Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winning Gold for Your Business, Olympics Style

While watching the Olympics with my wife I came to a startling realization. In the three hours of an NBC telecast there is probably only about 45 minutes of actual sports taking place. The rest is background stories, analysis, and commercials.

Since my wife and I tape it on the DVR, we quickly forward through the commercials (note to you TV advertisers, there is still a way to get my attention even as I fast forward.)

But while I want to get right to the action, my wife loves all the backstories on the different athletes. She eats that stuff like chocolate. Being the dutiful husband, I watch along with her.

The other night we saw a story about the Chinese Freestyle Skiing Aerial Team and their American coach. After the story, I found I was almost rooting for them to do well. The Chinese team? Yeah. The story gave them character and personality, and helped me relate to them.

Time and again, after hearing unique and compelling stories, I found myself rooting for whichever athlete was featured.

There is a business application here. TELL YOUR UNIQUE AND COMPELLING STORY. Tell the world who you are and why you're here. Let the outside world into your inner thoughts and feelings. Show them the human element behind your corporate business, the faces of the people behind the name on the sign. Give people your backstory, your reason for entering the competition, and they'll root for you, too.

Here's an easy way to do it:
  • Get a Flip Camera or some other inexpensive way to shoot videos.
  • Set up a YouTube account (they're free).
  • Shoot video tours of the store.
  • Shoot short video interviews of the staff (2-3 minutes).
  • Tell as much personal stuff as you're willing to share.
  • Talk unscripted about why you opened your store or what makes it so much fun to you.
  • Post the unscripted/unedited videos to YouTube and Facebook and your website.
  • Play the videos on a loop in your store.
Do this and you'll make connections with customers that will turn them into fans rooting for your success. They'll be cheering you on to get the gold (in many cases, their gold:-).

-Phil

PS Two reminders on videos...

Make them short (2-3 minutes tops) so they load quickly. Nothing worse than waiting 20 minutes for a ten-minute video to load. For some, that will be deterrent enough to never watch.

Make them unscripted and unedited. This way they show off the real you, not some phony poser that everyone will see right through. The real you is good enough if you have the confidence to be that person openly. The real you is who we want to root for, not some corporate image of you.

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