The reading level for this article is All Levels
The other day, a colleague of mine told me about a new marketing agency and sent me a link to their Web site. I checked it out. Needless to say, it was dreadful. Oh, it was pretty enough with very nice graphics. And what little copy there was, was very artfully placed (although so tiny it was difficult to actually read).
Why do I say it was dreadful? Because, even though it was pretty, it had absolutely no personality. The copy was boring (not to mention full of “we’s” but that’s for another day). The graphics were pretty but boring. There was no life, no energy, just flat. It was as though the Web site was trying so hard to appeal to everyone, it ended up appealing to no one.
You see, people want to do business with people. And they want to do business with people they know, like and trust. But how will they know if they like you if they don’t know your personality? If you’re so busy hiding behind some boring, flat, but oh-so-politically-correct Web site, how will they ever figure out if they like you enough to do business with you? And, even more importantly, will they stick around long enough to get to know you.
Dan Kennedy said the worst mistake you can make in your marketing is to be boring. Because if you’re boring, why would anyone stick around to listen to you? Life is too short and people are too busy to hang around if they’re bored. They’ll find something better to do with their time.
But, I can already hear you ask, What if they don’t like me? What if I turn off paying customers or clients? And that could happen. In fact, I would say it SHOULD happen. Why should? A few reasons.
First, if you’re writing copy that’s so vanilla to appeal to everyone, it will appeal to no one. In your quest to not turn anyone off, you also won’t inspire any passion or excitement. As a result, you’ll probably lose the sale anyway, because they’ll probably chose someone who DOES excite them.
Second, according to Peter Montoya, a good brand attracts your target market as much as it repels. Therefore, if your company isn’t turning people some people off, then you probably aren’t reaching your ideal clients as strongly as you could be.
Third, let’s say some of those people who would otherwise be turned off by the personality in your brand and copy decide to do business with you. Do you really think it’s going to be a good fit? If they don’t like your personality, are they really going to like your products or working with you? Probably not. So you’re better off repelling them to begin with.
I know it’s scary, especially if you’ve been conditioned to think business stuff should be flat and “corporate” sounding. But, the reality is, the more personality and interest you can work into your copy and your brand, the more you’ll cultivate loyalty, passion and excitement from your customers.
Now that you know you need to work some personality in your brand. But how do you do that? Watch your in-box, I’ll provide some tips for doing that in the next issue.