When Real Isn't

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BerkshiresRecently I took a week to focus on my business. 

Before I kicked off this project/writing retreat in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts however, my DH (darling hubby) joined me for the weekend.  We love driving around and stopping wherever the urge strikes.

On Saturday, it was at a packed-full shop full of vintage collectibles.  You know, the type of place that has 1950’s Coca-Cola memorabilia, old Campbell’s items and metal Scooby Doo, Barbie and Planet of the Apes’ lunchboxes, among so much more.  As we chatted with the owner, we learned lots, not only about collectibles overall, but also about how aspects of reality television really work.

Our conversation led me to think about the confusing messages I’ve seen business owners put out recently.

One being an invitation to a live event.  In my email inbox, on Facebook and on Twitter, people were offering fr-ee tickets.  “Just email or direct message to receive one.”

Yet when you went to the information (a.k.a. “sales”) page, you saw that the event host was charging several hundred dollars for a ticket.  Which is reality?  Fr-ee or paid?

Seems it depends on where you clicked — on Facebook/into someone’s email or into the host’s information page.

In my opinion (and one of the reasons I chose not to attend), this creates confusion and devalues the “thing” (in this case, the event itself) that you’re offering.  After all, why would we pay for it if we can hop on Facebook, send a note and get it for fr-ee?

A second example is a guru who preaches about providing value.  “Value, value, value — through a blog, a newsletter, etc.” and yet who has neither, only videos (which do provide some content) which all lead to  an offer.

Are either of these wrong?  Absolutely not.  They’re doing business “their way”.  What they may not realize however is that, to the informed customer, their messages are conflicting.

And if we’re confused about this, are we really likely to buy?

Where are you creating confusion in your marketing or on your website?  

  • Do you promote a “weekly newsletter” that you send monthly?
  • Is the giveaway on your website the same topic/area as your programs, products or services?
  • Is your branding consistent — so many seasoned business owners make this mistake, thinking they’ll “freshen up” their brand only to do it in “most places”, never quite finishing.

As it’s easy for us to miss our own stuff, ask a friend or colleague to check it out for you.