How to get the “ick” out of slick

Post by Tracey Selingo for the Kindness in Business series.


print by ilovenataliekay on etsy

How to get the “ick” out of slick

You know what I’m talking about, right? Marketing messages that make you go ewww. Some call it pain-point. Others call it fear-based. I call it disgusting. Business owners with products worth selling don’t need to focus on fear-factors to sell. Evahhhh.

If you think about your own reaction to fear-based buying versus need-based buying then you see the difference in your personal fulfillment once you bring the product into your life. For example, let’s say you want to invest in a security system for your home. On a psychological level you’re seeking safety. Are you going to feel better investing with the company that sells you the safest alarm system or the one who tries to make you afraid of the man dressed in black breaking into your home in the middle of the night? Safety first, thank you very much.

Fear is an empty sales tool

Fear doesn’t give a product the opportunity to toot a horn. That’s because fear sounds a shrill alarm that mutes product features and benefits.

If you pay close attention to your inbox, chances are you can very quickly determine which products are full of promise and which products are full of disgustingly hot air.

My advice? You’re better off airing on the side of promise. It’s meaningful. It’s valid. It’s fulfilling. It’s truthful. And it’s engaging.

Engagement is as easy as a-b-c

The first rule is to simply shine a light on the truth of your product. It’s important to understand your competition, it’s not important to be your competition. Chances are, unless you’re an inventor, your brand fits within a certain category. The only way to rise to the top of the category is to help your market understand and embrace your point of differentiation.

Here are the ABC’s of engagement (do what works FOR YOU):

Accurately tell your brand’s story

Ballsy wins so don’t be afraid to trumpet your brand’s awesomesauce

Concise, clear communication keeps your messaging easy to understand and embrace

Deliver what you promise to deliver, even if it means going 60 extra miles to do so

Energize your products/services with frequent improvements

Focus on your goals

Give your audience enough information to understand and embrace the benefits

Honesty trumps all

Invest in your brand with a serious marketing budget

Joy-point marketing (doesn’t that sound better than pain-point)

Know your audience, inside and out

Loyalty should be rewarded with a thank you note or future discount

Motivate and inspire your customers as often as possible

Nonconformity makes every product stronger

Offers, used sparingly, pack punch

Passionately share your story

Question everything, even when it appears to be working just fine

Refine, refine, refine

Sex sells when you’re selling sex, otherwise it’s right up there with fear

Transparency is not a buzzword

Understand your audience’s needs, as well as their desires

Volunteer by donating your goods or your time in the community

Wisdom overshadows wonder

X-ray vision (aka market research) reveals untapped opportunity

YELLING is not permitted, ever

Zeal grabs attention, don’t be afraid to infuse it in your mix

Tracey Selingo is a promise-spinner, truth-seeker and creative solopreneur with a fierce love for empowering communication, mainly yours. She helps people discover their promise profit on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

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