenty of business out there to be had. If 100 other people are going after customer A, go after customer B. 

Tell ye tale far and wide

In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, there were few ways to spread a story. But the best way still works today: word of mouth. Tales of pirates on the high seas would have a life of their own, often growing larger than the pirate being talked about.

Your takeaway: your story can carry far and wide, if you are telling it properly. Make sure you are focused on why you do what you do for a living, are sharing that story with your target audience, and getting your influencers to spread the story to new audiences. 

Avast ya scallywag!  Get out there and tell your stories!

Want to learn how to talk like a pirate? This is the site to do it.

Dawn Dugle is an author and keynote speaker who may have been a pirate in a past life.