You may be wondering, “how come Sarah Palin can attract some pretty heavyweight advertisers and 5 million viewers with a show about her life in Alaska, and I can’t get more than 2 people to respond to my latest in the newspaper?”

Probably an unfair comparison, but let’s examine 3 reasons why the former Governor of Alaska can pull this off and why small businesses struggle with attracting any attention at all:

  • Uniqueness – there’s no one like her!  Polarizing as she is, those who love her follow her with a passion.  While her conservative views are unique to her, her style of delivery is just that – so she packs a venue wherever she goes.  What is unique about you?  Can your prospects tell the difference  between you another one of your competitors?  If you have to think about, then the answer is, “no” and you need to get busy wow-ing your customers and do it now!
  • Anticipation – I suspect anyone who follows politics, no matter whether you are red, blue or purple . . . everyone is curiously anticipating the upcoming months to hear if Palin announces her “exploratory committee” or not . . . the sure sign of her intention to run for the Presidency.  (I personally think she won’t and shouldn’t simply because she’s extremely effective at what she does not for her base.)  But what are you doing with your customers that creates excitement about an upcoming event, product announcement, or promotion.  Leave ’em in anticipation and wanting more!
  • Connection – while skeptics will criticize and even I must admit that so much of Palin’s public life is scripted, so many still can’t get over feeling like the former VP candidate is “one of them.”  She is always playing the “outsider” role and even after being in the political limelight for over 2 years, she maintains that connection with real people.  While authencity is essential, you cannot underestimate how important it is to connect regularly with your customers at their pain-point.  You can shout out about your promotion as often as you want, but until your customers sense that you are in tune with their needs, then your advertising is useless.  Connect by writing a blog – this is your voice beyond the stale pages of your website and it provides an endless stream of valuable content proving your expertise and your attention to your customers’ needs.  Connect as well with a drip email marketing campaign – a light touch every 15 days keeps you top-of-mind.  Connect on Facebook and Twitter – use our HELP acronym to connect on social media with your customers.

Related to advertising, I love this article below from John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing.  He reminds social media nuts like me that advertising has its strengths (not that advertising and social media are mutually exclusive, but you’ll often hear the latter being touted as the replacement for the former).

Read John’s full article:  “5 Reasons Why You Must Advertise”!