On a hot, 80-degree plus afternoon, I decided to go for a jog in my neighborhood. While I was not trying to use this time to think, without an iPod (mine has been lost for several months), my mind started wandering, and I began making note of my surroundings. In my observations of my neighbor’s lawns and houses, I started making connections to the marketing world (I know – what a nerd!)
So what do my neighbors’ houses have to do with marketing your business? Here are some marketing lessons learned while jogging:
1. Curb Appeal: People do notice. Does your business have a nice appearance on the outside? Whether you have a retail shop or you are representing yourself at networking events, are you coming across with a nice first impression? Just as I saw many houses with poor landscaping, weeds and grass that desperately needed mowed, your business might be in need of a little curb appeal too. Could you use a new logo? Website? A new suit or tie to replace those shorts you’ve been wearing to the Chamber luncheons? Why would I want to buy what you’re selling if you don’t look appealing?
2. A “Wow” Factor: Does your business have one thing that is its specialty — something extraordinary for which you’re uniquely known? Just as some of the houses I noticed on my block had a really cool landscaping feature or porch furnishing that made their house stand out, you too need something to stand out from your competitors. Think of why your customers buy from you, time and time again, to get a clue for something that you could start marketing as your “wow” factor (or USP). For my business, it would be that I am a good business writer that also understands SEO (search engine optimization).
3. Look Better than your Competitors: If you have a for sale sign in your front yard, you’d better have that house looking its best, or why would I want to buy your house over another one down the street? On my jog, I saw houses for sale with immaculately kept yards, and others with enough weeds to make a lawn care company cringe. The same holds true for marketing our businesses. If you want to win business from your competitors, you’d better be one of the best looking business on the block, or I will shop elsewhere.
I saw some other cool things while on my run, but these were the top three tips that stuck in my mind. Hope they have helped you think a little bit differently about marketing and first impressions. Now I think I’ll go pull some weeds in my front yard…