Let's face it. Your customers don't want to hear that deep, echoey radio voice holler at them to get to your car dealership TODAY, TODAY, TODAY! There are better ways to get your message across.
There are authentic ways to get your message across.
What are your business's core values? Core values are the guiding principles that define what your business represents and hopes to achieve-and thus sets it miles apart from the competition. If you haven't done it already, sit your overworked butt down and write them out. I don't care how many other things you have to do. If you don't have a defined set of core values, you're doing business on a platform that could cave at any minute. So aim for five core values. Ours at Writers of the Round Table are Integrity, Brilliance, Joy, Synergy, and Creativity, and we strive to infuse everything we do with these values. (If you need some guidance on core values email me personally and I'll send you a worksheet I have created to lead you through labeling and defining your values.)
How will core values help you create more authentic marketing? Let's say you own a hair salon, and one of your core values is Friendship. Hold a bi-monthly free Happy Hair Hour, in which women can get their hair shampooed and blow-dried while enjoying wine, champagne, or a cappuccino. Turn on the music. Encourage laughter, intermingling, silliness, conversation. Trust me. Events like this will reach-and keep-far more loyal customers than the newspaper ad you bought for $1,000 (and at a fraction of the price!)
If you're a restaurant and teamwork is one of your core values, how do you exemplify that? Instead of wasting time and money telling everyone you're a great team, invest a little every month in events that bring your employees together to solve problems as a team outside of your restaurant - raising money for a charity, playing in a sporting event, running through a team based obstacle course. Your investment in that core value will redefine your employees through their behavior and then everyone who comes to your restaurant will feel what a team is. The value of that feeling is immense. That's what people talk about when they leave and that creates inexpensive word of mouth marketing that attracts real business!
More ideas? Start a blog and be real with it. Show current and potential customers who you are behind that suit. Don't be afraid to be funny or brash or to rant about something in your industry that bugs you. Just please-make sure your blog is clear and (mostly) grammatically correct! Have someone read it over if you tend to Capitalize Words at will or keep a sentence running long long after it should stop like I'm doing now.
The point is this: Most of your customers have a built-in B.S. detector. They are looking to see if what you say and what they feel or see in your behavior don't match up in which case they will write you off IMMEDIATELY. If you wanna make that B.S. detector beep and keep beeping, just snail mail them a three-page sales letter. If you actually want to confuse that detector and attract customers, show them who you really are as a business and as individuals. You'll be shocked at the results that being real brings to your company.