Everyone remembers those individuals at a party who argue strongly for their beliefs on politics, schooling, refugees… You all know friends and family who are like that right now. The kind of people who say what they feel, who tell it how it is. The kind of people who are proud to stand up for what they believe in.
Is your business like those people? Is your business identity brave? Are you making waves?
There is so much marketing clutter out there, and there will always be competition out there, no matter what you do. Competitors can always copy what you do, but copying the how, and the WHY behind that, well, that’s a bit harder.
One of the best ways to cut through the marketing clutter is to be brave, to make waves, and to stand up and be honest about what you believe in. Have an opinion, shout loudly from the rooftops about the things you are for, and even louder about the things are against.
The thing is, there will be people who will disagree with you, sure. That’s perfectly ok. There will even be people who will argue with you, who will get really upset about what you are saying, and- oh, oh- you might even get a “hater” or two!
Again, that’s OK. Polarizing the people in your space is not only of strategic benefit, but great for your “brand”. Now I don’t usually advocate working on your brand specifically, but the perception around what your business is about and who it is for- your “brand image” if you like, generally evolves as you evolve. It’s not something that you need to set out and make hard and fast decisions on.
(for example, I know one business that chose the colour red to be part of their logo, because they were advised it would Stand Out. They hate the colour red, and have regretted it ever since, but now feel too scared to go back and change it, because, well, that’s not good “branding” is it?)
I’m going off on a tangent here…. But are you starting to see my point?
Here’s me talking about NOT branding your business, where there are other business coaches and mentors out there that have built their ENTIRE business around promoting branding your business. There are two really big contrasts. One is not more right than the other (well, of course I’m right ), but by polarizing people, it makes it easier for your potential customer to make a choice.
By polarizing people it makes you stand out.
By polarizing people you will both attract huge fans, and also scare away the kind of people who you don’t want to work with.
But I want to work with everyone, you say. Really?
Here’s an example. Jo’s a dog trainer, whose passion is working with rescue dogs to help shape them into valued members of their new family. Now, rescue dogs often come with some behavior issues- bad habits, and misunderstandings. Jo knows that a lot of these are not things that can be solved in a quick fix in one session, but require consistent training and learning from both the dog and the new family.
Now, if she markets on social media and her blog about how there is never a quick fix, how just “becoming the leader” will not fix behavior issues overnight, and how there’s a bit more to it than using a training collar, then she is possibly going to upset a few people.
She’s going to upset the people who are really caught up in the “leader of the pack” stories. She’s going to upset the people who really just want to pay $60 for one lesson and have all the answers. She’s going to turn off the people who want someone else to do the hard work for them, and then not apply the techniques themselves.
You know what happens then? Those people don’t call her. Yay! She doesn’t want to work with those people anyway, because they aren’t the right fit.
The people who agree with her, who think she is talking sense, who are inspired by her WILL call her and ask for help.
So be brave in your marketing. Tell your stories and tell your market what you believe in. Tell them what you stand for. Tell them what you stand against. Be proud to have an opinion in your space. Don’t stop waving that red flag around just because you’re afraid of attracting the attention of that bull.
Who do you remember more, in a room full of people? The quiet “wall flower” hiding in the corner behind her drink, or the one that was loud and proud, that laughed wholeheartedly, that argued passionately, that was sure of who they were. Don’t be a wallflower in your marketing.
Be brave. Wave that flag. Make waves.