8 Marketing Lessons From The Grinch That Make Me A Better Copywriter

8 Marketing Lessons From The Grinch That Make Me A Better Copywriter

I think by now, most of us know who the Grinch is. The green, furry guy with a heart that is three sizes too small who HATES the Whos and all things Christmas. 

I know you’re wondering how the Grinch can have anything to do with your website copy, your marketing, or even your business for that matter. If you watch the movie every year and have never once even thought about business, you’re 100% not alone. We’ve been watching it on repeat and there are some things that definitely stand out.

‘Tis the season for making merry, so let’s have some fun and think outside of the box, you know the one around Grinch’s heart…



The Grinch is pretty moody, to say the least. He is set in his ways and hates anything and everything that goes against them. Think of him as the OG “Get off of my lawn” dude, if only a little green. 

The Grinch was on a single-minded mission that took over his world until his plan was just right.

Now it’s your turn: Think about your business for a moment. You have been thinking everything through and making this your focus. You, like the Grinch, want your plan and your business to succeed. 



Lesson 1| Mindset 

The Grinch became what he needed to set his plan in motion, and he had the UTMOST belief in himself. He needed to believe in himself first and foremost before he could take any other step. The same is true for you — and for your business. 

You need to be able to dismiss the naysayers and keep moving forward. How many times did Max question what the Grinch was doing? That didn’t matter. Now, if you hear the same feedback over and over from everyone, it’s worth considering, but the real takeaway here is to stay true to your vision. 


Lesson 2| Create the solution

Marketing your business means showcasing your expertise and why it matters to your clients. The Grinch was a genius at thinking outside of the box to get the job done. He turned himself in to Santa and his dog, Max into a reindeer to bring his vision to life. 

By creating and sharing the solution, you show them that you understand and empathize with their pain and can help them overcome the hurdles it presents. It’s marketing and copywriting 101. 


Lesson 3| Build trust.

How did the Grinch build trust? Remember the scene when Cindy-Lou Who needs water and finds the Grinch taking the tree? He befriends her. He helps her get her water and then tucks her back into bed. 

Don’t be the Grinch. Don’t lie. HOWEVER, it’s important to build trust with them. Educate and inspire them by demonstrating the possibility of working with you, showing results and demonstrating your commitment to their success.


Lesson 4| Be true to yourself.

The Grinch never tries to hide who he is. Throughout the movie, we know how much he hates Christmas and how he wants to keep it from happening. He doesn’t pretend to enjoy the season to make those around him comfortable.

Authenticity is everything. People know when you’re paying them lip service. It’s an instant turnoff and makes it extremely difficult to regain trust once you break it.

This ties into knowing your core values and being true to them so that you can share them and live up to them every day, in every interaction. Your message is the first touchpoint that you have with some clients and if it’s not consistent with your brand or the way you show up, then there is a disconnect.


Lesson 5| Be willing to pivot.

In the newest version of the Grinch, he finds himself a reindeer that he can use to pull the sleigh. The situation turns when the reindeer is reunited with his family during a test run of pulling the sleigh. 

Grinch needs to pivot and this is where he comes up with the idea of Max being the reindeer and pulling the sleigh.

You may have your marketing plan all ready to go but what happens when something changes? Or when you need to make a change?

If you’ve given something the good ole’ college try for at least 6 months, then, maybe it’s time to make a change. The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Don’t go insane.

Being an entrepreneur and small business owner means that you need to be willing and learn how to pivot. The only consistent thing about being an entrepreneur is that your world is ever-changing. Sometimes your customers and followers will be able to give you feedback that will help with a pivot that you need to make, and sometimes your situation necessitates it.

A few tips to help you make a pivot in your marketing plan:

  1. Do your research. 
  2. Use your analytics to your advantage.
  3. Reach out to current and past customers.
  4. Build relationships.

Most businesses I talk to make a pivot every 6-12 months, and it’s important to make sure your current copy or marketing holds up to it.


Lesson 6| Collaborate and build a network.

The Grinch went about creating a network in a different way than you or I. In the newest version, he collaborated with a reindeer. He needed to find someone that was strong enough to pull his sleigh to fully step into his role as Santa Claus.

At the end of the movie, the people in his circle changed when he saw firsthand that Christmas meant more than gifts to the Whos, and began to build relationships with all of them. Throughout the Grinch’s transformation, he learns who and what he needs to bring his vision to life.

A rising tide lifts all ships. Build a network of people you trust. Maybe they’re people you can go to for problem-solving or cry on a shoulder. Maybe they’re referral partners. Or maybe they’re just people you enjoy speaking to. I credit any success I’ve enjoyed to an incredible network – and the ways we’ve helped one another grow.

Who’s in my network? 

Other entrepreneurs and marketers. I have great relationships with other writers, and we refer to each other or hire one another all the time. Business coaches, strategists, consultants, designers, videographers, social media marketers, ad specialists, agency owners — they’re all part of my circle and I love working with them.

One way to start is to throw out a coffee chat request on social media. Or you can slowly expand outward into growing circles, starting with businesses that are tangentially related to what you do, or who operate in your shoulder niches. 

What is a shoulder niche? It is a niche that is related to yours but a little bit different. So for example, if you are in the health niche, you can use sleep as a shoulder niche. You want to make sure that the information is going to be relevant to your main niche.

Need other ideas? My mentor recently reminded me to create a list of people I want to collaborate with and to think big.

Connect slowly and build on the relationship by interacting with their content, and eventually messaging them. Have fun with no-pressure conversations and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. I focus on friendship (professional) first and the rest follows. 


Lesson 7| Expect the unexpected. 

When Cindy-Lou Who surprised the Grinch when he was in her house could have completely thrown off his entire plan but he didn’t let it get in his way.

Nothing ever goes according to plan. Tech glitches, internet outages, and dropped calls all happen weekly (all in one day for me this week, in fact.) Let go of your idea of perfection, and learn to have backup plans, and roll with the punches. There will be hiccups. It’s a matter of if, not when, and how you respond to them is what will set you up for success. 

Take a deep breath and sit back before you react. Give yourself a chance to think clearly so that you can turn that unexpected event into one that helped grow your business.


Lesson 8| You will know when the building blocks are coming together.

I think this is my favorite lesson from the Grinch. 

At the beginning of the movie, all he wanted to do was to destroy everything. By the end, he realized that he was missing the whole idea of Christmas and he was won over by the Whos. He was even treated like one of them once he returned all of the gifts.

The moment when his heart grew three sizes was the moment that everything fell into place. He was fighting things to fit into what he thought they needed to fit into when in reality, he needed to take a step back and allow everything to fall into place.

When your marketing and your messaging are feeling forced and wrong, it can feel like you have a too-small heart in a too-big box. When your building blocks, words and content come together and your message is spot on, everything will flow and work just right.

Want to make sure that all aspects of your marketing, messaging, and your website copy are in alignment so your heart, err… marketing and copy is spot on for the next year? Grab my latest resource packed with 10 key areas your website needs to nail and 30 quick-fix actions you can take #rightnow. (Get your copy here)

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