“The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague.” ~ Bill Cosby
You know what drives me crazy? Home-based businesses that try to advertise and market like a big corporate monster. From the 1980’s.
One of the biggest benefits of being small is agility and the personal touch. It’s an asset. You can develop deep relationships on a personal level. Shallow cultivation works great for turnips, but not for business relationships.
I’m constantly surprised by the number of home-based entrepreneurs that still think that marketing and advertising is some sort of trick. Like 3-card Monty — you just need to learn the moves.
I actually had one guy tell me “I’m trying to get some bloggers to talk about our stuff. You know, making relationships, and all that.”
Making relationships. Like with an Easy-Bake oven.
Cultivating bloggers like traditional media is an old-school view of people as message receptacles. But involving customers in a strategic communications plan is a better form of message management, especially if it’s not about pitching them.
As a home-based entrepreneur, you have the ability to evangelize your wares right to the individual, rather than the nebulous masses. It’s no longer advertising, in the way Cosby explained it in the opening quote. From Paul McEnany’s article for Madison Avenue Journal and reposted on his site:
So maybe it’s time we just stop calling what we do advertising. What it is now is much too personal to be so shorted with that brand of commercial artistry. When before we were segmented and massified at the same time, today we are increasingly individualized, personalized, and magnified. 10 years ago I wasn’t much more than a 25-34 year-old male with a paycheck, but today, I stand before you proudly as me and only me.
When it comes to cultivating business relationships, don’t try to be big and don’t be shallow. Embrace your agility and your depth.
Be authentic. Be specific. Be transparent. Build real relationships and get excited about sharing your unique offerings to the world.
There’s never been a better time to be small.