I’m Different!

diff_icecream“Sir, do you have a standard response when someone says to you ‘But my business is different!’ trying to justify not sending out content regularly to their customers and prospects?” I asked The Effective Detective to kick off the latest of our discussions.

“I would hope so!” exclaimed the Detective.

“Yes, sir, but what would your reply be?” I asked.

“I just told you,” replied the Detective.

I suppressed a sigh, not wanting to get involved in some version of “Who’s on First” with The Detective, which would most likely ruin a beautiful end-of-summer day. “Could you elaborate further sir?” I asked.

“You’re no fun today Watson,” the Detective stated, recognizing there would be no extended guessing game as to the direction of the conversation. “I would reply, ‘I would hope so’, because if they do not have a unique selling proposition, they are starting off in a hole. This of course is not the answer they would expect, which allows me to take on the real issue without a lot of argument.”

“And that real issue would be?” I prompted.

“Why, that content is not really determined by the business, Watson. It is determined by the audience,” The Detective paused to see if I would ask for clarification. I decided not to disappoint him.

“I’m not sure I follow, sir,” I offered the opening, which he jumped right into.

“Come now Watson, isn’t it obvious? If you think like a salesperson, then you think only about what will make a sale. If you think like someone who is trying to establish a relationship and simply wish to remain top-of-mind then you realize it doesn’t matter if your business is a marketing coaching practice or you are an artist selling your work. While there could not be two more completely different audiences both businesses have an almost limitless amount of content.

“For the marketing coach a little bit of personal information mixed in with tips, hints, trends – the list goes on.  For the artist, the mix is most likely exactly the opposite; more personal information – especially when it deals with the progress on a new piece, or inspirations that they might have recently had. The two businesses may even be speaking to the same people! Simply put, the message must fit the expectations and wants of the audience, rather than the wants or needs of the business person.”

“You believe this applies to almost any business then?” I asked what I thought was a needed question.

“I actually do Watson. I believe even a message that is not directly related to the business can be a way to strengthen a relationship. However, at the risk of using an overused term, the sender must be coming from an authentic place. You need to truly understand your audience – which you should anyway – difficult to sell to people who you don’t understand, and truly want to offer content that they will find of value or enjoyable, be it tips, life-hacks, or personal stories.”

“So we are all different, but we all have something in common: there is some kind of content that we can use to stay top-of-mind with our prospects and customers,” I offered as a summary.

“I do believe that is what I said Watson.”



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