I believe that we are all living out a story. You play the hero. You have villains, allies and mentors. You face and overcome tragedy. You triumph and sometimes fall short. The poets among us have called this the “human condition”
I feel that marketing is about connecting the vision of a business with each person’s story and businesses succeed when they have won a role in that story.
I love blogging because it is the purest way for a business to audition for a role in their customer’s story. Taking the metaphor a bit further I figure that the business blog needs to “nail” 5 lines to win the part of “friend.”
Here they are:
#1 Being Vulnerable: Vulnerable businesses are captivating. It’s nice to see Apple screw up every once in a while. It’s compelling when a consultant says “I was wrong. Let’s try another way.” Every once in a while, share your businesses bloopers reel.
#2 Being Sentimental: Every business has a sappy side that celebrates little things that mean a great deal. I once worked for an agency that burned to the ground. It’s employees watched it burn from the parking lot.
The next day, employees met in houses and coffee shops determined to not miss a single deadline. The day the newly rebuilt agency opened its doors, the employees received a sweatshirt with a match on the front. I still have that sweatshirt 14 years later.
Being sentimental isn’t weak. Its special and you should blog about it.
#3 Being Heroic: Sometimes it’s difficult to dream big. Our institutions have done a great job of training heroism out of us. Every once in a while a business does something heroic. Most likely someone in the business decides to dream big and pull the rest of their colleagues along. These times are special.
When was your businesses heroic moment? Tell your customers about it.
#4 Being Selfless: When was the last time your business did something truly selfless? Google pays the spouses of employees who’ve died up to half their salary for ten years and their children get $1,000 a month until they are 19. Amazing. Now I want to hear more about Google.
Your small business or large business probably does amazing selfless acts like this too. Your readers should hear about them. It makes them proud to do business with you.
#5 Being Foolish: Some things don’t make any sense.
I’m not sure why Google wants to build driverless cars. I wish I understood why Jeff Bezoes is committed to mining asteroids. Why in the heck does Richard Branson own Virgin Galactic? None of these things make sense. They seem foolish. But they do remind me that real people with crazy dreams run these businesses and I want to hear more. How about you?
There isn’t a Formula For You to Copy
You know I’m incredibly practical about blogging. I’m sure you were looking for a nice template to follow. Sorry.
The only nugget of wisdom I can give you is this…
Pay attention to the drama playing out in your readers’ lives. Look for the drama playing out in your own business. Find ways to connect the two.