One of my most important rules in life is “different is always better.” If you’re trying to do what everyone else is doing–with your product, with your message, with your hair style–then you’re boring. And boring isn’t going to drive a lot of success in your life.
Unfortunately, it’s not advice that’s always easy to follow. So here are three ideas to get you going.
Your Company Newsletter is Boring
It might even be worse than boring, because it looks and sounds like five other company newsletters in your market.
- Take a risk and surprise your customers and prospects.
- Take out the mundane, like tech tips, product updates, event calendars, and put them where they should be: on your blog or at best in a sidebar.
- Fill your main body with thought-provoking and challenging content. Ask outside bloggers and consultants to be guest editors.
- Turn your newsletter into a monthly infographic.
- Dump your newsletter entirely in favor of message sweeping, podcasts and video.
Your Trade Show Booth is Boring
The next time you’re at a trade show, compare your booth to your competitors’ booths. I don’t just mean the backdrop, although that is boring, too. Here’s what your booth probably looks like: a couple guys in suits or company shirts, standing in front of some stock photo backdrop (which is probably colored blue) with a demo monitor, a candy bowl and some cheap toys to hand out. I know this because that’s what 98% of booths look like. Yawn.
- Throw away your backdrop.
- Use pipe and drape to completely wall-off your floor space to create a private club, with velvet ropes and and a “bouncer” scanning badges for entry.
- Or turn your booth into a:
- movie theatre,
- chill-out lounge,
- tiki bar,
- pinball arcade,
- dunking booth,
- pond with ducks,
- anything else that surprises people.
- Instead of a candy bowl, bake fresh cookies in the booth.
- Instead of handing out cheap toys, make a $1 donation to a good charity on behalf of every badge swipe. Then you’ll get some good PR along the way as well.
Your People are Boring
They use big words that sound like I’m talking to a website and not a real person. They use words like, “outside-the-box,” or “value-added impact,” or “best-of-breed mission-critical synergy.” They are afraid to admit when they are wrong, which is one of the best ways they can build relationships with clients. They are indistinguishable from your competitors because they read SPIN Selling, and The New Solution Selling, and everything ever written by Brian Tracy and Jeffery Gitomer, just like everyone else. Start teaching them honesty, humility, story-telling. Buy them interesting books to read, time with personal coaches to round out their EQ, let them geek out on whatever they are passionate about so that passion will overflow into the rest of their work.