The following statement will sound counter-intuitive. That’s because you’ve been lied to for years. Okay. Here goes.
In marketing, there’s a case for style over substance.
It’s a strong case, too.
Just think about this for a moment:
- The top political commentators get paid a ton of money, to deliver their take on the news for major networks.
- The also-rans get paid peanuts, to deliver their take on the news, for small, local networks.
Here’s the thing. In both cases, the news (substance) they comment on is the same. Here’s why one of them is earning 10 times or 50 times more than the other. It’s their style. The style with which they work.
- Their courage, when choosing to take (or avoid) a controversial stance.
- Their vocabulary.
- Their energy.
- Their ability to communicate with confidence.
- Their effectiveness when injecting their personality (style) into their work, so that it’s truly theirs.
Here’s my point. When it comes to business, the substance should be there by default. Every qualified accountant, lawyer, web designer, whatever… knows what their service (substance) is and how it works. It’s their style that makes all the difference. It’s their style that sets them apart from the crowd.
Style over substance in marketing
The newsletters, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, Facebook groups, Medium publishers, etc., that people take notice of, all have their own style. The same is true of the most successful email marketing, advertising, marketing campaigns and copywriting.
And the ones that fail to grow, fail to get noticed, fail to make an impact… well… they don’t.
Instead, they follow the cookie-cutter approach to content marketing. They bought into the lie. The lie that says, “You can automate everything. Just do things this way and it works. Follow the steps. 1-2-3”.
It doesn’t work. In fact, it can’t possibly work. Because your style can’t be found in a book.
You can certainly learn substance that way. However, your style, the very thing that gets you noticed, by default, can’t possibly be learned from an online course, a book, seminar, webinar or any other generalized form of information.
Because your style is all about you.
Where are you right now?
Okay, I already know that you totally understand your subject. So the substance is there. It’s taken care of. That’s covered. You’re good.
But what about the style?
When it comes to your marketing, when it comes to the story behind your service, are you telling it from your perspective? Are you sharing the substance of your knowledge, using your voice, your stories and your experiences? Because it’s your style that people connect with.
- It’s your style that sets you apart.
- It’s your style that causes people to return for more.
- It’s your style that makes you approachable.
- It’s your style that gives you a voice.
- It’s your style that inspires people to share your message.
- It’s your style that gives value to your substance.
- It’s your style that motivates people to hire you or buy from you, rather than a cheaper alternative.
And none of that can be robotized. Or automated. Because it’s you. It’s your authentic experience. It’s your greatest marketing asset. In fact, with so many competitors out there, with so many people trying to get the attention of your prospective clients, your style is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. By far.
So give your style the oxygen it needs.
Tip: I work with business owners every day on how to get this right, based on their unique situation and what they want to achieve. If you’re tired of being ignored, read this and get in touch.