In a world that’s overrun with virtual noise, overloaded with information and bombarded with marketing messages, it’s easy to fall into the make-it-sound-better-than-it-really-is trap so you can compete. But sometimes it’s better to just be real, and if necessary, painfully honest with your customers and targeted prospects.
For example, I was reading a blog post on a large business magazine’s website about how-to brand and market your company in only five minutes. “Sounds great,” I thought. Then I read the suggestions.
ï Create a company name.ï Register a domain name.
ï Create a logo.
ï Craft a mission statement.
ï Create your message.
ï Develop a social media campaign.
Excuse me… five minutes?
Even by using the websites the writer recommends for each of these suggestions, you can’t complete even one of these tasks in only five minutes. Or at least I can’t. Creating a company name took me weeks of planning and consideration. And that was with input from friends, family and colleagues.
And good luck on registering a domain name in five minutes. If you absolutely luck out and find one that’s available on the first try, you might come close. But if you have to create an account at GoDaddy (the site the author recommends), you can’t even do that in five minutes. It often takes longer than that for the email confirmation to come through to your inbox. And this one comes closer to only taking five minutes than the other items on the list.
Obviously, the point isn’t whether or not you can complete these six tasks, or even one of them, in five minutes. You can’t unless you’re Dash Incredible. The point is that the title is what drew me, and others, to click on that post. The author promised ideas I could theoretically use to market my business in five minutes. The fact is, he didn’t deliver.
Had that author billed these as simple ways to brand and market my business, or things anyone can do to brand and market a business, I would probably still have read the article. And I would have left feeling better about the writer and the website as a whole. Instead, I left feeling mislead and believing that I had been duped into spending my always-in-short-supply time on this article that didn’t deliver what was promised.
In a world that is fraught with dishonesty, saying what you mean and meaning what you say in your marketing messages, website content, sales brochures and any other business communications is more important than ever. Don’t let yourself become known as the company who overstates or misleads readers, clients or prospects.
Instead, think of how satisfying (and profitable) it would be to be known as the business owner, writer, professional, or [insert title here] who never misleads and always communicates with honesty. It’s a worthy goal and one that anyone can reach if they choose.