Monday, October 22, 2012

How Passion Sells - Going Beyond Eating Your Own Dogfood

It's an old adage that "Passion Sells." And we've all experienced how a passionate influencer can sway our own opinion - especially when that influencer is someone to whom we have previously given cognitive authority in areas of expertise. This is the core of social search, and every platform is betting on you wanting to do more of this - getting opinions and recommendations from influencers, providing recommendations of your own to your sphere of influence.

But, why is it that passions sells? What are the specific qualities of passion that work in terms of influence? What, specifically triggers the metamorphosis of passion to influence? It's more than just eating your own dog food, although realistically, you'd better be starting from there. ^_^

Passion is often softened in marketing into images of sensuality or hedonism, but at it's heart, passion is about belief.

The Journey Begins With Belief

Celebrity endorsements are a tried and true form of advertising, so are testimonials. Both of these are based on the simple idea that a voice that is recognizable will have influence. For some people sheer recognition is enough, for others there must be a connection - that person is like me. Either way the journey begins with belief in the voice speaking. Depending on the product, or the sophistication of the audience, you can buy endorsement, but you can never fake belief.  When you believe in your product, other people are willing to believe in it too.

Benefits With Benefits

It's awfully nice that using your product or service was good for that person over there. You'll need to convince every person out there of direct, tangible results for them, too. To do that, you'll need to think way outside your list of intended results, uses and outcomes. Understanding that each person who uses your product or service has an individual story, gives you a chance to customize what you have to say to your listeners.  Make the benefits plain to each person on the scale of their needs, not out of your jar of pitches.

Making a Convincing Case

When we have been in someone else's shoes, we know what they are seeing. When we have a story that is compelling to that person, they can see what we are seeing. Bridging that gap between perspectives is exactly where passion fits in. Passion becomes the connection between the words and the belief that underscores those words. It's your business, it's your content, it's your life. If you aren't passionate about it, why should anyone else be?

Don't throw your passion down on every third project out there. Take every opportunity to mean what you say.  When you've built up your reputation as someone who means every word they say, whose passion has worth, you'll find that your influence increases exponentially.

Embrace what you do with passion and ignite your creativity, and your market's belief in you.
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