As I mentioned yesterday, I invite business owners to ask questions in my seminars by having them write down their questions and bring them up to the podium during one of our breaks. At the end, I’ll read the questions aloud and answer them.
In Sioux Falls on Tuesday, I got asked the strangest question that’s been asked of me in my almost twenty years of doing this.
“How does an elephant hunter advertise? I have 5 projects a year to make a good year.”
This is Sioux Falls, mind you. South Dakota. This is not the Hwange region near Victoria Falls.
(Yes, I assume she/he was being metaphorical, but I wasn’t going to let that ruin my fun. I answered the question literally.)
An elephant hunter – who’s trying to bag five projects – advertises the same way a shoe store advertises, an urgent care clinic advertises or a veterinary clinic advertises.
A successful elephant hunter advertises well, because – in the words of my partner Roy H. Williams – advertising badly usually doesn’t work out too well.
Solid marketing principles – like the kind my partners and I both practice and teach – work. Fundamentals are timeless. Tricks and gimmicks may change and vary, but the stuff we use – the stuff I taught Tuesday in Sioux Falls – works year after year and business category after business category.
If you’re good at what you do.
If you like talking about what you do.
If you delight your customers – whether that’s five or five million of them.
Regardless of your business, ask yourself three questions:
1) What is the common denominator of all the people we’re trying to attract?
In this case, it’s big game hunters or, more generally, people with cash who seek a life-threatening thrill and aren’t afraid of unpopular opinions.
2) What attracted them to that common denominator?
Ahhh … here’s one of the keys to start honing in on your message. Ask the elephant hunters you know this question. Record their answers. Dig for diamonds and little moments that click in your head – painting vivid pictures of their dreams, desires and aspirations. This fertile field of attraction will help you grow your advertising campaign.
3) What is their unscratched itch? What is their great frustration?
And here, my hunting friend, is the other part of your solution. What are their answers to this question? What deeply felt need to you satisfy? What itch to you scratch? And how do you scratch it differently than the other elephant hunters?
Compete to be unique, my friend. Scratch the itch. Understand the Why.
Regardless of your business category.