When You Feel Like No One is Paying Attention. ALTERNATIVES TO SHOUTING!
Trying to market yourself on the internet is a bit like being a singer in a bar. You may have the help of a mic (aka your marketing strategies) & you probably have a killer dress & heels (aka your gorgeous design) but you still have to be heard over all the conversation. Not to mention the waiters taking orders, the pings of every bloody cell phone, the scraping of chairs, the laughter & the endless clink of glasses.
Chances are their conversations are more interesting & personally relevant to them than whatever message you're singing about.
Now imagine that bar has 1232 other stages all with other singers performing at the same time as you are & it's starting to feel a bit more like the interwebs.
Which means we can kinda sympathise with those folks who look at all that & feel hopeless. They get a little shouty with their all caps & slick marketing tricks & latest gimmicks.
Sometimes...it even seems to work (which is MORE discouraging for the rest of us) but only for a while. They're playing a short game & your clients are savvy people who won't tolerate that style of selling for long.
So, how do you get heads to swing your way while staying aligned with your Brand Voice & values?
Humans are insatiably curious. If you've ever met a child you know this to be true. I'm an absolute broken record every time I step into a store with my 5-yr-old repeating the "look with your eyeballs not your fingertips" mantra. Because he's curious and wants to touch & explore EVERYTHING.
While we're naturally curious our brains are also working 2 steps ahead busy guessing what will happen next.
What will she say? What will happen next in the movie/ book/ TV show? What will this experience be like? In the case of my son...what will happen to this object if I throw it at my sister & how will she respond?
We're constantly predicting everything.
So...if you want to get someone's attention?
Make them guess wrong. Create a "Wait...what?" moment. Break the script. Say something unexpected.
Make sure it's still relevant to what you do. Don't just say something unexpected for the sake of shock value.
Here's an example (because we love examples, right?).
Let's say you're a website designer.
You might say something like...Your website is your digital first impression. That's the kind of average, boring, clichéd statement you see on the web.
How could you say something unexpected about web design instead? What if we flipped that boring statement on its head?
If your website is only designed to make a great first impression - you're doing it wrong.
Now that evokes curiosity because it goes against the prevailing wisdom which says that first impressions are SO important. And it makes the reader want to find out what they don't know. It creates a gap in knowledge.
You thought we were going to say first impressions were important but we didn't, we said if that's your focus you're doing it wrong. You guessed incorrectly now you want to know what we're going to say next because you're not so sure you can predict it anymore.
Curiosity kicks in.
And as long as you FOLLOW IT UP with valuable information that makes the reader feel understood, creates an emotional connection & makes them think with a compelling story you'll keep their attention & their clicks.