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My colleagues shared their hilarious Tinder experience.
“You know, every man thought their profile was so special, but really, it’s either a picture of himself in front a car , or a topless selfie, or in something tight-fitting, on a bike, up a mountain, on a surfboard.”
After I heard the same thing a few times, I started thinking; not about how horrible these people are at “advertising” themselves , but how easily they could be better at it.
In the land of the blind; the one-eyed man is king.
The basic idea is this: If you’re in a situation where everyone else is so terrible, you can win by just being half-decent.
Let’s look at some examples where everyone is so terrible, you can dominate by being even somewhat competent.
Networking events: Most networking events are downright awful. Most of attendees never do their homework beforehand, spend 80% of their time grabbing free food and drinks, throw a bunch of business cards around, never follow up, and only move on to the next event to repeat the cycle.
You already know the importance of meeting the right people and building relationships. You probably have some pretty good ideas about what you SHOULD be doing. But think about how many times people asked for your business card saying “Let’s keep in touch” (or vice versa), and then what happened? Nothing!
If you can follow up with just ONE person you meet in your next networking event, you’re already ahead of 98% of the attendees (somewhat arbitrary statistic here but, you know what Abe Lincoln said, “98% of the statistics on the internet are made up”).
Writing PR pitches: My journalist friends tell me they get tons of PR pitches every day. And if it starts with “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To whom it may concern”, it goes straight to the recycle bin. I mean, their names are plastered all over the place, including at the end of every article they write!
If you can’t take five seconds to figure out their name, just don’t bother at all. On the other hand, you can grab their attention just by using their name in the email.
Advertising: What do the majority of businesses do in advertising? They look around at what other businesses in their industries are doing and adapt to the “industry norm”.
Grab a copy of Yellow Pages (if that’s still a thing) and flip through it. You will know what I am talking about. (For God’s sake, don’t do that, unless you have empirical proof that the approach is successful.)
One of my first freelance advertising projects for a company was in an industry I knew little about. Instead of copying what the next guy was doing (which was easy to do), I gathered all the ads from successful competitors for the last couple years (online and in-print) to see what they had in common and started testing ‘patterns’ from there. Meanwhile I was looking for what unsuccessful ads have in common and avoid these mistakes. (It’s pretty easy to spot, if their online ads never made it to the 1st page of Google or their print ads run less than 3 times). You can bet all your money on how that project went.
“Look at what the majority of people are doing, and do the exact opposite, and you’ll probably never go wrong for as long as you live”.
- Earl Nightingale