Fighting Truthiness and Hype in Marketing

In 2005, Stephen Colbert, in his TV show, the Colbert Report, coined the word, “truthiness.”

Truthiness is the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals, without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.

Truthiness can range from ignorant assertions of falsehoods to deliberate duplicity or propaganda intended to sway opinions. – Wikipedia

We know that truthiness is rampant in politics.

But it’s also rampant in marketing.

Many of us think that marketing is mostly truthiness, not real truth in any way, shape or form.

We expect hype and exaggeration, if not downright deception, when it comes to promoting products and services.

Because of this, many of us become almost immune to the majority of marketing messages.

We assume that whatever someone says about their business, product, or service must be a form of truthiness, a veiled lie that hides the real facts.

So, as an independent professional wanting to attract more clients, you are faced with a real dilemma.

You are puzzled about how you can persuasively communicate the value of your professional services given that most prospective clients will doubt almost everything you say.

Because of this, I’ve noticed that many independent professionals shy away from marketing completely.

While others chose to go to the truthiness dark side, hoping an excess of hype will carry the day.

A recent email promotion I received contained a number of over-the-top marketing promises about an online marketing program:

“You will witness a revolutionary new technology being released that will allow you as a small business owner (regardless of skill level or experience level) to… generate as many new clients as you can possibly handle.”

Would you believe that? No, it’s truthiness and hype incarnate!

And anyone who does believe it is likely a naïve, gullible person looking for miracles with little work on their part.

So how can you eschew truthiness and still market your professional services effectively?

That, as they say, is the million-dollar question!

Well, the opposite of truthiness is honesty.

And yes, it is possible to communicate the value of your services truthfully, honestly, and with integrity.

But to do that you need to watch out for certain things that can become a slippery slope in your marketing.

Truthiness Insight #1

You must realize that what you feel about something is not the same as facts about something.

“I feel that my consulting services dramatically increase my clients’ productivity.”

OK, that’s nice, but by what objective measure are you determining the actual effectiveness of your professional services?

How about doing some measuring instead, such as before and after metrics?

When you have actual proof of what happens before and after, your credibility increases, as does your own confidence in your services.

The best marketing outlines real benefits and advantages based on facts, not hope.

Truthiness Insight #2

It’s not unusual to see client testimonials about how great it was to work with someone.

That’s nice and it’s certainly positive, but it’s not as powerful as reports of real changes.

“I lost 20 pounds in four months working with Ralph on both my diet and exercise program. He really supported me during the challenging times and helped me develop positive new habits that have stuck with me for the past year.”

This certainly trumps something like: “Ralph is a wonderful health coach who I trust with my life. You should definitely consider working with him.”

We often hear about the importance of getting testimonials. However, better to focus on getting solid results for your clients and then getting the testimonials will be easy.

Truthiness Insight #3

When you always speak in superlatives about your services, you again undermine your credibility.

Remember, people are skeptical and understandably so. So many promises made by marketers end in disappointment.

Better to actually talk about some of the drawbacks of your services than paint a completely unrealistic picture of “success without effort.”

I make it a point of telling all my prospective clients that if they engage me it will take a lot of work on their part to get out there and attract new clients.

They appreciate that I’m realistic and don’t sugarcoat things.

But believe me, in the past I’ve been less than realistic and it hasn’t turned out well for me!

We need to turn off the hype and get real. When we do, we tend to build more trust and confidence with our clients.

Truthiness Insight #4

We live in a sound-bite world.

Sound bites are important, as they are effective at getting attention and interest for our services.

But is there depth beyond the sound-bite? If not, you’re going to come across as shallow and insubstantial.

I once attended a public speaking course that stated: “You should know 30 times more than what you say in your presentation.”

That’s what real professionalism is about: deep knowledge, understanding, and experience in your field.

As they say, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

This is the motto of the truthiness practitioner and ultimately won’t bode well for your long-term success.

Truthiness Insight #5

One of the hallmarks of truthiness and hype is ever-changing marketing messages.

You think, “Heck, if one message isn’t working, I’ll try another until something sticks.” But you pay little attention to the validity and authenticity of the message.

A message that is clever, catchy, or over-the-top may get attention, but undermine your professional image.

Your message needs to be interesting and believable.

It should make people think, not insult their intelligence.

Take some serious time to work on your marketing messages. Run them past your current clients and get their reaction.

Others will notice truthiness and hype before you do.

But you’ll know you’re on track if they say, “yes, that really hits the nail on the head; that’s the reason I decided to work with you.”

Start banishing truthiness and hype from your marketing.

Not only will you build trust with your clients, you’ll start to attract more of the right clients, clients who are looking for a professional who walks their talk.

Cheers, Robert



Source by Robert Middleton

How to Become a Bartender – Top 10 Characteristics of Great Bartenders

Bartending is one of the most coveted position of the blue collar professions, which is why it isn’t always easy to get in. For starters, you’ll need to make sure you possess the right characteristics and skills or you can forget it. Just being aware of them can help you improve in each area so you can better your chance at getting your foot in the door. Let’s take a look:

1. Personality – It keeps them coming back again and again. Think of yourself as a theatre performer. People go out to bars in for the possibility of finding something that they don’t find at work every day. Do you know why personality is so important to bar owners and managers? Because the bar takes on the personality of the bartenders. Dull bartenders = dull bar. Enthusiastic, entertaining bartenders = busy bar.

2. Knowledge – It’s simple: if you don’t know the drinks, you’re just a jackass with a cool job and a bottle opener.

3. Attentiveness – Attention to details, such as placing a bar napkin under each drink, clearing off empty glasses, and keeping guests drinks full is all about paying attention and giving supreme customer service. Imagine yourself as a personal assistant to someone very important. Every detail counts.

4. Memory – In a fast-paced, high-volume environment, you’d better be able to remember multiple drink orders so you can get them out efficiently or you will have a lot of angry guests, not to mention an unhappy bar manager.

5. Speed and Efficiency – If you have a great memory but you have no multi-tasking ability, the memory does you little good. Guests want their drinks NOW!

6. Personal Grooming – Whether the bar you work for requires full uniforms or if you are allowed to wear a t-shirt and jeans, make sure you are clean and look sharp. This isn’t a John Wayne movie. No one wants a dusty, sloppy bartender any more than they want to watch a John Wayne movie.

7. Endurance – Bartending is a job that requires both mental and physical stamina. Not only do you have to know all the drinks and deal with drunken buffoons, you are often on your feet 6-10 hours per shift, depending on the hours of operation. It can wear you down if you’re not prepared.

8. Good Cash Handling and Math Skills – You are part of a team back there, so if you have problems handling cash, the other bartenders will not be happy at all. Also, good math skills allow you to add up drink prices in your head so you can call out the total to guests before you even have to ring it in. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.

9. A Thick Skin – Remember, you are dealing with drunks all night long. Never take anything personal, and once your shift is over, leave it at the bar. Don’t brood over a bad tip or the cheapskate who gave it to you for the next three days. It’s pointless, and you won’t survive.

10. Eye-Contact, A Great Smile and a Firm Handshake – Those three things will take you a long way in building a clientele of regulars, not top mention the best shifts from the manager.



Source by Dave Allred

How To Use Online Video For Marketing

Video marketing is an excellent way to boost engagement, increase brand awareness and enhance search engine optimization. Video is shared more and gets more response than text, which is why your business needs to use online video for marketing.

You don’t have to buy the most expensive equipment to create a marketing video online. Smart phone work great for recording videos for YouTube.

Introduce Yourself

Make a short video about yourself, including why you are working in your chosen niche and how you can help your customers. Upload the video to your website home page. People want to know if you’re the right person to trust, and seeing your face and hearing your voice why will help them to get to know you.

Keep It Short

Usually, short videos are best. Think of three short points about a certain subject and talk about them in a short video. Include closed captioning as an added touch. It will not only be appreciated by people who are hard of hearing, but will also help your videos be picked up by the search engines.

Create A ‘How To’ Video

Your target audience will love seeing how to do something so they can do it on their own. They’ll also see you as more of an expert than before. When you upload your marketing video online, take the time to include the title, tags and descriptions, as well as links to your landing pages or website.

Going To An Event?

When you go to an industry event video some of it. Then put it together or make several videos from the event to make a series of short videos. Try to make your videos as professional as you can based on your audience’s preferences. Having said that, don’t get too caught up trying to make everything perfect. Sometimes a ‘straight from the heart’ video will have more effect than a professionally shot video.

Something New Coming?

If you have a product launch coming up, an online marketing video will whet your audience’s appetite for more. Make a short video with a question that makes them think of the problem that they have that you might solve. When you make your video, remember your background. You can create a good background with a fold-out wall separator or room divider. Add a plant and the suitable lighting, and you’ll have a great background for all your videos.

You Don’t Have To Appear On Camera

When you’re creating an online marketing video you don’t have to appear on camera if you don’t want to. You can use software like PowerPoint or Keynote to create useful slides that can be transformed into a video. As you create more videos the process will become easier and quicker.



Source by Jon Allo

Kenya Lake House Vacation

You become one of the privileged few when you stay at the kongoni Game valley ranch. The elegance of the Brithgttti ranch house and its dramatic setting make this a very special place. The Kongoni Game Valley Ranch house is on a hilltop overlooking Lake Naivasha and the surrounding volcano peaks. The romance of the place begins in 1901 with a French marquis who built this home in Africa for his new American bride. They lived there happily until the early 1940’s.they are both buried in a secluded part of the garden where the view they loved is absolutely breathtaking. The long low stone house with its ochre-tiled roof stands in a wide expanse of mowed lawns and tended gardens. It all feels very established and well-cared for there is an aura if quality. The house is built around a central country yard the communal living and dining rooms overlook the lake and open out to a wide veranda furnished with commodious wicker furniture and cushions. Guests are encouraged to relax in this restful spot and enjoy the magnificent view.

Below, shinning beyond its fringe of acacia trees is the lake framed by extinct volcanoes and the soaring sides of the rift valley. A forest of primeval euphorbia contrast with the clipped lawns and English style flower beds of the garden. Meals at Kongoni are memorable; intimate tables, garden flowers, and views from the sunroom at breakfast, cozy candlelight inside at night. The food is wonderfully can smell the bread baklkig; pizza arrives fresh from oven. The emphasis is on gourmets Italian cooking and the pasta and ice cream are homemade. Gianna jokes that the big five at Kingoni valley ranch are parmesan cheese, olive oil, capers risotto and pasta-mouth watering. Guests can take a walk at the shore or go boating. you are likely to see a wide variety of birds and perhaps a wide-open toothy yawn from a hippo. You may decide. you may decide simply to sit on the veranda in cushioned comfort and absorb the beauty and peace

Accommodation

Kongoni can accommodate up to 26 guests. Every guest room has been furnished by Gianna. The many personal touches remind you that you are in a private home. Each room has a rather charming and old fashioned bathroom. Many with turn of- the century European fixtures, including bidet. Most rooms open onto the central courtyard but some are in separate cottages or have private outside entrances. Some have fireplaces, and one even has an en suite sauna. Kingoni Valley ranch has recently opened another house very near to the lake with beautiful water views. Though separate this house is still on ranch property and can accommodate a private party of uo to seven guests in one single and tree double bedrooms. it is fully catered and can enjoy all the activities and facilities of the ranch

Lakeside House

Lake side house is a small home near the turnoff onto Moi south lake road the grounds and gardens are not very grand, but you can look toward the papyrus at the edge of the lake from the veranda. Guest sleep in one double room in the main farmhouse and in a nearby cottage .The cottage rooms have en suite shower bathrooms. The rooms are very small and rather crowded with furnishing. There are homey touches such as books magazines and instant coffee/tea tray.



Source by Joe Maina