I’m sure you’ve heard of Lemmings – those rodents who conveniently commit mass suicide by jumping off cliffs into the raging ocean.
Well it happens to be a myth with its origins in a Walt Disney movie, Wild Wilderness, released in 1958. Animals live to survive and thrive.
However it does show how easily a myth can become part of common thinking.
And so it is with marketing.
The Lemming theory of marketing states, “Conventional marketing wisdom in [insert your industry] dictates we should be doing X, Y, and Z. Everyone does things this way so it must be right.”
And so a marketing myth is born. Everyone in a particular industry follows everyone else. Regardless of whether the methods are effective or not.
No one wants to stand out from the crowd and dare to be bold and different. No one wants to expose themselves to ridicule from their peers.
Lemmings one and all. The blind leading the blind towards the inevitable cliff of business oblivion.
So why does this happen and what should you do if you find yourself in a similar position?
First of all very few people want to stand out from the crowd. There’s safety in numbers and being part of the tribe. Taking a stand gets you noticed. And getting noticed inevitably leads to the risk of controversy, ridicule and even ostracism from your peers.
Which is painful.
But every society has outliers. Individuals who decide to rock the status quo. They take a stand and dare to be different. Some of them like JFK and Martin Luther King are killed for their beliefs.
But the world changed due to their sacrifice.
Now I’m not for a second suggesting you need to go to these lengths in your business. However, if you want to truly make a difference by being as successful as possible, you must take a stand and become an outlier in your industry.
You must differentiate yourself in the eyes of your market so your audience knows exactly what you stand for, allowing you to attract the right people. People who resonate with what you have to sell and are happy to spend their hard earned money in your business.
Enough theory, let’s talk specific examples from two highly conservative industries, Accounting and Financial Planning…
Practitioners in both tend to hate standing out from the crowd. They’re either afraid of getting noticed by ASIC or the ATO. Fearful of boldly stating what they can really do for their clients and the results they’ve achieved.
Looking at their websites you’ll see the same old boring platitudes. Nowhere will they make bold statements of what they’ve achieved for their clients and how you could benefit as well.
There is nothing in their marketing material which helps you choose one over the other.
And they wonder why they aren’t doing well!
Which is often when they come to us for help.
They know they provide a great service, get exceptional results for their clients, but can’t seem to get enough business in the door or charge what they really feel they should given their positive results
They know something needs to change. But what?
So this is what we do if you’re a client of ours.
Step one: Change your mindset.
Move from being a Lemming to accepting you have to stand out and stake your claim as an industry authority. Accept that doing so will open you up to scrutiny and possible controversy. Accept that you might polarise your audience. They’ll love you or hate you. There is no point in mediocrity.
A Financial Planning client of ours does this really well by regular appearances on ABC TV and articles in the Australian Financial Review and other industry mags.
Even though they’re young, they have a significant profile and attract good quality clients.
An Accountant client of ours has a regular guest spot on SKY which gives him immediate credibility.
Step two: Figure out why your clients love you – i.e. what is it you really achieve for them.
We do this by asking them!
Our in-depth interviews dig out what makes you unique in their eyes. We drill down into results, creating meaningful and specific case studies and testimonials used for social proof.
These interviews also give us tremendous market intelligence when it comes to creating new products or services that your clients are screaming out for and would buy if only you offered them.
We’ve just hived off a component of a major service for a client which we’re offering as a standalone entity which his market can purchase even if they don’t want his full service.
Step three: Create marketing material which shouts about your uniqueness, attracts the right people and repels others.
You don’t want to be an also ran. As a mentor of mine is fond of saying, “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.”
Step four: Drill and skill you and your team in sales skills. Getting a prospect to your door through effective marketing is only half the job. You need to convert them into buyers. And then keep them coming back for more.
If all of this seems like hard work, you’re right. It is. But what’s the alternative? Being one of the crowd and following the rest into oblivion?
Like it or not, the world of business is like a jungle. Only the fittest and cleverest survive, let alone prosper.
I don’t make the rules. Human nature does.
So you have a choice.
If you’re not happy with where your business is at financially, book yourself in for a strategy session with us. We’ll discuss where you’re at, where you want to get to, impediments in your path and how you can overcome them.
Join the hundreds of clients we’ve helped grow and become leaders in their field by standing out from the crowd.
All it takes is for you to make the first step – pick up the phone and call us on (02) 9499-7958 for a confidential discussion. Your call!
Rashid & Barbara.