We’ve all seen that bikini-clad glamazon on the beach. She’s sexy and toned with the raisin-a-day washboard stomach that makes men drool. The message is clear: If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
But for brands, the prospect of putting it all out there can be intimidating, especially online. It’s easy to see why — one little slip of her teeny bikini and our beach goddess is revealing far more than she intended.
So what’s the secret to revealing enough about your brand online to be enticing without revealing too much? It’s simple: Be a great date.
Marketing isn’t easy — especially when you’re having to crank out reams of content that stands out from the crowd, targets the right audiences, and gets customers and prospects to take the actions you desire.
It’s enough to make you long for the days when all you had to do was buy a full-page ad in the newspaper and wait for the business to roll in. (Actually, did those days ever exist?)
So, how can you reduce your daily stress in your demanding role as a content marketer? Here are five ideas:
1. Prepare better. The single biggest way to reduce stress is to plan ahead. Always scrambling for topics to write about is extremely stressful. Create an editorial calendar that turns your content program into a well-oiled machine that regularly delivers great content to your audiences through a variety of channels.
We all know that audiences love happy endings — so it’s no surprise that this year’s Oscar for Best Picture went to “Argo,” which told the story of how a handful of Americans were rescued from Iran during the turmoil after the 1979 revolution.
You’ll note that Ben Affleck chose to tell this small, feel-good story rather than the larger story of the 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days amid failed rescue missions, Olympic boycotts and other depressing events.
Indeed, Hollywood has a way of finding silver linings in even the most miserable realities — Schindler’s List focused on a small number of Jewish factory workers saved by a German businessman during the Holocaust, and Quentin Tarantino completely re-imagined both the Nazi terror and the horror of slavery by giving Jews and African-Americans their fantasy revenge on screen.
There’s an old flick called “The Tao of Steve” that, based on box office receipts (worldwide gross: $4.34 million), you probably haven’t seen or even heard of.
The film’s main character, Dex, is a slovenly, unlikely Cassanova who nonetheless has developed a foolproof method for winning the hearts of women (yes, that’s a euphemistic way to put it). The method is inspired by attributes he ascribes to ’70s movie icon Steve McQueen.
It’s a three-part strategy:
1. Be desireless. If a man gives a woman the vibe that he doesn’t want something from her, she will open up and be more comfortable with him. And he won’t seem desperate.
2. Be excellent. In order to stand out from other suiters, the man must do something in the woman’s presence — on that first meeting — that will pique her interest and curiosity.
3. Be gone. After the man has impressed the woman, he shouldn’t hang around or ask the woman out for a date. If he is patient and has given her a way to contact him, she will make the next move.
That was Coco Chanel”s famous advice, but for many of us, it”s easier said than done. How do you think for yourself — aloud?
Here are five ways to get started:
1. Don”t try to be a genius. Thinking for yourself doesn”t mean all your ideas have to be original and unlike everybody else”s. And it doesn”t mean you have to be argumentative or purposely contrarian. You don”t have to sound like Hillary Clinton (or Coco Chanel) every time you open your mouth. It just means that you refuse to accept the popular consensus as a way of fitting in or making your life a little bit easier.
2. Do you own research. It”s no secret that there is no such thing as an objective media source. To be an independent thinker, you must commit yourself to gathering as much information as possible before forming an opinion. Listen, read, observe. And even after you”ve formed an opinion, keep an open mind as new data presents itself.
One of the principles of Bikini Marketing is that you can”t be content with being the same as everyone else. Which means you can”t be content with content that is the same as everyone else”s.
Here are four out-of-the-box ideas for making your site more interesting than the competition”s:
1. Instead of having all your blog posts authored by you or your company”s execs (or, even worse, “admin”), why not have a regular byline from, say, a German Shepherd, or a 3-year-old, or a superhero of your own invention? Find a fun way to tie it to your brand, and try to imagine your blog”s subject matter from this new perspective. Sure, we suppose some ghostwriting would be involved — but wouldn”t it be fun to come across as a reader?
2. Grab three magazines at the supermarket checkout — National Enquirer, People, In Touch Weekly, it doesn”t really matter. Steal the best — or funniest — headlines and find a way to turn one into a downloadable e-book to promote your business. So maybe “6 Dirty Secrets That Could Ruin the Kardashians” becomes, for a hospitality industry marketer, “6 Dirty Secrets That Could Ruin Your Hotel”s Reputation.”
We are part of a society that deeply suppresses emotional, creative expressions of individuality, or what I’d like to call art. Society tells us art is nonsensical.
That we cannot afford to devote ourselves and our time in pursuit of it.
That it’s a wild animal forever elusive to the masses.
That “not everyone can be an artist.”
I call bull.
Art isn’t a commodity produced in limited quantities. It’s not mass-produced, either. Like the universe, art is infinite, expansive and abundant, freely available to all who seek it in its natural, life-affirming, spiritually jolting glory. Connecting with your art simply requires you to make a decision to do so despite what you’ve been told.
It all started with Adam and Eve.
Not just humanity’s creation — but also our way of telling stories.
When God found that Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, he was keenly aware of the transgression that had occurred — but he still allowed the first woman to vocalize her defense. To tell her side of the story.
Storytelling, the sharing of stories, is where our sense of justice begins. It is where our sense of legitimacy, of rightness, begins.
Storytelling has never been a one-way street. It is equal parts talking and listening. Stories are flares rocketed into the early-morning sky, demanding our response. They seek out relationships with us; they ask us to make choices.
Unfortunately, from the time of the manufacture of the printing press through the era of broadcast television and newspapers, too many of us have abdicated our role in sharing stories beyond our small circle of family and friends. We have ducked our heads to shield ourselves from the bombardment of one-way messages.