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Marketing to Women Online with Holly Buchanan

Why You Shouldn't Decorate With Cowboy Boots

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

IMG_2115 A: Because you're not me.  (That's my living room entry, home to the red boots. The brown and turquoise boots reside next to the bedroom chair.)

Of course, you may actually have cowboy boots (or Manolos or Birkenstocks) as design elements all over your house. But you're still not me.  Your color and style of footwear will vary.  Also, I'm purty dang sure I'm the only one here that has a folk-art angel - made of rusty stove, car and cabinet parts - hanging on the wall above the boots. 

So, we're different, duh.  Which brings me to the successful design of marketing and selling.

But I can't write like you, Mary!   I hear this a lot - particularly when talking about blogs (which are - ahem - far from dead).  And, you shouldn't write "like me." I write in my style, from my perspective - which may be totally inappropriate for you or your business. Even I don't write the same way all the time. I adopt a totally different style when - for example - writing a high-tech start-up biz plan (nary a "dang" to be found.)  If the target is  men of a certain age, I write (and present) a certain way. My topics here are different from those on my blog. And so on. 

Of course, some people simply cannot write at all.  If that's the case, well then maybe you shouldn't.  However, I recommend you at least give it a shot before handing your marketing materials over to a professional writer.  You're the ONLY one who knows your product, idea or biz as intimately and passionately as you do.  The more the pro has to work with, the better the final product.   Also, blogging is a much more forgiving vehicle - simply sharing your thoughts can go a very long way to building trust with your readers (customers.) It's like public speaking (gulp!) -  if you're genuine, people are pretty forgiving of a few rough edges.

Sometimes I wear the cowboy boots to client meetings.  Other times, they'd be entirely wrong. (People notice shoes, particularly women.)  Every sales pitch is different (or should be).  You can't have just one. Sorry, I just blew the whistle on a whole marketing industry sector - there is no such thing as "perfect" pitch. Women buy for different reasons for men.  All women biz owners aren't the same.  "Old white guys" don't want to hear me natter on about Cher's plastic surgery.   Sometimes a little irreverent humor is appropriate; sometimes not.  You've got to know your target and adjust accordingly. 

One size doesn't fit all.  Even if you and I both love those red boots - you may not be a 7.5 ...and my big ol' cowgirl hat would likely settle around your ears. (I've got a big ol' cowgirl head).   

is it a tweet pitch?  An elevator pitch (how many floors will you have?) A one-page investment overview?  Web site pages?  A 10-minute presentation? A 30-minute one? How much space and time do you have to make the right impression? (See above about not wearing those big pointy-toed red boots to every meeting.) 

Now, I'm off for some Friday afternoon play time. The big decision: which pair of boots to wear?

P.S. So just why do I keep the red boots in my living room?  Because it makes me happy to look at them. That's my decorating style: Happy.  Same as yours (should be). Whatever you love, whatever makes you smile - put it out there, in your home and your life. Mix it, match it...or don't.  Have a good time. (And your customers will too.)  


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