“Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.” – Ray Bradbury, writer (1920-2012)
This is a wonderful quote from Ray Bradbury. Perspectives are incredible things – and also can provide horrific excuses for behavior. History has proven the moral majority (curious term – I rarely find majority opinion to be moral, nor enlightened) takes a very subjective view when it comes to determining right behavior. If you’re creative and smart with your small business marketing strategy, though, you can be different and still be embraced.
Is playing the numbers game what others are doing? No one likes a self-serving jerk. Be different and give before you expect to receive (and don’t expect it – you’ll be amazed at how much more powerful your referral network will become when you offer your help selflessly).
Think cold-calling is what you must do to get in the door? It’s so much easier (and more effective) to know who you’re talking to before you approach. Get an introduction, do your homework (research), offer a lead or resource first, get seen as an expert early or join a Board. Let others use sales tactics that involve rude and unrequested interruptions. You can shine by taking the time to know who you’re talking to.
Blogs done well don’t sell (at least not in every post). Building credibility and relationships is a better approach with this tool. Done right, your readers will be thrilled to hear about a new product or service you’re offering – and invited to a sneak peak or subscriber-only discount.
Are your messages all about personal dramas? This is the new vogue. Some high profile bloggers and social media magnets have put forward statistics that demonstrate their sales increased as they’ve shared SOME personal stories. That doesn’t mean an unknown is going to launch their business into the stratosphere if they focus every message on their daily crises. Friends have a limit on how much of this they can take. Do you think business prospects will see these messages as credibility builders?
We often put ourselves in our own cages. We let other people define us. Even worse, we let industry norms or uneducated opinions shape our decisions on how we present our business even when these methods don’t feel right. Trust your gut. It will fail you far less frequently than the hecklers.
A smart small business marketing strategy involves feel. You can’t get that from following the crowd. It’s personal and passionate. Dare to be different by stepping off the bandwagon and you may be surprised at how quickly your joy expands and business grows.