financial prospecting cave drawing

Brand Strategy-Connect to Yourself Before You Connect to Your Prospect

A picture is worth a thousand words. It’s easy to imagine someone thinking this as they finished the first cave drawing in Lascaux over 20,000 years ago. But what are the ‘thousand words’ they are turned into?

financial prospecting cave drawing

The effects that images have on us has not diminished since then. It explains why the internet is packed with pictures and videos they are a core online marketing strategy. The moving images attract our jaded attention and they convey much more information than text can within the same period of time.

What Words?

But there is something we often forget about images, whether video or still. They are ultimately turned BACK into words of some sort inside our brains. True – images like the Mona Lisa can leave us in wordless awe, but most of the images we see each day get turned into some sort of message.

So what message do you wish to convey about your business and or services? Whatever you come up with must support your brand strategy. Most online conversations start with a well-designed brand message (web copy, blog post, etc.)  accompanied by an eye-catching image.

The core question is –

What is the message you wish to convey and…..

…..what can you do to help your prospect remember it?

Here are three ways you can add power to your marketing messages.

#1 Speak From Your Own Life (great brand strategy)

It’s tempting, I know, to google a good quote from some ‘sage’ either contemporary or ancient and try to trade off their wisdom. Although it’s great to share some else’s hard-won insight, it’s often a fool’s economy.

By drawing attention to a ‘great thinker’ you make it subtly but significantly more difficult to make yourself / your brand look special. The quotes are not unique and quite probably the reader has encountered them before so now they are becoming a cliche. Sad but true – pithy wisdom becomes a cliche when repeated often enough.

One of the few ways your words can stand out in the crowded info-circus that is the net, is speaking from your own experience. Here you have a monopoly on uniqueness.  There is only one of you – unless you’re an identical twin but let’s not split hairs.

‘When I was 31 years old I was involved in a road accident that involved my own car running me over. I incurred severe life-altering damage to a disc, this did not stop some of my work colleague enjoying the joke about what a poor driver I was. ‘

Speaking from your experience in your marketing copy guarantees (more or less) that the reader will not have ever encountered the message before. Unique and great copy leads to more conversions – so heads up.

#2 Be Authentic

Just because you have decided to speak from your own experience does not guarantee that you will be authentic. We are often tempted to relate events in language designed to be socially acceptable. Often this leads to a sanitized version of the story or point.  Now your message sounds like everyone else’s.

Writing your copy or having it written to reflect how you really felt or feel, warts ‘n’ all, can be a great way to convey authenticity. Humans have an ear for the authentic because unfortunately, it is becoming rather rare in our society.

‘When I was ten years of age, my best friend was Herbie who was only three. He was also a pig. He happened to be paraplegic as well. One day my father shipped Herbie off to the abattoir without discussing or even mentioning it to me. Several months later I discovered the eggs and bacon I had just consumed at breakfast contained parts of my deceased best friend. The experience should have turned me into a rabid vegetarian, but sadly it just left me with a lingering sense of the occasional, twisted unfairness of life.’

Granted you may not have had this kind of experience but you have had many experiences that taught you something about life. Notice that I did not say that I became a vegetarian. Instead, I attempted to speak authentically.

Connecting a story from your own life to a core value that underpins your services, is a very powerful (and memorable) way to grab your reader’s attention by the scruff of their neck. You don’t have to have led an Indiana-Jones-type lifestyle either.

Like everyone else, you have experienced tragedy, joyful moments, surprising successes. These are the ‘compost’ from which your best marketing copy can emerge.  Even if you are relying upon a marketing agency to write your copy – you should insist that their writers tap into stories that are about you, your colleagues or team members own lives.

Then connect these stories in an authentic way to why you do what you do for a living, or why you are in business. This pretty much guarantees your business a unique ‘brand-message’

#3 Share Secrets

I’m not suggesting inappropriate information of course – that would achieve the opposite of attraction. I mean little known facts that are of an intimate but appropriate nature.

‘I can’t stand celery – even the smell of it drives me crazy. If it is ever served by accident in a salad, I have been known to hide the pieces in sugar bowls, etc. in restaurants. I feel deeply sorry for those folk who discover this after I leave, but for some weird reason don’t have the courage to ask staff to simply remove the offending vegetable.’

A true secret that may linger (like the celery in the sugar bowl) for a while in your mind.  If you are in business, it’s probably for more reasons than simply making money.  Those reasons matter.  They convey your commitment to something other than monetary gain.

Share a few ‘secrets’ and let your reader (prospect) discover some of the other things that make you tick. Other things that make you unique. By doing so you automatically make yourself and your brand more approachable. We both know what this can do for sales inquiries and business development, so I won’t labor the point.

Enough gabbing. Time for you to do something.

Right now while paraplegic pigs and pieces of celery hiding in sugar bowls are still fresh in your mind, jot down a few memories you have of your childhood or later (although childhoods can be very juicy!). Don’t worry about how they fit with any kind of marketing story. Bang them out without a care in the world (because frankly, the world does not care – hah).

Then walk away.

Revisit what you wrote down tomorrow. You may be surprised what you ‘see’ in those stories after leaving them alone for a while (remember little Bo-Peep’s sheep). One or more of these stories may end up being very useful in the creation of solid engaging marketing copy. Copy like this contributes to your growth strategy in many ways and will garner traffic for a long time.

An image can be worth a thousand words. And sometimes a word can cause a thousand images – as long as it is your own experience, authentic and even better – also a secret. (don’t tell anyone I told you this)

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