Don’t be average or really good. Be worth noticing and commenting on. I wish I could just end it right there, but some of you need the extra push.
Fans feel an obligation to share news about you. They are compelled, they have nothing to gain from it, they just feel so good about whatever it is that they get from you that they want other people to share it.
What does a guy like me get out of telling the world about The Tragically Hip? I get nothing out of it that you can touch, but sharing Das Hip feels like the right thing to do, to share a secret, a secret that will make your life better. A secret that will change you.
Why do I tell every person I meet in the USA who mentions even a passing interest in visiting Canada to go to Quebec City? I’m not renting out a time-share. I want you to go, I want you to experience it, I want you to be changed. I love Toronto, but I’d work diligently to convince you not to go there over Quebec City. One of them is a nice city, the other is an experience.
So how do you do this? How do you influence your customers to become passionate, raving fans?
- Accept that there is nothing about what you do that is interesting. Period.
There are hundreds if not thousands of people who do exactly what you do. So what makes you interesting? Can what you do be easily summed up in a few lines, or written on a business card? Then you can be replaced easily and for less, and unless you mix it up, you will be. This is a fact.
Have you ever Googled what you do for a living, plus the name of your town? Don’t. Whatever illusion you’re living in will be shattered.
I just Googled “Financial Advisor Ottawa” and came up with 849,000 hits in .57 seconds. I wasn’t even trying. I can be faster!
When Tom and I do something new, we agree that it has to be remarkable. We literally say to each other: “Like Apple made it” which is our mantra. We don’t say (for example), “Let’s build a really good e-course and sell it for $X. It will be okay but cheap enough that people will forgive us. I mean, what do they want for $X?”
That would never do, not for our fans anyway. What we say is, “Let’s make a course that is so amazing that people freak out. Then, let’s make two more.” That is pretty much a direct quote, slightly sanitized for the over-sensitive among you.
- Don’t be boring.
There are all kinds of very good ideas and very good products. They are literally a dime a dozen, and they are boring.
Boring is average. Boring is being really good at what you do.
Everyone knows that while you are really good at what you do, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s boring. Nobody talks about boring. If you want to create customers who are raving fans, then you have to figure out exactly what your potential customers want and then give it to them.
Boring is just another word for average, which is just another word for safe, and the world is full of examples of businesses that were really good at what they do (boring) who played it safe, missed the shift and now they are case studies in business classes around the world. Hello Kodak.
- Consider the people who care.
The question is, what do they care about?
People who hire you hire you for financial planning and stability. Is this what they care about, or what they expect? What do they care about?
Our clients hire us to help them run a better business – I am being succinct on purpose.
What do they care about?
Do you think it’s ensuring that their plan is aligned with their strategy? Do you think it’s about identifying their actual constraints and coming up with a solution to solve them? Do you suppose it’s process and systems and predictability that gets their motor revving?
They care about living a life less ordinary.
They care about doing more work that matters.
They care about finding meaning in their life.
They care about ideas, and family and more.
Being more. Doing more. Giving more.
You know what people who don’t care think about?
Me either. But I bet it’s about what remarkable actually costs, and why it’s too much.