I’ve been a huge fan of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ (SYTYCD), the TV reality show dance competition. You follow the contestants through their journey from audition to ‘top ten’ to the winner, ‘America’s Favorite Dancer.’ I celebrated Mark becoming lead dancer for Lady GaGa, Robert’s car accident and amazing comeback, and Twitch and Allison’s marriage (You fans know what I’m talkin’ about!).
Each week the dancers perform and stand before the judges to be critiqued, then voted through or off by the fans. You’ll spot a dancer at the auditions who has amazing technique, started taking dance lessons at age 4, personable, poised, beautiful face, a shoo-in for the top 5. But as the competition goes on you notice her dancing is just not clicking somehow, you don’t feel moved by her.
And the judges call her out, saying she’s not connecting emotionally with the music, not conveying authentically the story the dance is meant to tell. They encourage her to reach down inside, to let go, FEEL it.
Then another dancer comes along – let’s say a hip-hop street dancer who never took a lesson in his life. He dances his heart out, makes the music come alive, tells a story through his movement that moves you to tears. He doesn’t show perfect technique, but he reaches down and pulls from his life experience and connects emotionally with the story the choreographer meant to tell.
I cry, the judges cry, everybody in the audience cries. Something deep and magical has just taken place on that stage, and everybody knows it and feels it. And of course vote to keep him in the competition. Whatever he’s selling, they’re buyin’.
So, what does this have to do with your marketing content? Everything.
Have you ever landed on someone’s homepage ready to buy, but as you skim down the page, something’s not ringing true? All the right marketing stuff seems to be there – professional look, colors that pop, copy that was written to grab your attention…but it doesn’t. You can’t put your finger on it, but there’s something not quite trustworthy or likable about it. So you move off the site, and buy from someone else.
Like the dancer with great technique but no heart, the business that produced this website missed the emotion part. What grabs our attention is truth, likeability, sincerity, passion, even vulnerability. What engages and builds the emotional connection that inspires us to make a purchase ultimately? Not perfectly executed technique as much as how the experience makes us feel.
“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carl Buehner
That’s what raises your voice above the online marketing white noise to connect with the clients who really need and want your services. It’s what distinguishes you from other businesses that offer a similar product/service.
The dance coach will say, “Forget your technique! You’ve got it down, now forget it and just dance – let go, engage your emotions, feel the music, be the dance!”
Am I saying forget marketing technique?? No! There is a lot of valid, market-tested information out there, and marketing specialists with valuable expertise to share. Read the blogs and books, take webinars, get a coach, understand social media and marketing basics.
Then, when you sit down to write… throw all that stuff out of your mind– it’s in there, you’ve studied it, you know what to do. Take some moments to stop, connect with your purpose and remember why you do what you do, the lives you influence for the better. Begin to write from that place, and your unique brilliance and voice will come through.
Image thanks to 123rf/Leszek Glasner
I help small-business owners succeed in making a BIG impact with their marketing – for their clients, their bottom line, the betterment of the world – through authentic, strategic, and powerful messaging.
28+ years in marketing communications, I adapt tried-and-true communications principles to today’s dynamic online marketing world. And I confess…I’m a life-long word lover, grammar geek and compulsive typo-finder!
If you’re ready to create or improve your marketing message content, let’s talk.
If you’re like most solo/small business owners, you’re busy spinning so many plates to keep your business running that your marketing gets pushed to the back burner. You’re not intentional or strategic about your content marketing – in fact you’re winging it! Am I right?? C’mon you can tell me – we’re all doing it, even the Big Fish in the Business Sea!