On THAT day, for THAT project, for THAT Scumdog, I was the BEST artist for that job.
If you wanted to get a kids animated movie made and you had an unlimited budget. Wouldn’t it make sense to go to Pixar and commission them to do it? They’re arguably the best in the world at feature animation.
There’s a problem though.
You can’t get Pixar.
You can’t get DreamWork either.
Industrial Light and Magic? Keep looking Bubba…
You may end up hiring a small animation studio in Florida. And on that day, for your project, they will be best studio for that job.
Life can seem cruddy when our engines aren’t firing on all cylinders. Our confidence can whittle down like an old set of tires.
But no matter the people or the products are out there. You and your products are the BEST.
One of the legs of my Blockbuster Marketing framework is to put more of YOU in your marketing.
A lot of people deny this. They treat talking about themselves like niching down. They fear showing more of who they are will narrow their audience too much.
If I talk about ME and my story, isn’t that narcissistic?
Won’t people get tired of me?
Am I even that interesting?
Yes. You. Are.
Keep in mind you can explain yourself in a very BORING way, but that’s not my point today. My point is you’re taking the most unique thing about your marketing message and…
You’re throwing it away.
Megan Macedo said, “a lot of how things are talked about in the world of business ignores the fact that we’re human beings. There’s this switch that people flip where it’s like, “This is my personal life and this is my professional life.” It doesn’t work like that. Your brain is not divided in two.”
Everyone has different degrees of transparency and there’s things that you do and do not want to share with your audience. And that’s fine.
You’ll never see Seth Godin talk his family for example. Yet Wayne Dyer talked about his kids in his work all the time. It’s totally up to you.
Just know the more transparent you become you will lose some people. But on the other hand, you’re separating the wheat from the chaff.
The more you peel away your “brand” like an onion the more die-hard fans you’ll have.
Cheryl Strayed said, “ One of the most important lessons I learned though the success of Wild is that if you take that risk, if you take chance, if you tell the truest, hardest, deepest story that you have within you, you’re not going to step into the light and find that you’re there alone. You’re going to be surrounded by people who are there with you.”
Jeff Bezos was interviewed in Success magazine. He was talking about Amazon Prime and introducing same day delivery. Back then I thought instant delivery was about as doable as driving your car with chopsticks. Someone put WAY too much cocoa in his Cocoa Puffs.
So how did Bezos go from two day to same day delivery?
He said he’s constantly thinking about what Amazon’s customers need. It literally keeps him up night! He even thinks about their needs in the shower.
That’s not creepy or anything…
Fast forward to today, now I do it too! I understand why Amazon is successful and why I’ve been an Amazon Prime customer for years.
“Obsession” makes people nervous but it’s quite helpful if you want to play an instrument, keep your kids safe, or run a business. When I started out I wanted to save the world. Maybe take on some free coaching or discount my first course. Whatever I had to do to help everyone I could.
You don’t want to help everyone, you want to help the right people. Helping the wrong ones is like dragging a runner across the finish line. It’s exhausting. And you ruin your good shoes.
The more you become sociopathitcally clear about who you serve, your offerings will get better. Your job will get easier and everyone wins.
Yesterday, I blogged about Seth Godin’s book This is Marketing.
I called it his newest book but a quick trip to Amazon told me I was wrong. This one came out in 2018 and The Practice is his newest book. Whoops.
While I was on Amazon I glanced at the reviews and this one caught my eye (also above)
“I like Seth a lot but sometimes his ideas are not a reflection of the real world. There are some products that benefit from telling a brand story but 99% of products don’t need a story. When I buy a frozen pizza or cereal I don’t need a brand story, just give me a good product at a fair price. If marketers should want to change the world why do some brands who have violated consumer trust still grow and make money? Yes, some products solve my problems but most just meet my basic need as a consumer.”
This guy does have a point. The average person who goes to buy a frozen pizza may grab any old pie off the shelf but that’s NOT everyone.
Not all brands tell stories but ALL brands are storytelling. What’s the difference?
Digiorno Pizza tells a story (which is also their USP). It’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno. Their pizza is like ordering from a restaurant. Not really, but that’s what they say. And back in 1995 when DiGiorno came out, it was a lot better than most frozen pizzas.
Now on to storytelling.
Every product is storytelling. The price tells a story. The font on the box tells a story. The color of the packaging tells a story. When you package a product or service everything matters.
If you think like that guy, you’re gonna be stressed. And you’re gonna shell out tons of time and cash trying to keep clients from running away faster than Usain Bolt.
I will admit, some commodities or his “basic needs” type products do require little brain power. Like hangers. Hangers are not particularly exciting to most people. Even though I saw an article where two experts reviewed 32 different models of hangers for over 8 hours.
This guy helps make my point from yesterday clear. If you make a product for everyone I hope you have a rich and generous uncle. But if you focus on a small niche, you’ll find people who actually give a damn about you.
Winston Churchill said, “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” There’s nothing wrong with all animals. But if you like pigs, market to pigs. Cats and dogs will be fine without you.
If you have a marketing problem, you probably have a storytelling problem. Marketers talk about storytelling. A lot. Musicians talk about it. Screenwriters talk about it. It’s important. I even give away a free book showing you how to do it better.
Something is missing though. It’s missing in your google search. It’s missing in my PDF, and it’s probably missing from your website.
Instead of telling people the glamour and glitz as to why you’re better tell them why you care instead. Tell them what drives you and what made you who you are today.
I received a 3×8 inch flyer on my house door. It was black text on yellow paper and it had no pictures. I have no idea if the flyer is a winner but I thought it was brilliant because it was so different. The text began like this:
THERE’S A “HANDYMAN” IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
My name is Brandon. My wife, family and I have lived in Surprise for the past few years. For a number of years I have been a part of the residential remodeling and repair industry. I now operate “My Neighborhood Handyman….
Within a few sentences you know what he does, who he is, his background, and where he lives. Immediately he has rapport with me and I imagine many others in my neighborhood too. Yet, this little flyer shatters most marketing wisdom…
Where’s his compelling headline? Where is the problem? Why isn’t he agitating it? Where’s the visuals? You can’t market with just text?
Yes, you can. When it’s you. When you become a market of one you can ignore many of the rules. Why? Because sales happen when your audience knows, likes, and trusts you. What can do that more than telling them who you are?