Promoting With the Right Sort of Passion

Over the last two weeks I’ve been asking this question: “How can small business get noticed online?”

Last week I suggested that you build as many alliances as possible with other sites – preferably big ones.

This week I want to look at the role of passion in building and promoting your business.

I know, lots of people have written about how important it is to be passionate about your vision and ambitions.

If you don’t feel passionate about what you’re doing, how are you going to get out of bed on those days when the road ahead looks impassable?

Passion for what you’re doing is the fast-burning fuel that keeps you going. It’s what helps you focus on a destination that only you can see clearly.

Best of all, passion sells.

When it comes to creating your literature, speaking on a radio interview, or motivating your employees, passion can take you a long way.

Many moons ago, when writing direct mail was my daily bread and butter, passion was my secret tool.

Whatever I was trying to sell through the mail, I’d first get my head into a place where I felt genuinely passionate about the product or service I was writing about.

Then I’d write with a style and at a pace that communicated that passion to the reader.

And it worked. The more breathless, the more excited, the more passionate I became, the more I sold.

A lot of people sell this way.

It works great in direct mail. It works well on radio and TV. It works really well face-to-face – in the right circumstances.

But online, beware.

Online, you have to feel, build and promote that passion a little differently.

Let’s say I open up some junk mail over my breakfast Wheaties and read the following line:

“This is the most exciting offer we’ve ever been able to make! It’s incredible! And for this week only, YOU now have the chance to sign up as a Charter Member!”

Nothing much wrong with that. Usual breathless copy tone. Maybe I won’t go for it. But two percent of recipients will. And I certainly wouldn’t take offense. It’s just another piece of junk.

Will I think badly of the company that sent me this junk mail? Nope. Just water under the bridge. Not much attention paid and no offense taken.

But if I received the exact same words as the opening to an email, my reaction would probably be very different.

I’d read it as being crass, pushy, spammy and irritating. I’d likely unsubscribe as quickly as I could.

The truth is, even though it’s the same line, I react to it very differently within my email inbox.

As someone promoting your business online, you need to be aware of this.

Yes, you need to be passionate and enthusiastic about your product or service. But you need to communicate that passion in a different way.

Show genuine enthusiasm in the way you write, but don’t push it – don’t thrust it in the face of the reader.

Passion online is about sharing, not pushing.

That’s the difference between a network of connected people (the Internet) and a one-way advertising medium.

On the network, passion is shared. In advertising, it’s pushed.

To make your passion translate into sales online: Share, don’t push.

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