Start by asking yourself this question. What makes the best book; the book you can’t put down until you’re finished and are left wanting more, the book that makes you remember that author’s name so you can see if they have other books you might want to read? Consider the following two sentences:
- They were sad and disappointed by the loss of the family fortune. The future had suddenly become an unknown and frightening place.
- My brother and I huddled under a blanket at the foot of the stairs and listened to our mother crying in the kitchen. Tony held tightly to his teddy bear and I wondered if we would ever get another toy or blanket or Christmas dinner ever again, now that we were losing everything. My tummy hurt and Tony was shaking as he clutched his little bear close.
Show Don’t Tell
One of these is a short listing of events and emotions, while the other is a gut-wrenching experience of them. One could be read without ever really “reading” a thing, whereas the other is something people can relate to, fear,…ponder. Now think about your website, your marketing, your conversations with your clients. How “relatable” is your information? Do you talk at your clients via these media or do you talk with them?
The key to a great “storefront” is professional and attractive, yes, but if it doesn’t tie into the customer’s emotions in some way or create a memorable experience for them, it’s just an attractive curtain that covers a window. It won’t be memorable to someone visiting your site or store, it won’t hit them at some gut level of familiarity and therefore, they will bounce right out and never think of you again.
How is it Done?
There are various ways to tackle this and the one you choose has to fit your product or service. You wouldn’t use jocularity for a funeral home service, for instance, as your “common meeting ground” but you might talk about the sadness and loss that accompanies this time and how your service is there to make the necessary arrangements, leaving you time to spend with your loved ones. Fear is a powerful connection for many, and might be useful in any kind of preventative maintenance part or service marketing strategy. If you sell a product for children, your advertising should tie into the fun and zaniness that goes along with kids and parenting.
Keep it Real
BUT there’s a big difference in saying “kids are always surprising us with their ideas and antics,” and in showing two kids trying to sell mudpies at a corner stand as if they were lemonade and cookies. The first sounds like advertising, the second looks like real kids doing something kids would really do and how darn cute that is, and THAT is what a parent (client) would relate to and appreciate about your business. So above all, keep it real. You must imagine that you are your client, don’t try to guess what they might be interested in – know it, by putting yourself in their shoes.
The Past is Past
The old days of tricky gimmicks and insincere advertising are over. Honesty, Integrity, Creativity and Quality are the keys to successful marketing and sales today. They lead to conversions, sales, return customers and word of mouth advertising. And since word of mouth advertising is done through twitter, facebook, linkedIn, Pinterest, etc… these days – you can’t afford to ignore your clients on any level, including that initial meeting on the website, on the phone or in the store.