We all have a way to measure the level of hype in someone’s conversation or pronouncements.
We know right away if we’re being handed a line or a gold nugget. And which would you prefer? Yep, thought so.
Here’s how to get to the ‘gold’ as a foundation for your marketing.
(I wrote this first for Constant Contact on their Community Blogs: Being Real)
Let’s talk about how to hand out gold nuggets to your audience: your customers and prospective customers. Because in today’s world of marketing, you have some great opportunities to really grow your business when you’re willing to be real: and that’s worth its weight in gold.
So what do I mean by ‘be real’?
Marketing today is all about being in a conversation. That conversation takes place on social media, blogs, in video, even in ads. Conversation is defined by ‘the informal exchange of ideas’. (Dictionary.com) That means you have an opportunity to learn something about your market as well as give them an important piece of information that relates. Or, offer them something by initiating the conversation and learn what they think by how they respond.
The best way you can initiate a conversation is by telling a story. Base your story on the truth as you know it in your area of expertise, AND make a hero out of your audience. My friend Kathy Klotz-Guest recently wrote about this in a short and sweet eBook about using humor to woo your customers: The Marketing Executives Bedtime Guide to Better Content and Storytelling. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KPIPVGU She talks about how truth in humor builds trust and connects. And telling the truth means being transparent. And your truth means you’re being real. And that’s gold.
You may ask: what ‘truth’ should I be telling?
The truth you tell is directly connected to why you are in the business you’re in. What difference did you hope to make? Either great or small, what was it? What is it? What do you care about that’s related to your service or product? That truth forms a path from what inspires or moves you to how to make your audience a hero.
Here’s an example – it’s happens to be part of my truth. I deeply care about people easily discovering those things in life that may solve a problem or make life more enjoyable for them as a person. Those are products, services, organizations, events, and opportunities. I believe that’s the role of marketing: to help people find the closest match possible to fit exactly what they’re looking for. It’s a win – win scenario – that means it’s good all around. So the truth is that I want everyone to be able to reveal the underlying special contribution their offering makes in a way to make it easy to understand and find. I want everyone to be GREAT at marketing – as naturally as having a conversation.
And the ‘hero’ part?
Your story makes your audience a hero when you highlight a common struggle that you’ve felt, and you give insight into what actions can be taken to overcome the struggle. And you end with a vision of what happens when your audience takes action. Then you invite them to step into that vision.
My example: Coming up with content to satisfy the marketing machine in today’s online world of social media, video, and blogging, is REALLY hard. We’re all busy actually doing the business of serving our customers by creating or selling products, delivering services, organizing events, etc. And, turns out that we all love to be surprised, to hear a story about something that turned out well. And those stories happen every day, in small ways, in the course of our lives and the lives of our customers. They happen with you! They happen when you say something or offer something and a customer has a moment of delight! And you remember why you’re doing this work. You have those stories – and THOSE are the gold. You encounter the gold nuggets everyday – all you need to do is capture them and share them with the rest of us. What was the moment? How did it happen? What caused it to happen? And what difference did that moment make for that customer?
My challenge to you…
My challenge to you is to take some time each day and jot down some notes about someone’s win from your work. A teeny moment of relief or happiness – or an AHA moment about a problem they’ve been struggling with. Those are YOUR gold nuggets. Then, write it up and share it with us. I can’t wait to hear about it.