Be Remarkable, Be Like Seth

Posted on April 8, 2013

Competition in business is like stepping into a piranha infested sea, if you don’t stand out you’ll be quickly eaten alive. Unfortunately, too many businesses struggle to reinvent themselves or offer anything different to their niche or industry.

Let’s face it, some people just aren’t naturally creative or just don’t have a clear vision about their company. Should those reasons really stop you from coming up with an interesting business or a strong brand. I don’t think so.

If you’re simply not the creative type, then hire a designer who can come up with some genius idea or talk to the brand agency who can help you come up with a clear vision.

Or even simpler still just be like Seth does and BE REMARKABLE.

Become the Purple Cow

The Purple Cow

Presentation slide I designed for Kunle Campbell’s talk ‘Building Thought Leadership – Beyond SEO’

If you haven’t yet heard of Seth Godin, he’s one of the world’s leading experts on Marketing and Business, a multi best selling author.

In Seth Godin’s book ‘The Purple Cow‘ he made the argument that:

‘The TV model of I make average stuff for average people but promote it a lot, or I have good location or my hours are convenient - is broken. It’s broken because there are too many choices, there are too many average things to choose from. The alternative is to make something worth talking about.  Make something remarkable. Because ideas that spread WIN.’

YOU have to get out of the traditional midset of being just like everyone else. You’re not going to win if you’re making more average stuff and adding it to already crowded market. Seth gives the visual concept of why be another brown cow in the pasture field when you can be the Purple Cow instead!

On the Internet nothing is more important than connecting with consumers. It’s all about building relationships, people forget that on the web you can be as visual and interesting as you like. In fact, the Internet gives you even more possibilities than any other medium to speak to consumers directly.

The question is WILL you spread the word and HOW will you do it? Are you going to shout about your average products and services to anyone who will listen? Or will you create something worth talking about? Go create something that is remarkable.

How can you do MORE like Seth?

Often, the biggest mistake a business can make with their website is making it all about THEMSELVES! It’s not designed for that. Your web presence is for your customers and you should make it about THEM.

Have you ever noticed how most website copy goes off on a complete tangent? We did this, we sell that, we produce this, we like those, look how great WE ARE. Does anyone really care about WE?

Start by telling stories that matter. Create something worth talking about. Even, if its just creating a remarkable looking website – that alone can generate exposure and interest around your business.

My first website design of Smartdog digital accumulated in getting featured on some the top web design blogs in the world – I gained links, a tone of traffic and most importantly exposure from it.

All it took was some genuine effort and love poured into the design stage.

What I could have done better was making the copy and services something worth talking about. By just following the example of other agencies and businesses in my niche was probably my one biggest mistake. I may have had a strong brand and website worth talking about but my copy and services were UNREMARKABLE.

I recently sat down with a client who supplied me with the most AVERAGE boring copy that I’ve ever read. I asked him two simple question;

If a customer were to read this copy what impression do you think it would give them about your overall business and services? Would it inspire them to buy from you today?

He answered that it would not give the right impression about the business and offer reasons why they are different to their competition. It also  would not inspire them to buy.

Having reminded him that the brand and website we created together did stand out from his competition, he went away to improve the copy and make it something worth talking about. The difference was really clear to see.

There are some alternatives ways to writing WE based website copy. For example you could write;

  • Your self-confidence will be increased by using our products
  • This service will change your life
  • You can get your money back if you are not 100% satisfied
  • This is HOW our service will help you

Sure, these are all better than just saying we. They are more focused on the benefits to the end customer but do they go far enough. The answer is NO. If all your competitors did the same, then how are you remarkable?

Making your Content Remarkable

With the Internet even more competitive than ever before. Many businesses have adopted the model of content marketing or as I prefer to refer to call it ‘Thought Leadership‘ – becoming an authority in your field or industry.

This can apply to people blogging about a particular topic or industry but for a retail business for example; how do they make their content remarkable?

The answer is simple do something different to the rest, do not follow the crowd.

Here are some simple ideas that you can employ to make your content more remarkable;

  • Write about something that matters to you
  • Tell a great story about your business - perhaps you went the extra mile to help out a customer
  • Drop the ‘Top 10′ post – everyone else does them, they are NOT remarkable
  • Create an interesting video
  • Showcase your products
  • Produce a unique piece of insight or research
  • Run an experiment and publish the results
  • Don’t just write posts for search engines – an overly optimised blog post can kill off any interest in the title or content
  • Ask your customers for ideas
  • Run an event and spread the word
  • Share amazing images
  • Do something for charity
  • Give a rememberable talk – think about creating a great TED style talk

I recently put together a presentation design for Kunle Campbell of Fuzzone – his talk titled ‘Building Thought Leadership – Beyond SEO‘ discusses what you can do as an alternative to only focusing on improving your search engine optimisation.

He also talks about how thought leadership is not shameless self-promotion and that it is a defined strategic method to influencing links and rankings.

Google has even started rewarding thought leaders and if your business has the resource, time and talent – you should focus on driving the conversation online and round your business and services.

P.S – If you loved this presentation and would like something creating for your business. Come talk to me over at The Presentation Designer.

I hope this helps you the next time you think about your website copy or when you next approach creating a web presence for your business.

Is it remarkable? Is it a Purple Cow? Is it something worth talking about?

If the answer is NO. Don’t launch it and spend the time getting that right first. If your current website is unremarkable, boring and dull – then seriously just go fix it now. You’ll thank me later.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Get involved people I don’t bite. Trolls go home.