Over the years I've talked about dozens of ways to get attention for your business. And my biggest focus has always been on delivering a message that speaks to your prospects' needs.
But marketing messages need to go beyond logical explanations of what you can do for your clients. Your message needs to come from a passionate place. If you're not excited about your message, why do you expect anyone else to be excited?
So, even if you have a very good message, if it's delivered in a careful, suppressed or constricted way (in order not to offend anyone) it doesn't do much more than put people to sleep.
This is a lesson I learned from an old colleague, Joe Meissner, who started an innovative outplacement company in the mid 80's. Joe was always doing things differently and made a point to be controversial. He wrote op-ed pieces for the San Francisco Chronicle that were contrarian and attention-getting.
I remember an article where he lambasted Bay Area firms for being so bad about retuning calls. He didn't cut them much slack; he regarded it as not only arrogance but bad business practice, in that their isolationism cut them off from what was really happening in the business community.
Joe got a lot of calls and letters because of that article and he turned some of those calls into new business. Joe gained a reputation as a no-nonsense person who said what he meant (He also happened to be from Texas). And that earned him respect and a degree of visibility and fame for his business.
Do you do this or do you play it safe?
I read a whole lot of marketing material every week that simply fails to make a solid stand for anything. It's boring stuff. And, as David Ogilvy once said, "You can't bore someone into doing business with you!"
Admit it. Your marketing is boooooring.
So how do you step out of the boring rut? How do you make your marketing messages, communications and overall business a little more exciting, dynamic and attention getting?
Even to supply a formula for this would be dangerous. Better people that me have tried and failed at this. But here goes anyway! (That's why I make the big bucks, right?)
1. Risk. What this means is doing something that has a chance of bombing. If you always play it safe, you are playing not to lose, not playing to win. So swing out once in awhile and put something out there that's controversial and bold and that people just may hate. Don't worry, you'll recover.
2. Be Spontaneous.
Don't plan everything for an eon. You suck the life out of it. People always ask me if I write several issues of this eZine ahed of time. Surely you jest! I write it the night before. It's what's on top-of-mind today. It's also a lot more fun.
3. Be Generous.
A big part of marketing is making offers - something people will respond to. Offers need to be compelling and immediate and relevant as well as good deals. One of my best promotions ever was a free one-day workshop. About 180 people showed up. That launched the InfoGuru Manual.
4. Be Contrarian.
Like Joe Meissner and, of course, Alan Weiss. He makes his living being contrarian. He'll take the prevailing point of view and turn it on its head. There's more than one way to view reality. Be bold enough to say "that's nonsense" and then offer your perspective. Some people will stand up and cheer.
5. Find Your Voice.
You can't be a carbon copy of everyone else and expect to get attention. Somewhere inside (sometimes very deep inside) is a voice crying to be heard. You have innovative ideas that can change the world. People actually want to hear them.
6. Don't Believe What You Think.
Thinking is very unreliable. Remember, as I said last week, it's reasonable. It keeps you safe. It follows all the rules. Trust something deeper than thinking. What you need to say comes from your heart and your gut.
Now forget all the rules and try to communicate something about your business that isn't deadly boring. Some people just might take notice. (You might also need to stay up until midnight until inspiration strikes.)
The More Clients Bottom Line: If you want to get your marketing message across and get some real attention, you need to step outside of your usual safe, comfortable, and boring ways of communicating.
What are you doing to combat boring marketing? Please share on the Blog this week. Just click on the Comments link below.