We operate in an era where Snooki and the Kardashians remain in the spotlight for dubious and usually scandalous reasons. Where there is so much ambient noise that we all wear literal headphones everywhere and virtual blinders everywhere else. Where you and your small business need to stick out to be noticed … yes, like big boobs.
Is this a shameless attempt to garner your attention? Maybe. Hackneyed and clichéd? Absolutely. But it worked, because you’re still reading.
Let’s clear the air first. I’m not talking literal big boobs here. I’m definitely not encouraging anyone to hire job applicants solely on the basis of their gender or breast size (although I’m sure it’s been done before and will be done again). And I’m certainly not implying that you or anyone working for you should get breast augmentation surgery to boost business (although I’m sure people have done that and worse … human beings can be crazy creatures).
What I’m talking about here is honing in on an element of your business that makes someone stop and take notice. It could be your business name. Your logo. Your approach. Your marketing. Your product design. The way you deliver your service. Your way with words. Something that sticks out from the norm and makes people want to hang around to find out more.
By now, you’re either rolling your eyes, snickering, intrigued or completely offended (or some combination of the four). And that’s entirely the point. First, I got your attention. Second, now that I have your attention, I must keep it or you will simply move on to the next blog post, the next idea, the next product or service.
This is exactly why your business needs such an “augmentation.” You have to have something that truly differentiates who you are and what you do or you’re just going to get passed by.
Of course I’m painting in broad strokes. Of course I chose a massively loaded, cultural hot-button to make my point. Because if I hadn’t then you would just pass me by, too.
By now I have probably already lost some of you (especially those who majored in women’s studies in college).
So I’ll now let the rest of you in on a secret … you don’t want or even need to appeal to everybody, because your service isn’t for everyone. It is for a select group of people who appreciate your business equivalent of big boobs.
This is the biggest mistake many small business owners make when they approach the market. They assume everybody is their customer, whereas only a small segment of the population is actually their customer. This segment has their own particular needs, desires, preferences, idiosyncrasies, misconceptions, political leanings and, of course, sense of humor. And your big differentiator needs to be dialed into all these.
One thing we haven’t discussed yet is risk. The risk of writing a small business blog post about big boobs. The risk of putting yourself out there. The risk of doing something edgy or iconoclastic or outside of the norm. The risk of being different.
In high school, anyone who was different was mocked relentlessly (something I know all too well), and this pressure to conform keeps many of us from standing out, paralyzed by the fear of ridicule and failure.
But the people who take a big risk, who do something completely different and outlandish and singular, they are the ones who usually reap the rewards in life because they dared to be themselves and do something original.
So the question you need to ask yourself is … do you have the cojones to give your business big boobs? It doesn’t have to be as in-your-face or as indelicate as my approach here, but it must cut through the noise, and sometimes it takes something startling or even jarring to get people’s attention. What will shock your prospects into paying attention?
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