Make your ‘Mess’ your Marketing Message

Born in the mid sixties I grew up hearing about soul “The brother’s got soul!” “Be careful not to sell your soul” “Have you saved your soul?” and in the early seventies we welcomed the ‘Soul Train’. When we say people have “soul” I guess we think that somehow their lives have a deeper meaning. They’ve loved and suffered but most of all – they live authentic lives. There are others who seem to have lost their soul altogether. Sure they have material possessions but they seem to go through the motions without meaning. Still many are searching, some never finding, how to be true to their own souls.

In an article titled “Why Your Heart Will Make You a Whole Lot More Money than Your Head” Direct Marketing genius Drayton Bird observes “Many marketers assume that business decisions are made on rational grounds and that emotion doesn’t come into it. This is nonsense. And to prove it, I used to ask marketers at my presentations if they could think of anyone they worked with that they hated. It never failed to raise a laugh of recognition.”

We seem to think that by merely telling our customers that we’re passionate – that passion would be communicated. Drayton cites a couple examples: “Across the road from my offices, a building firm has a slogan that says they’re passionate about building. Pret-a-Manger -a U.K. firm that was launched recently in the U.S. -says they are passionate about food.  A firm called Churchill-in the same business as GEICO – says they are passionate about insurance.  I have lost count of the number of people on Facebook who say they are passionate about whatever it is they do.” However if we’re merely paying lip service to passion then our customers are sure not to “feel” it.

Marketing is really about telling great stories – preferably truthful ones – preferably YOURS. What’s YOUR story? Think about when your world is falling apart – what are your experiences? Think about how you’ve dealt with certain challenges in your own life? How did you solve a particular problem and saved yourself from many sleepless nights? What have you overcome as a (fill in the blank)? What was your defining moment in (fill in the blank)? What did you do wrong and wish you had known better the first time around? These are just a few ways to get to your story. Chances are the very same thing is happening to others? Why not share your story? What if you could show them how you solved the problem? As action expert Suzanne Evans says “What if your ‘Mess’ becomes your message?”

If you can tell a great story, people will read, listen and watch you. When people are moved they will buy your stuff. When people are moved they will return to your place of business over and over again. They will be curious to know what you are up to. They will happily tell their friends about their experience. When you’re living your true passion you NEVER run out of things to talk about and to share. Your business need to be the bridge between pain and possibility.

When your head is full but your heart feels empty you are probably not passionate about what you are doing. If you cannot, regardless of the medium you to choose to communicate through, come up with at least one hundred topics that you could talk about then you’ve failed the passion test.

In order to make any headway you first have to say ‘yes’ to yourself. Who are you stifling and constraining trying to fit into a mould someone else provided for you? When you say yes to yourself you become more fully alive and more effective in the world. Take the journey to discovering the treasure of your true self and then return to the marketplace to transform your kingdom and in the process transform your own life. This quest is not easy but it offers great rewards. It offers you the capacity to be truly successful in the world and provides you with an opportunity to express your unique gifts and to provide guidance to those who use your stories as a light in their own lives.

One of the biggest reasons businesses fail is they don’t have a founding principle that arouses passion and enthusiasm in a large group of potential followers. In a beautiful movie created by Suzanne Evans called the “Movement Marketing Movie”, she asks a couple questions which I want you to take a moment to honestly answer here:

  1. What if you stopped struggling and started serving?
  2. What if you stopped hype-ing and started helping?
  3. What if you stopped marketing and started a movement?

Remember that when you place making a dollar above making a difference – your soul dies! Mr. Bird puts it like this “If you want better results when selling to businesses, search your heart first, and then use your head to explain why the emotional argument makes sense.” A dash of passion does make a difference. A little mess makes a great message!

If you want a copy of the FREE report – “7 Steps to Up your Game and Get Your Phone Ringing” click here…

Head photo from
Heart photo from

One thought on “Make your ‘Mess’ your Marketing Message

  1. Well, what a surpise!

    I think your storytelling suggestions are excellent!

    If anyone wants to see any other pieces I have written, let me know

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