Do you know the problem with most business hacks, tactics and techniques?
They can be duplicated by others.
And by ‘others’ I really mean your competitors.
Now I’m not saying this makes them useless or ineffective. Hell, I use a bunch of hacks and tactics myself. So does my co-host, Martin.
The good ol’ email pop-up is a great example of this. (Did you just roll your eyes? STOP THAT. I SEE YOU!)
But seriously, if you’re running a website in this day and age, and you don’t use some kind of pop-up doohickey to get your visitor’s attention and eventually their email, then you sir (or madam) are a goddamn fool.
Because popups work like gangbusters!
But the problem? An average Joe blow with a two-cent website can also implement them in 30 seconds or less.
In fact, that’s the freakin’ problem with technology as a whole — you’re never really unique for very long. What you may consider your competitive advantage today, will become tomorrow’s standard practice.
The Internet is one giant neighborhood where everyone is playing ‘keep up with the Joneses’.
“Oh you have a popup that’s bringing you a shit load of new leads? Ok… wait for it… BAM! So do I!”
“Oh, you started a podcast and built a massive audience? Ok… fine… BAM! Now I have one too!”
It’s not just websites though. Just look at what’s happening to Snapchat — two of their most unique features (Stories and Filters) are being ripped off by every other app under the sun.
Seriously Facebook Messenger, you need to stop. Your app is already more bloated than Steven Seagal’s ego. Ok, his physique as well.
I hear he’s working on a new movie, it’s called: Missionary Impossible.
So why do I (and millions of others) still use Snapchat over all that other options? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not because Snapchat is a well engineered piece of software. It’s actually rather buggy at times.
To be perfectly honest, Instagram’s clone is far more refined.
But I use Snapchat because the company’s got personality. They’re constantly innovating. Oh, and they’ve got some serious balls. Who else in their right mind turns down a $3 billion dollar offer from Facebook?
You’ve gotta admire that.
So if everyone is copying everyone else, and tactics don’t remain “fresh” for long, this means the only way you can set yourself apart is to…
Inject Some Personality & Humanize Your Business!
You’ve probably gathered that this article isn’t exactly written like a college essay. Nor is it written for a pretentious group of people that will lose their shit at my blatant disregard for perfect grammar.
You’ve probably also gathered your thoughts about me as a person and have made a choice: You either like me or hate me (please don’t hate me, I have goodies to share).
But that’s exactly the point! The mere fact that I made you avoid the ever-dangerous grey area is precisely why you’ll remember these words:
Actually bargain bins can be quite exciting to shuffle through, I take that back. Let’s go with something that’s so boring that it makes me want to take a spontaneous nap… a Kia Sadona.
Seriously. Just look at this elongated lunchbox they call an automobile. I can guarantee that anyone who voluntarily chooses to drive this has essentially given up on life.
Now of course, you can’t have personality and make empty promises. You still have to provide the goods… but I figured that was implied.
If you’re still not convinced, or if all this sounds too fluffy and woo-woo, let me give you one more example. A personal one: I run a fitness site where I consult clients online… which means at any given day I need to be able to whip off my shirt, and present to the world my finely sculpted six pack.
Ok, maybe that’s not totally necessary, but if you’re going to be showing someone how they can get their fat ass in shape, then it helps if you don’t look like a rolled up cinnamon bun yourself.
But I’m human, just like you. This means I have days where father time is being a dickhead and has left me with no spare minutes to prep my meals (I see what you’re thinking. But I’m a ‘professional’ which means my excuses are totally legit, ok?)
So what do I do when I find myself in such a pinch? Clearly, the ripped abs must stay!
Well, I usually hit up a fast food joint and do my best with the options that lay in front of me. Usually that comes down to some sort of chicken salad and a cup of coffee.
But lately, there’s one fast food establishment in particular which I’ve been gravitating towards.
Not because their food is any better, but because they’re always on my mind.
Can you guess which one?
“Why?” You may be asking.
Well if you have to ask that, then you clearly have not witnessed the savagery they pull on Twitter!
It’s absolute marketing gold.
Here are some examples…
That’s just the tip of the comedic iceberg.
If you’re bored, you literally can spend hours (yes, hours!) scrolling through their Twitter feed and chuckling like a little school girl until you’re ready to burst at the seams.
And for blessing us with such a vast quantity of free entertainment, how can you not want to head over to a Wendy’s right now and order something — anything — as a sign of support? (If you’re vegan, please don’t answer that.)
We both know that if you fancy a burger tonight, there’s no shortage of restaurants that will happily serve you one.
And while they all might slightly differ in their own unique way — some will throw on more toppings, some will cook the meat the way you want, some will come with sides, some might look more pleasing — it doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day, you’re still getting two pieces of bread with a meat pattie in the middle.
Not that hard to duplicate.
But there’s one thing that no other fast food joint can duplicate, and that’s Wendy’s Twitter account.
I mean they can… but such a pathetic act of desperation would get called out faster than you can say “I’m loving it.”
For some reason, we humans don’t put up much of a fuss when technology features are copied. But when someone tries to act like another person, we can almost smell their inauthenticity. This makes us quite angry and rather uncomfortable.
It activates the fear response in the part of our brains called the amygdala. Or in other words, our highly tuned bullshit radars start ringing off the hook, throwing us into survival mode.
And it makes total sense because…
People that put up a ‘front’ are naturally hard to trust.
And that is precisely the reason why having some personality can become a competitive advantage which cannot be taken from you.
Like Wendy’s, if you ever establish yourself as a bad-ass in your niche, it’ll be an identity that’s yours to keep.
Unless of course, you pull some United Airlines type shit.
In which case, you’re on your own. Good luck with that.
Want more vegan-free marketing advice that actually works?
Be sure to tune into our podcast. It’s called Do You Even Hustle?
No seriously… do you?
Because if you don’t, then your business is already doomed. Just wave a white flag and buy that Kia Sedona.
However, if you are down with the hustle, then I highly recommend going on a binge-listening spree. You can find a list of all the episodes right here.
And if you’d like to know when new ones are released (along with exclusive content), then go here and become part of our tribe called The #HustleNation.
It’s totally free and easy to enter. Just like your mom. (Oh relax, I’m kidding!)
Until next time. Keep hustling and live life on your own terms!