The biggest thing that will make your marketing pointless?

In a previous blog post I showed you why it’s so important to be liked.

    Today, I’m going to say something that sounds like I’m contradicting myself. I’m not.

Earth with the tag 'don't panic'

Be bold, not bland.

One of the biggest things that will render your marketing pointless, wasting your time, effort and money, is trying to please everyone.

It’s not possible.

So you need to work with the Chelsea Principle in mind. That’s what my mentor, Peter Thomson, calls this way of thinking.

He calls it the Chelsea Principle because it can be shortened to SW3.

Some will, some won’t, so what?

It’s a fact of life – and business – that not everyone is going to like you. And that’s okay.

Some people will. Some people won’t. So what?

The best people to do business with are those who like you and who are like you. So repelling the others is fine. In fact, it’s good.

You will have to be a bit brave about things, though.
You can’t please everyone all the time, so don’t even try. You’ll waste time and money and you’ll exhaust yourself.

If you try to please everyone, you won’t just fail – you won’t please anyone. Oh, don’t get me wrong; you probably won’t offend anybody. But would you really want that as your legacy?

Janet Pinkington-Smyth of Acme Products Ltd. She was mostly harmless.

Of course not.

You want your legacy to be a stonkingly successful business, right? Right.

To do that, you have to dare to be yourself.

To build that brilliant business, you’re going to have to risk offending some people. You have to polarise your market. Drive away the people who won’t make great customers, and attract the ones who’ll stick with you. The ones who’ll do you the honour of giving you their hard-earned cash in return for your great, personal service.

Those are the profitable customers.

You see, there’s really no such thing as B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer). And don’t listen to any so-called “guru” who tells you there is a difference. All there is, is P2P – person-to-person.

Now don’t misunderstand me – there is an appropriate tone of voice for different people. You wouldn’t necessarily talk to a lawyer the same way you’d talk to a crafter. But you’re not looking at it from a B2B/B2C perspective, you’re looking at it from a people’s personality perspective.

Nobody buys from a business, we all buy from people. People have personalities.

Think about it.

I could buy my orange juice from anyone, but I choose to buy it from Innocent. It’s a little more expensive, but I love the company. It has personality. It’s committed to using good stuff with no additives and it does good things for the community. It has real people behind it.

You need to put yourself into your business because that is what will set you apart from everyone else in your market. If you don’t, you’re just another faceless corporation who doesn’t understand your customer.

Go and take a look at your website and see what it says about you. Try and look at it through the eyes of an outsider. Be honest, now. Is it desperately inoffensive and instantly forgettable? Or is it lively and full of your personality?

Is your marketing bland and corporate? Or is it full of humanity and warmth and enthusiasm for your products and your customers?

What is it about you and your business that makes you special?

Think about that – really think about it – before tomorrow.


P.S.  It may sound a bit nuts for me to tell you to polarise your market. To attract only some of your potential customers and repel the others. But it makes perfect sense for two reasons.

First, why would you want to do business with people you don’t like much? People who drop in, pay as little as possible, then run off to the next cheap deal?

Second, the people you attract, the ones who love you, will be the ones who stick with you. They’re the ones who really buy into what you’re offering and stay long-term, who you can really help. And they’ll be the ones who are of most value to you over the years.

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