Hip, cool, innovative, creative, forward-thinking, new, Web 2.0., interactive, semantic, social. Viral. Awesome.
All of these sound great, right? You want your website, your blog, your marketing strategy to be all, or at least *some* of these. You're hearing more and more about these new tools, and you're sure that with a little jolt of hip, people will come flocking to your business.
Think about how excruciating it was when your parents tried to use current slang in front of your friends.
You are a business owner. Whatever your actual age, you're in a position of authority. You are the parent, your audience are the children. Don't try to be hip. Don't try to be cool. Don't try to be anything you're not.
If you're talking marketing strategy and any of those words above pop up, think of them as a really obvious toupee' on your head. Don't pretend it looks good when it doesn't - don't be deluded by the buzzword du jour. Be as conservative, as professional...as grown up...as your business needs to be. Don't look for "cool" elements on your website unless your audience is in the market for cool. Know the right tone to take, know the right media to use to target what your audience is looking for.
Not sure if your new website is trying too hard? Ask anyone more than 20 years your junior. When they make the scrunchy face, you know you're trying too hard to be hip. You can't fake hip, or cool, or innovative, so don't try. Your audience will only feel as comfortable with your site as your feel with it yourself.
Just Be Yourself on whatever social spaces you create and the people who want what you have to sell won't be put off by your excruciatingly unhip use of "cool" tools.