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Breath life into your marketing with a little humor

Breath life into your marketing with a little humor

June 22, 2017

It's okay to be funny. No. I take that back. It’s not just ok. You need to have more fun and be more funny.

See, if you’re like most readers you’ve been in business for a while. You have employees to manage, customers to please, books to balance, and let’s just say a lot on your plate.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery and seriousness of business. But if you’re looking to really thrive, you have to keep that spark and humor of life alive and kicking.

So this blog is to help you take a little break and have a wee bit of fun. The business side of me wants to point out how laughter reduces stress and gives everyone a reason to do a little more at work. But today I want to focus on something else. (Ok. I can’t help myself. If you want to learn why having fun at work changes everything, click here.)

Humor shows your humanity, your self deprecation, and your spirit. It's a game-changer in life and it's a game-changer in marketing.

So read on for a few laughs. It might just spark some new ideas for your company...

“Humor is the great thing. The moment it crops up, all our hardnesses yield. All our irritations and resentments flit away.”

- Mark Twain

Good marketing is about getting those hardnesses to yield and engaging the prospective customer. It’s where you can tell people who you really are and engage them in a battle of wits. That’s why marketing genius, David Ogilvy advises: “The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”

It’s not easy to have “funny thinking”.

How can I be funny when I’m not in a funny industry?

Selling fish. It's just about as boring as it gets. But Seattle’s Pikes Place Fish Market doesn't buy it. They put out a video highlighting how they have fun in their shop (and market themselves) by throwing fish. One viewer responded that she’d love to be funny in her business but she doesn’t have any fish to throw.

You don’t need fish!

You need creativity. Sometimes you can play around with your customers through a whole ad campaign, and sometimes all you need is a sign outside of a retail store.

Here are 10 tips to get your creative, fun juices flowing...

1. Make fun of yourselves.

Are you in a family owned business? Then you have more latitude than anyone.

2. Make fun of your industry.

3. Add humor in unexpected places.

Snapple puts joke in the bottle lids. Find interesting unusual ways to make your customers laugh. The more surprising the better.

4. Make your business cards fun or funny.

Some tips for creative and funny business cards.

  • Show your client the results. Literally.

The card below is from a weight loss coach. Brilliant.

  • Answer their question before they ask.

  • State the obvious “elephant in the room.”

An electrician’s business card…

5. Be blunt.

An antique store...

6. Shake the public’s bias or uneasy perception.

Are you in a somber or serious industry? Shake things up a little bit…

7. Highlight your unique selling point.

8. Have fun in the office. Lighten up your employee’s day.

9. Make fun and joke sharing part of your meetings.

My team and I schedule in 5 (sometimes more) minutes of fun during our weekly meeting. Everyone has to share something fun or funny. Everyone. You can read from a joke book or share a funny story that happened to you personally. It’s doesn’t matter. I can personally attest to how it’s actually changed our culture.

Here’s one fun video to share at your next meeting… The Origins of Job Interviews.

10. Turn a stressful situation on its head.

Give your customers and your employees a reason to enjoy doing business with you. Make it pleasurable. Remember, “You’ll catch more flies with honey, than vinegar.”

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,

Jon