I’ve noticed something. Many marketing and writing gurus are boring. Don’t get me wrong…some are excellent teachers, and there is great information being formatted every day in different ways that help you create your marketing and writing style to fit your market.
The one thing I find missing, though, in many “how to” books, articles, blog posts, and videos, is the lack of humor…the thing that not only keeps you engaged, but helps you find ways to engage your prospective market.
I read an email this morning about the joys of motherhood. A great post, timed perfectly to coincide with the upcoming celebration of Mother’s Day. The email described the scramble for sanity in a 3 small-child household with everyone getting ready to take Mom out for breakfast. The middle-child, a 2 1/2 year-old was “missing” in the house, and discovered in the bathroom, putting chapstick on the cat’s butt.
His mother had previously given the child permission to use her chapstick on his own lips, and had shown him where she kept it in the bathroom. When Mom entered the bathroom and observed what he was doing, he simply said “Chapped.”
The picture formed immediately in my mind, and I burst out laughing. Mom, undoubtedly along with the rest of the family, was thinking about how many times in the past that chapstick had gone from the cat’s butt to their lips. Owwww…makes you pucker, doesn’t it?
The point of this message is remind writers, whatever your product or niche, is to remember to use humor. Marketing is relationship. I know it’s a theme oft repeated, in fact for decades. There are books galore on how to build relationship in order to capture and keep paying clientele. In my last post, I talked about the criteria for who I follow…who I have business relationships with, and what I look for.
The critical factors, I believe, are integrity, likability, and business sense. One of the aspects of likability is a sense of humor. Human follibilities are limitless. We all have had those priceless moments when we can see the humor in a given situation.
Those priceless moments are a perfect opportunity to build a stronger emotional bond with your audience. The shared stories that bring humor; that make you more human, more connected, and in tune with those you serve make you more likable.
If you are an internet or brick-and-mortar marketer, or a writer of any kind who wants to build better relationship with your clients and prospective clients, think about the various ways you can add humor to your dialogue.
Here are a few guidelines to keep you on the right track:
- Keep your humor ethical and businesslike. Off-color stories are definitely not appropriate in a business setting.
- Laugh with people, not at them. When you’re telling stories about others foibles get their permission first. Some people may share with you, but would be mortified if they thought their stories were otherwise being shared.
- Find the connection between your particular story and your audience. For instance, I think most mothers could relate to the “Chapstick” story I received in an email this morning. But…if your prospective audience is a group of mechanical engineers, they may relate more to a story about a valve that blew water into an inspector’s face when he opened it before asking what the valve did.
Keep humor in your toolbox of making sure your audience finds you likable. Use it well to build your likability and relationship. And for your humorous quote today, what about: “the road to success is always under construction.”