This is Part 5 Of the Fascinate Series inspired by Sally Hogshead’s sensational book “Fascinate”
Every community has rules. You fit in by following these rules. Even something as new as social media has it’s rules.
I’m sure you’ve heard the social etiquette list: Don’t promote yourself too often, Make sure you retweet other people’s links, post at least once a week, be positive, and wear your grown-up face when you talk about connecting, engaging, and conversation.
Most people follow these rules and “hope” they get rewarded for their obedience.
Others (intelligently) break these rules with impunity – and prosper.
What is the factor that makes Naomi Dunford’s off-color humor the key to attracting a huge audience? Or how does Johnny B. Truant’s irreverent perspective and Sugarrae’s vulgar, straight-from-the-hip advice attract huge audiences?
Sally Hogshead would point to “Vice”.
That’s right. Vice. Vice is anything that breaks the rules or violates the law.
Being the most ruthless player on Survivor. Branding yourself as the blogger with a penchant for salty language and flipping off A-list thought leaders. The pop star who turns panties and bras into a fashion statement. All of them are banking on YOUR fascination with vice.
I Am Pushing the Line Here, but keep reading (I dare you)
Sally points out that it’s not a good idea to tempt people to break the law. But, bending the rules is fair game.
I suspect that many niches could use a bad girl. J Look at your niche. If it is straight-laced and “by the book” you may have the opportunity to use vice. Here are some ways to pull it off using the tools outlined in Fascinate.
Have you noticed that people change how they talk when they write a blog post? All of a sudden they are stuffy, corporate, kiss-ups that can’t make a direct statement. Somehow, somewhere, some pin-head said that you have to professional to publish online. Bologna.
Just writing like you don’t have a pole-up your butt is breaking the rules. Your readers will love you for it.
I’ve always been stunned by the unwritten rules that people follow. Some of these rules stop businesses and individuals from using smart strategies that have imaginary risks.
For example, directly email influencers to mention your post is frowned upon because it would be too forward. Bah! Or, publicly disagreeing with an A-Lister’s idea and writing about it is bad form. Some blogging purists even consider writing long posts taboo. Whenever you uncover one of these taboos – flaunt them. Others are just waiting for you to have the guts to step forward and they will love you for it.
- “Growing a Pair”
I ain’t going to lie. I struggle with being a suck-up. I have my blogging idols and I can’t help but kiss their boots. Well, that is – I used to. Johnny B. Truant gave me a swift slap and I realized that the A-listers are just like you and me. Here’s what this means – you don’t have to agree, grovel, be fake, or blindly retweet just because something was written by an “influencer.
Avoiding “peer pressure” is a potent use of “vice”. Walking your own path, having your own voice, and establishing your own style – no matter what is powerful stuff. You’ll find that the “A-Listers” respect people who aren’t constantly kissing their butt.
What To Avoid
Vice works best in moderation. Simply being contrarian isn’t good enough. Soon you will just be branded as a pain-in-the-butt. Before you break a rule or embrace a taboo, carefully understand the consequences. You will get more attention, but is the new celebrity worth any potential damage to your brand?
Be bold but don’t be reckless.
Is Vice just a bit too naughty for you. Or are you already using a touch of vice you naughty dog?
(Image Sheep purple)