This is something many business owners wonder about, but few dare to ask.
When it comes to their marketing and social content, should they set out their stall as the man-on-the-street with strong opinions, or should they stay safe, and just keep to clichés, inspirational quotes and generic content?
It may not be the answer you want to hear, but if we’re being honest, sticking your neck out and saying what you think will get you noticed much, much more than if you were Bland Betty.
We’re not saying you should turn into Katie Hopkins, or that you should set out to purposely offend everyone (for example, absolutely avoid inflammatory subjects such as race or religion, etc. I.e. anything that’s personal or which has the potential to be divisive).
Hopkins is the extreme when it comes to opinions. We recommend somewhere halfway.
For example, rather than just telling your audience that your product is the bees’ knees, like Bland Betty would, try explaining why it’s better than your competitor’s product. You don’t have to be insulting, nor rubbish the rival product; if you stick to the facts about what yours does that the other doesn’t and why this would benefit the user, customers will be able to make their own minds up about which is the inferior offering.
Why not comment on a development in your industry and why you think it will be good/bad for the area/sector? If you experience or spot poor practice, publicly call it out over your social media profiles.
It’s a sad fact, but it’s a true one: there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Even though sticking your neck out and being prepared to share your thoughts to the world may see the odd troll pop up to give you a roasting, back-and-forth interaction will see your stock rise and your Google rankings shoot up. It will bring you a new notoriety, which is why you’ve to be at least a little mindful with what you publish. The golden rule: stand up and be counted for the things you believe in – don’t try and be someone you’re not.
Not everyone will agree with you, but those who do will admire your honesty and integrity. These people will be your ambassadors and will engage with you often and actively recommend you to people they know.
Compare this experience to Bland Betty. She uploads posts on social media fairly regularly, with insipid comments such as ‘Live For Today’ or ‘Then She Did’. They offend no one, but they’ve been done a million times, which is why they engage no one either. Bland Betty may not lock horns with anyone, but she is instantly forgettable and therefore her posts generate zero sales.
We all have opinions, but we don’t always share them - perhaps we think that’s being professional and in control? But why can’t we be professional and still share what we think? It may be a shock to you, but we’re all Marmite people – some will love us, others will take a firm dislike to us. That’s real life.
There’s no point being ‘vanilla’ in business. As Marmite, you’ll filter out the people who will never buy from you, at least; your inner circle will only contain buyers and fans, who will support you in finding even more clients.
Being Betty Bland is a bit like hiding in plain sight. How’s that going to help you to stand out from the crowd?!