One of my friends, Philip Tirone, is a master at creating
deep emotional connections. In fact, that’s exactly what Elovon, his marketing
company, does. They help clients create
strong bonds with their clients and potential clients. Philip has managed to fill a marketing niche
that had been previously void, not because someone told him how to do it, or because he read it in a book. But, because he has worked hard and perfected his approach through a lot of trial and error and pure old-fashioned effort. If he were a little younger, and playing football, his name might have been, “Rudy.”
You see, Philip does not have the Rudy Syndrome. On the contrary, he has worked harder than most people I know to gain an edge in a ridiculously competitive marketplace. In honor of tonight’s BCS National Championship Game in which Notre Dame will play for the college football title for first time since 1988, I want to share some advice Philip gave me. It goes like this: “Throw the corporate look away.”
Here is the lesson he teaches to go along with that simple advice.
A lot of business owners are trained to think that all their
marketing and branding collateral should be glossy and polished. They think
that true professionals should embrace the corporate look. The truth, though, is that people do not connect with
People connect with people. This doesn’t mean you should ditch the suits and jump into a
pair of sweatpants when you go to your next meeting. It means that your
marketing materials should be designed to be warm and personal.
For example, don’t just send weekly emails to your customer list. Everyone does that. Get personal. Tell them about you and what makes you human. In Philip’s case, he literallytells readers about his wife, the birth of his fourth child, his goals,
and—most of all—his failures. He told his customers and potential customers
about how he was practically illiterate going into college, and about how his
income tanked one year. This vulnerability helps his customers and potential customers know and
“Imagine the weight this carries later when I ask them to do
something or buy something,” he said to me. “My customers and potential
customers know me. They know that what I’m saying is authentic.”
Philip has an exercise that helps clients learn how to write
using a personal and conversational tone. He asks them to look at the emails in
their sent file and identify those sent to close friends and family members.
Then he tells them to use these emails as a template for style, voice, and
If your potential customers do
not know who you are, they will be far less likely to buy from
you. Let them know, and they will reward you.
Thanks, Phil, for being an example of an entrepreneur who does not have the Rudy Syndrome.
And, now, Go Irish!