The other day I watched Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado on Netflix.
It’s about a guy from the 70’s who dressed like Liberachi and read astrology on TV. He was a huge star in Latin America but I had never heard of him so figured, hey, could be fun.
I went into the movie pretty excited. Seems like there is a lot to cover here in terms of astrology and who this guy is. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t really do that.
It just hit on the big moments of his life. It moved on from one thing to the next without getting deep into anything. It was like:
“Here’s 5 minutes on his wild outfits. Here’s 5 minutes on people saying how hard it was to be gay in the 70’s. Here’s 15 minutes on how big and famous he was. Here’s 5 minutes of him meeting the guy from Hamilton where they just repeat how big and famous he was. Here’s 5 minutes on how his business partner screwed him over. Here’ s 5 minutes on how he’s older now. The end.”
It was a bummer because there’s got to be an amazing story there but I feel like I didn’t see it.
Then I started to think of the Chris Farley documentary, I am Chris Farley, which I absolutely loved. And I realized what that movie did that the Walter Mercado movie didn’t.
And it’s the same slip up that most people do in their marketing online.
The Chris Farley movie took us deeper into who Chris Farley is. It went into his childhood and upbringing.
We learn that Chris was constantly trying to get his father’s approval by being funny. And that became a big driver in his life. He was always the life of the party because he was always trying to get that approval he desperately sought from his dad.
He felt like he wasn’t good enough as he was. He had to be funny all the time so he could feel like he was good enough.
And that feeling of not being good enough didn’t just drive his comedy. It also drove him to kill himself with drugs and alcohol.
Bob Odenkirk (who is famous for playing Saul in Breaking Bad) summarized it beautifully in the film.
Most of Farley’s friends talked about how they choose to remember the good side of Chris. The happy, funny, fun side that they saw most of the time. The depressed side that overate and was addicted to drugs and booze? Eh we can sweep that under the rug and just remember the good stuff.
But Odenkirk made the point that you can’t do that. He talked about how his drive to be funny and his drive to kill himself both came from the same place. They were two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other.
It was a heavy moment. And a very insightful lesson that you can take and apply to your own life and other people’s.
The Walter Mercado doc, on the other hand, was just like “Walter was a good guy who wanted to make people feel happy. Look here’s him on Howard Stern! Here’s him at a photoshoot!”
There was no depth. No getting to know what he’s about. No insights that make you think. No lessons that help you see him or the world or yourself differently.
Now when it comes to online marketing, most people do it like the Walter Mercado movie.
Take case studies for example. Most people share customer success stories in a very shallow way.
It’s just “hey this person struggled too but now everything great! You should buy our product like they did!”
There’s no depth, no connection, no insight, no lessons.
Instead, you want to make your case studies like the Chris Farley movie.
Make them riveting and memorable.
Help the reader get to know this person. Show the emotional pain, the low point moments, the hopelessness, the struggle — and the thoughts and feelings they had around their struggle.
Show the doubt the had in working with you. The struggle they had even after they bought your program. The courage it took for them to succeed. And what that success looks like, feels like, and how it changed their life.
And TEACH something insightful through your case study. Help them see the world in a new way. Help them see themselves in a new way. Help them see THEIR PROBLEM in a new way.
Do that and your case study will be the one that sticks in their heads for years — like the Chris Farley movie has stuck in mine.
Your case studies will be the ones that persuade them. The ones they share with their friends or partner to say “See? This program isn’t BS. Look what it’s done for this person…”
I’ve got a whole book on how to create case studies like that. It’s free on MarketingwithBrian.com.
And when you’re ready, I have a whole process for how to turn the info from your case studies into almost all the copy you need for launches, evergreen funnels, welcome sequences, sales pages, emails, and more. So if you want to make it easy to write copy that resonates with your readers and proves beyond a doubt you are the best option for them, check that out here.