Okay, my headline might sound a little controversial.
“It makes no sense,” I hear you say, “Why would I want to piss people off? And how could I possibly expect them to buy from me after doing THAT?”
You’re right. Of course, you’re right.
The thing is, that’s the exact reason why you should piss people off.
Because you simply can’t please everyone at the same time.
Think of it like shopping for t-shirts. Would you really want to buy a one-size-fits-all t-shirt when you can get one that’s a perfect fit for you? Probably not.
In order to create value for your ideal customers, you need to stand out from the crowd and show you have an edge.
Some people will LOVE you for it. Others will get mad as hell and immediately decide to unfollow you or block you (and maybe even send you a nasty message on their way out).
This sounds bad, but it’s actually a good thing. Hear me out.
The people who dump you are the so-called haters. They’ll never become satisfied customers anyway.
So you might as well stop sucking up to them and instead give your ideal customers – the ones who are a perfect fit for your offering – the full version of YOU.
Because being YOU is the magic sauce that could explode your sales! It’s your unique selling proposition. But right now you’re keeping it locked up – and then wondering why people aren’t buying.
You’ve probably heard this before:
You could be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world – and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.
That’s just how life is. So you might as well use it to your advantage.
You’ve probably figured this out already
The people you should piss off are the haters: these people are not your ideal customers anyway.
It doesn’t matter if they have a problem you can fix or a need you can fulfil, because you’ll never be good enough for them. Even if you’re the best provider in your line of business. Even if your message is vanilla.
And here’s why:
When it comes to customer satisfaction, human factors like personality, opinions and ideals are way more important than how good your product is.
Take a look at Nike. There’s a reason why their controversial campaign featuring American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick (who refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of the treatment of minorities in the U.S.) was such a massive success – even if they did create a shitstorm in the process.
What Nike did with the Colin Kaepernick campaign, albeit in a pretty extreme way, was to pick out their ideal customers (while filtering out the haters). This is called targeting, and it’s one of the most important concepts in marketing – because it works!
The customers who cut up their socks and burned their shoes were never Nike’s ideal customers. By picking a side, Nike allied themselves with their soulmate customers and strengthened their relationship with this target group.
In fact, they’ve strengthened it to such an extent that today, Nike’s core customers will choose Nike over any other sports brand out there – regardless of price or design – simply because they share the same values.
That’s serious business.
Here’s how I’ve used this strategy in my own marketing
I like using LinkedIn to engage with my target audience. It’s actually where I get most of my copywriting clients from. But LinkedIn has this unwritten code of conduct saying you should only act in a certain way. Some call it ‘the professional way’. I call it ‘the corporate way’.
And guess what. I’m not a corporate type of gal. I’m a nomadic copywriter, for Christ’s sake – the only suit I ever wear is a swimsuit. So I hesitated a bit when I stepped out of the LinkedIn shadows to reveal ‘the real me’ behind the airbrushed profile picture.
Dancing has always been a big part of my life. I’ve been dancing since I could walk. Even though it’s not what I do for a living, I love to spice up my work day with a few latin moves. So why not share that with my followers on LinkedIn? After all, it’s part of who I am and how I work.
The thing is, posting dance videos is unheard of on LinkedIn. It’s like dancing inside a bank – it just doesn’t happen.
I knew it would be a turn-off for some people. But, as you know by now, there’s always going to be somebody who hates peaches.
And guess what? My ideal customers LOVE it. They’re sitting in their corporate office somewhere, bored to death, longing for a bit of fun. And suddenly, there I am; dancing onto their screen, passing on some feel-good vibes.
It creates an instant bond.
In fact, I landed a $10,000 gig directly off the back of my very first dance video.
How’s that for a return on investment?
As for the haters – I almost don’t hear from them. And when I do, their complaints are soon drowned out by the sea of positive messages and good vibes from my ideal audience.
Easy to say, hard to do
Are you cringing at the sheer thought of offending someone?
That’s only natural. In fact, it’s human instinct. You see, deep inside all of us is the need to be part of the flock. So you hold back for fear of standing out and being rejected.
The problem with this tactic is that you become just another face in the crowd. That means a) you’re boring and b) you’re easy to replace.
The only way to become irreplaceable is by being yourself. Authentically and unapologetically. Because there’s only one ‘you’ (and thank God for that).
So what now?
I hope that this article has inspired you to be more brutally honest and to be yourself, both in public and when marketing yourself and your business – whether you’re connecting with your audience on social media, setting up ads or writing content for your website or blog.
What’s your take on ‘pissing people off’ as a marketing strategy? Give me your honest opinion (EVEN if you disagree) in the comments below. 😉
Found this piece particularly useful or just hilarious to read? Tell your colleagues, best friends – or even your mum – by clicking on the sharing buttons below