Why it pays to be opinionated

firing_squadA month or two ago, a graphic designer friend was unexpectedly drawn into a friendly debate at a networking function. She was friendly, she was polite, she was gracious. But despite being the lone voice supporting her point, she didn’t back down.

Later, she went on to write an article substantiating her opinion with examples from her own experiences. She freely admitted that her views might be unpopular—using the term “firing squad” to indicate the reaction she expected from some of her readers—and continued to stand firm.

Swimming against the current is never the easy way to promote a product or service, but in many cases it’s the best way—especially if you’re trying to bring about positive change. This is particularly true of Green business, which by its very nature tends to target a narrower market segment than most.

Here are three great reasons not to hold back:

You’ll attract the right people—and they’ll love you for being spunky
Inexperienced marketers are afraid to offend anyone because they worry about driving any customer away. Unfortunately, marketing to the lowest common denominator makes you sound wishy-washy and discourages your best potential buyers. It’s far more effective to connect with your best prospects by demonstrating that you understand the difference between them and the “others.”

You’ll weed out people you don’t want to do business with
Primal Branding author Patrick Hanlon calls people opposed to your brand ideals “pagans.” For example, if you sell electric cars, your pagans are rednecks in gas-guzzling pickups and Hummers.

Once you’ve identified your target, zero in on that type and don’t be afraid to activelyexclude others. Yes, your pagans will scorn you, but it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be your customers for more than one unsatisfactory experience in the first place. Drawing a line in the sand up front will save you a lot of time and frustration by helping you pre-qualify prospects.

You’ll be speaking your truth
Nothing makes marketing copy more effective than believing what you’re writing. Letting your true colors show allows you to tap into your passions and create the kind of copy that motivates like-minded people. The more in tune you are with your audience, the more they’ll respond to your sincere enthusiasm.

Who knows? You may even convince the firing squad.

Best regards,

-Tom

Posted in Blog.