If you’ve visited a bookstore recently, you’ll know the world isn’t short on tomes about content marketing and pushing customers’ buttons.
But if there’s one thing largely absent from these titles, it’s the most obvious — yet most secret — way to connect with others: Excitement.
Call me simple – and you won’t be the first – but this is something that so many of us struggle with when it comes to marketing. Most of us think of the products, and a select few move on to conspiring about ways to showcase their benefits instead of features.
Wow, haven’t we come a long way?
My dad used to own a market stall selling seafood. My super sexy job was to go and clean out the crab shells before he dressed them beautifully and made his customers smile.
But I don’t think it was my handiwork with the hose or his elegant craftwork that sealed the deal. I think it was the way he described with great gusto the flavors his patrons would savor, the delicate ingredients that combined to render the eating of his dressed crab an experience to remember.
He had passion by the bucket load, and he was genuinely in love with his job. I suspect it was because he didn’t have to clean out those damn crabs himself, but that’s the privilege of being the boss (and having a son who would do anything to supplement his pocket money to buy more sweets).
It was his excitement that built the business.
I remember people would come calling when their freezers were full of seafood, just to cheer themselves up or to strike up a conversation about, well, pretty much anything. The passion of my dad was unmatched, and it was magnetizing. He was a master of building relationships and connecting at a deeper, more emotional level with his customers than any other shopkeeper I’ve ever met. I’m biased, of course, but he really was a special guy when it came to making customers feel special.
His secret recipe for success had nothing to do with those dressed crabs, and everything to do with the fact that when he got excited about stuff, the whole place came alive. Or maybe that should be plaice – but that would be plain weird.
Focus on the exciting
My own marketing book, Sharing Superheroes, only skirted the issue of excitement. But I’m an excited kinda guy and I rarely think about it, which isn’t the best way to plan for a book, I admit.
Today I know that every ounce of my efforts as a content creator-for-hire needs to be pumped into agitating my partners in business to a state of great excitement. I use a bit of Jedi psychology to find where my clients’ real passion lies. And when we start working on a content strategy, instead of aligning ourselves in the traditional sense to events calendars and new product launches, we look toward things that are changing and evolving at the heart, not temporal, level.
Whenever I punch out a newsletter, I only write about stuff that leaves me in a state of high excitement. My latest focus of adulation is on If This Then That, the incredible tool that everyone else but me has been using for aeons that ties together multiple applications to make you more efficient. Being able to automatically have my favorite tweets be posted to a notebook in Evernote rocks my world. And I want to tell the world – probably for the second, third or hundredth time they’ve heard about it.
But the one thing we know as marketers is that we’re all unique. I tell tales in a different way than you, your sister, your boss. And these different perspectives are what make the experience worthwhile for our customers of today and tomorrow.
Only tell people what excites you. Have an ‘I’m excited!’ button in the middle of your office for people to press when something piques their interest, so they can share the moment. Have a five minute ‘I’m pumped!’ session in your weekly meeting for those tips, tricks, tools and resources that have rocked the worlds of you and your cohorts.
Build your content calendar on that. Because there’s nothing so intoxicating and irresistible as that cocktail of excitement and passion.
I hope you too will start to redefine your marketing practices to revolve around excitement and the sharing of those groovy times with your clients, and watch them glide towards you on an unprecedented plateau of trust and loyalty.
These are, indeed, exciting times.