Do it your way
Advertising executives and copywriters all know that most purchasing decisions are based on emotions. The most successful ads work because they appeal to our desires, our fears, and sense of security (or lack thereof).
You buy the thing being advertised, because you believe it will make you more wealthy, save you money, give you better health, advance your career, reduce your fear, entertain you, and so forth. These are important decisions that have thoughts and feelings behind them. Advertisers try to hook into those.
If you have a product or service to sell, the question you ask yourself is “how can I sell this most effectively?”
There are two ways that I can see you appealing to your audience. Either you decide you’re going to be ruthless and do whatever you need to in order to make your sale. Or… you can be more mindful. Decide what kind of company or entrepreneur you want to be and only use tactics that fit with your own ideas of fairness, honesty, and morality.
The risk of showing just your good side
The other day I attended a lunch and learn led by a marketing professional, with years of experience in PR. She gave us lots of tips and knowledge on how to communicate in the current business climate.
But something she said did bother me. In fact, it made me see her in a diminished light. She admitted that her profile on Facebook comes across as squeaky clean. She even said she knew that the audience couldn’t see what’s behind the scenes. In other words, she was showing only a sliver of herself to the world. The rest she kept quiet about.
It bothers me because I believe in whole-heartedness. Sure, there’s a lot to be said for showing your best side and looking professional. After all, we all try to do that in public. We dress up for interviews, we clean up the house before the guests come over. We don’t want to give a bad impression.
And yet, we’re all human and we all have good sides and bad sides. What’s so wrong about admitting that you’re actually human? That your shit does stink, just like everyone else’s?
Personally, and I think this might go for many of us these days, I don’t trust anyone who comes across as flawless. I want the people I do business with to be more real, more honest, and less of a cardboard cut-out. I think whole-hearted business people stand out from the crowd, are more interesting and are those I might actually send an email to and say: keep up the great work, because I love what you’re up to.
The benefit of being a true person
It may not work in all types of industries, but if it could work in yours, I highly recommend you be yourself. Do what you do your way.
The thing is, you will find that your customer base will become more loyal as followers and that you will love them more in return. You will know for sure that these are YOUR people. If you’re a bit of an odd-ball or have an interest in something that’s not in the mainstream, such as extreme ironing, you will find that those people will latch onto your message. Austin Kleon says:
“You want hearts, not eyeballs. Stop worrying about how many people follow you online and start worrying about the quality of the people who follow you.”
And it’s about integrity. In the book, “The Power of No,” James Altucher writes:
“If 20,000 people are lying and only one person is telling the truth, that one person is going to stand taller than the rest. At first people will come back to you for voyeuristic reasons, because they know if they watch ‘Real Housewives’ they aren’t watching anything ‘real’ and they aren’t watching ‘housewives.’ But you’re real, so they want to know what you’ll do next.”
So I would just ask to think about that question. Who are you really?
What is the truth that you don’t mind everyone knows about? What can you reveal about the person or people behind your product or service?
Just be yourself and your tribe will follow and like you.