Using Sex To Market & Brand Your Small Business

“The whole idea of guerrilla marketing is to transform cold prospects into consenting partners.” Jay Conrad Levinson

Levinson´s brilliant article makes analogies between sex and guerrilla marketing…here, I´ll focus on a couple examples where sex was blatantly used to market small businesses in atypical guerrilla fashion. Both examples offended people and ruffled feathers. Why was one a brilliant success and one a colossal failure?

In early May, a certain Chicago Billboard It caught the eye of every U.S. media outlet. Lots of people hated the sign, especially those that viewed the sign as actually encouraging divorce. Due to improper permitting, the City of Chicago forced it to be removed, which kept the story in the media for a longer period of time. When a new version of the sign went up, news coverage continued giving the firm even more exposure.

Were there tangible results? The lead lawyer of the firm appeared on network television and the local news stations provided saturation coverage of the story. Alexa shows huge traffic spikes to their website. The firm got links from the Wall Street Journal and the Tom Leykis show. Variants of their ad slogan appear close to 30,000 times in Google. Almost every prospect in their target market likely knows of the firm (or at least the ad) and in an industry where few lawyers create any ads (let alone memorable ones), this firm has grabbed incredible mindshare by advertising with this sexy billboard.

The ad likely resonated with people because it portrayed divorce and the opportunity to be single as a hedonistic fantasyland so far removed from the truth (for most of us) that a viewer can suspend reality long enough to laugh, remember the image/message, and tell all their friends. The word-of-mouth around Chicago must have been tremendous. Through their billboard, the firm has branded themselves as the Chicago divorce lawyers that everyone knows. They should now reinforce their display advertising with SEO / PPC / Social Media Optimization to make their branding as strong online as it is off.

This is the billboard.

By contrast, I found via SEO-Blokes a story published on an online marketing agency website entitled “How Website Design Got Me Laid“, which is a textbook example of how not to brand your business with sex.

Now, I´m not totally against the concept of writing a story about a tryst at a SEO conference (which what was done here), providing that it´s clearly fictional and (perhaps) a vehicle that satirizes the unique interpersonal relationships that can occur between conference attendees:

“The look she gave me from across the room made me realize I don´t need to surf Google Images with safe search ‘off´ anymore…she was shallow and superficial, so I nicknamed her ´Mahalo´…I never dugg blondes but have always preferred Reddit heads…”

Unfortunately, the unnamed author (no name makes the offense even worse) does not make it clear to the reader whether this is parody or truth…and in the small search community, if it could be true, people will start to wonder who is represented in the story and do I know them?

I guess (and I´m reaching for any explanation why this story would appear on a corporate website) that the company in question is trying to brand itself as young and hip. However, casting the narrator in the Dustin Hoffman “Graduate” role and setting the story at SMX just doesn´t work. The story make the narrator look like a total dolt and by portraying the female character as a simple-minded Mrs. Robinson, is extremely insulting to all women.

Along with the book publisher who swiped Google´s laptop, Lifeblue (the agency that published the story) has to be strongly considered for the marketing turd of the year award. I can´t see any positive outcomes arising from this effort.

If you decide to use sex to advertise your small business, be very careful…you might be cutting edge or you just might get cut.

Market Branding “You Inc” Goes Beyond Internet Marketing!

I wrote a blog on Market Branding about a week ago called,”Branding and Marketing “You Inc.” Is A Must To Succeed!” and since then I’ve come to realize that branding “You Inc” goes beyond the internet marketing scope.

As a network marketer we want to be seen in the most positive light that our prospects could possibly see us in and that holds true even away from marketing our business.

With the economy in the tank, now more than ever branding and marketing your good name or “You Inc” has become a bigger priority than ever. Not only are employers offering positions based upon them becoming a bidding war, whoever will work the cheapest gets the position, but more and more, they are Goggling your name to see what kind of reputation and name you have with your piers and in your community.

Fortunately some social networks like Face Book are recognizing this and allowing you to lock up those pics of you dancing on the table with a lampshade on your head. Not the kind of pics that you want a potential employer to see. So marketing and branding a more responsible image of you is a must in order to succeed in the professional world or in the internet marketing world.

Social networking is a great way for branding and marketing “You Inc” by adding to the conversations, posting pics of yourself dressed appropriately and listing all your accomplishments in your profile.
Try writing on different blogs and showcase your expertise on any given subject. Consider joining professional forums such as LinkedIn and others like it, so that a snooping potential employer can see your more serious professional side.

While establishing your brand be consistent and professional using consistent language, style, photos and profile information. Always have the idea that someone is looking and occasionally Google your own name to see what comes up. This will give you a perspective of what a potential employer or a prospect might see when they Google your name.

Internet Marketing Branding – Learn a Simple Three Step Strategy to Instantly Enforce Your Branding

Any online business, no matter the subject, needs advertising, in order to get a public. The better the advertising campaign, the larger the public you’ll get, the more effective your marketing plan will be.

Let me tell you why and how internet marketing branding can improve the results of your campaign.

A brand allows your audience to identify you with it. They can easily recall you through it and associate to it all the positive feelings you are able to convey with your offer.
Moreover, it allows you to connect with them in the long term, converting your buyers in recurring and satisfied customers.

Here are three tips you can apply in your self branding strategy.

1) Design a logo
Design a logo a put it in the header of your website and in the signature of your emails. Your logo should convey the feelings associated with your offer through a good choice of shapes, colors, contrast and balance. The best advice I can give you, is to hire a professional graphic designer and work with him on it.

2) Create expert pages
Article directories allow you to create a profile page, where you ca insert your photograph, your credentials and a bio. Make sure to write you bio focusing on your main message. Firmly position yourself focusing on your goals, define the purpose of your business and convey it through a vision statement.

3) Publish articles
The same article directories allow you to submit your content. Identify the main problems your customers usually face and write articles about them. Make them informative, giving solid advice and submit them to these websites. Each one of them will be dedicated a web page and they will appear all together on your expert page, reinforcing your brand.

What you need to do now is start branding yourself. Follow these three steps, create your brand and track the results. If you’re not satisfied with it, tweak it and improve your name recognition and over the course of time you’ll make it stronger and stronger.

If you want to learn more about this subject, I invite you to visit Article Power, where you can find a full list of article directories you can build your expert page on.

Easy Article Marketing – Brand Yourself With Articles

If you haven’t branded yourself yet, using articles is the easiest (and in my opinion, the best) way to do it. Here’s how to brand yourself with articles:

Decide your niche.

The first important step is determining your niche. Who is your perfect audience? What are their interests? What do they enjoy doing? How can you relate to them?

When you know your niche inside and out, it is easier to talk to them. This makes writing articles for them to read much easier and quicker as well.

Write often.

Once you’ve established your target market (niche), write articles as often as you can. It does absolutely no good to write a handful of articles to submit, then stop there. You have to write frequently to build up a good audience.

Speak openly about the topic(s).

One of the best ways to relate to your target customer is to speak freely and openly about the topics they are intersted in. Take a positive, but open stance, and openly discuss important issues. Remember to stay upbeat, despite the topic.

Stay on target.

Don’t hop from one subject to another. Stay focused and on target with your niche’s interests and concerns. If your target market is 50-something singles, don’t write about marriage issues or child-rearing issues. Write about things that your target market is interested in, such as dating after 50, or introducing your new love to your grown children.

By following these simple methods, you can quickly brand yourself as an author. You’ll build a following of people who enjoy reading your articles and will keep coming back for more.