Everyone has their own inner introvert/extrovert. Some of us are more comfortable observing the dance, against the wall by the punchbowl, and some of us prefer being out there dancing in the middle of the circle. Whichever you are, and in whatever combination, we can all agree on this: We want our marketing front and center, with a spotlight on it, maybe even doing “the running man.” But, as we know, just being “out there” doesn’t make it successful (it takes some finesse, or charming lack thereof, to pull off “the running man.”) Success depends on the “vibe”, the personality, the spirit in which your message is being communicated. The same is true for your marketing. When you’re the face, in charge of your own business, you’re a big part of that message. We poured through numerous studies to curate the best advice for how to stand out in your marketing efforts, while still dancing to your own drummer.
Keep Em Awake/The “Dinner Party Filter”
Marketing is good storytelling. Put your messaging through the “Dinner Party Filter.” We’ve all had the experience at a party, where we’ve been cornered by the kind of “conversationalist” that droned on and on, prompting you to send “rescue me” eyes to your friend across the room. What behaviors did they possess that made them such insufferable company? Likely they were the only ones talking. And likely, their story was rambling and generic. The same qualities that make a great dinner guest make for great marketing. Great listening and great storytelling are key. Vivid language, metaphors, and active words move the story forward. A creative, fresh spin on familiar details keep the listener engaged.
Keep It Brief, But Make It Personal
When talking with someone about yourself, or your business, focus on a few key points that make you stand out. Rambling isn’t effective. Your audience, no matter the size, will only take away a couple of things you say. So, spend some time deciding what you’d like those things to be and message accordingly. Think about what makes your story different, and how your product or service stands out from the competition. Don’t be afraid to be passionate. Think of the difference between that history teacher who stated the facts in a monotone voice, versus the one who made you feel like you were really there! High-school flashbacks, anyone?
The Two Way Street of Communication
Listen as much as you talk. Stay curious and interested in what your customers and prospects have to say. When bidding a new job, or meeting with a prospective customer, your groundwork sets you apart. Show interest by coming in with your research done. Human nature is to be interested in people who are interested in us. As self-absorbed as that sounds, there’s just something special about someone who makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room. If your business can help each customer feel that way, you have a winner. Approach each sales or networking meeting as an opportunity to give, not take. That rambling guest at the party? They take. Instead reward your customers and prospects for taking time to meet you, by giving them the value of your undivided attention.
Show Gratitude In Your Networking
You never know where your next customer will come from. If you’re referred to The Smith family by the Diaz Family, make sure to thank the Diaz Family. Then, after your meeting with the Smiths, go back and thank the Diaz family again, whether the meeting bore fruit or not. The Diaz Family will continue to keep you in mind when they hear of someone else who may need your product or service (and the Smiths will remember your presentation.) Your gratitude is an excellent way to set your business apart.
Spin It Positive
Whether you got into the family business, or you’re relatively new to the game, always play up your strengths. There’s value in a legacy as much as there’s value in having fresh eyes and a diverse background from which to pull. Whatever your story, look for the ways your unique experiences assist in making you the best you can be. Chances are, that’s the truth!
So go out there and build authentic relationships. Whether you’re at the punchbowl, or causing a splash on the dance-floor, you, and your business, will be welcome at any party.