In Part 1 of this series, I explained that marketing is not simply about hawking your wares. Certainly it’s about communicating what you have to offer, but how you do that is what makes the difference between feast and famine.
Whether we know it and like it or not, most decisions in life are fueled at least in part by emotion, and that goes for buying decisions large and small. Our brains are equipped with both reasoning and emotional centers, and each factors into decision making. More often than not, people buy from emotion and justify with reason, so it’s important to know how to emotionally connect with them.
In online marketing, making emotional connections is especially important because the digital world is immediate, urgent and can seem highly impersonal. It doesn’t give us the time or intimacy to know and trust people like face-to-face interactions do. That contributes to a lack of trust (and unfortunately, fraud) online, so allowing people to get to know you digitally goes a long way toward creating the confidence consumers and business people alike need to buy from you in any channel.
Thankfully it’s easier than ever to create emotional connections online due to social media and content publishing platforms that are easier and more accessible than ever before. Last month I covered the first two steps to doing so; here are steps three and four of six that I recommend:
3) Create Resonance
When you authentically and transparently communicate with your target audience, they resonate with you. You get reactions like “this is perfect for me!” or “finally someone understands what I’m going through!”
When you resonate you strike a chord with your audience. You both tune into the same “vibe”, and it results in comfort and trust, allowing you to sell in a non-salesy environment. Just as in music, you’re singing to the same tune as your audience, harmonizing with them by recognizing their needs, pain, challenges or struggles and meeting them in that space.
Enlightened Emarketing Tip: Write for your target market, not the world at large. Not everyone is your potential customer! The more you have a specific profile of your ideal clients and the more you know about your existing best customers, the better you’ll learn to relate to them. A great exercise when writing email, blog posts and articles is to imagine you’re speaking to your favorite three customers over dinner – what would you say to them?
When you resonate with your target audience, they perceive you as authentic, real and passionate about what you do and as a result, they will follow you anywhere and – this can be huge – overlook mistakes when you inevitably make them. Or, if they can’t overlook your missteps, they’ll at least stick with you through tough times.
Either resonance (positive) or dissonance (negative) means people have connected with you. Like direct response marketing guru Dan Kennedy says, “If you’re not offending someone by noon, you’re doing something wrong!” Remember: the worst reaction is no reaction.
Ideally you want your marketing to generate more positive than negative reaction. While pain is a powerful motivator, if you don’t follow it up with promise and hope you’ll be stuck in the sucking quicksand of doom and gloom, and believe me, nobody wants to dwell there.
4) Cultivate Magnetism
What is magnetism? It is defined as “strong attractive power or charm”. It means your marketing has a distinct, attractive personality – either positive or negative. And if you have it, or can cultivate it, it’s the number one way to sell without ever being perceived as “pitching”.
Because the Internet is a crowded space, a magnetic personality is vital these days, and sometimes it requires outrageous, edgy or at least “dare to be different” approaches. If you don’t have a distinct personality, if you can’t stand out from the crowd, people will gloss over you or your business because they’ll perceive you as a commodity. And you can’t make an emotional connection with a commodity.
Enlightened Emarketing Tip: The secret to standing out from the crowd, even if there are thousands or millions of people doing the same thing as you, is to have a unique, targeted focus. A unique angle. It’s not about how you look, it’s about two “P” words: Positioning and Passion.
Positioning first: when you’re willing to put a stake in the ground and claim your space, your unique niche of people you want to serve and your unique system or way of serving them, that gives you magnetism. You will draw people to you. That might mean leveraging your unique quirkiness, your edge, or your laser focus, no matter how bizarre.
Second, your passion leads to Attraction Marketing. Your genuine interest in what you do, and in sharing it, naturally propels you to serve which allows you to effortlessly sell by way of serving. As a result you attract customers to you rather than having to pursue them. Draw people to you from your place of service, from your unique offering or gift to them, not from greed or desperation. You might have heard that before in this saying: “Bring your seed, not your need”.
I’ll bet you can think of several celebrities, authors and personalities who have equally powerful positive or negative magnetic personalities. On the positive side there’s someone like Oprah; on the negative, Rush Limbaugh comes to mind. Both are wildly attractive in different ways, because the truth is you can attract with a wide array of personality types. What I said about resonance also goes for magnetism: a strong reaction either toward or away from you is at least still a reaction that requires feeling.
By fostering resonance and magnetism you’re creating memorable marketing messages. Memorable messages are meaningful to us. We remember those that evoke emotional reactions and that are funny, inspiring, outlandish or provocative. Are your messages presented in a way that is worth remembering? If not, don’t be afraid to inject more transparency, authenticity, and personality into them. Worry less about if and how people will judge you and instead remember that any feeling is better than none at all.
I’ll conclude this series next month with the two final steps to creating emotional connections online, but in the meantime, tell me what you’ve done in your marketing? What’s working best for you?