While many complain about being out of work, I am grateful for the opportunity to think about the things that are truly important in life – and by life, I mean marketing and advertising. I think that we can’t grow as professionals until we are able to take a step back and put things in perspective, so, without further ado, here is my list of Universal Truths that I have embraced this week:
- Be all about the love. Never be afraid to establish an intimate, one-on-one relationship with your customers. I discovered this Truth during a recent trip to a mall. I happened to wander in because I was in the neighborhood and had some extra time on my hands. As I strolled past the stores, I was approached by several different kiosk vendors who desperately wanted to sell me their wares at unbelievably discounted rates. While eventually I wanted to run from these people, I was impressed by their assertiveness. Yes, they were aggressive in their approaches, but they managed to tailor their messages specifically to me. For example, there was a guy who wanted to sell me a manicure set. When I told him that I did not have the money for the kit because I’m out of work, he altered his guilt-laden pitch by reminding me how important details like nails are when you’re in an interview. Tricky? Yes, but it was effective and memorable. One important thing to note is that your customer is so bombarded by sales messages that s/he tends to tune them out. Stand out above the noise by becoming a brand that your customer trusts because you have their best interests at heart and aren’t just out to make a sale.
- Be true to yourself. Take a lesson from one of the most hated men in America, Jason Mesnick (aka “The Bachelor“), and be completely honest about your brand and what you’re all about. Never misrepresent yourself to your customers, they will catch on and tell their friends. But, should you hit a bump in the road, make like Jason’s jilted fiancee, Melissa – make the best of it , but don’t wallow for too long.
- Embrace your business with child-like enthusiasm. This Truth came to me last week as my husband and I took our daughter to the playground. During this 45-minute trip, she was in perpetual motion, making new discoveries and new friends, only stopping when she was completely exhausted. At the age of 3, there is always something new to discover and someone new to meet. This is what I believe to be the most important Truth in life and in business – you either have passion or you don’t.
Ultimately, it is up to you to look for new ways to breathe life into your brand – don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. You need to meet your customers, get to know them on their level, and become relevant to them. Make new discoveries about your brand and what it means to your customers, and, most importantly, enjoy what you do or else it’s time to look for a new line of work.