One of the best things about walking out from behind your computer screen and going to conferences is meeting people that heretofore you only knew as an avatar.
Let me fill you in on something. No one looks like their avatar. Some look worse, some look better (Oh! How my fingers ache to put examples behind those statements!) and they’re all decidedly warmer. But, no one looks like you think they will.
Case in point, Steve Sherlock came to find me at SOBCon. There were big hugs, “I’m so glad to finally meet you”s, and on and on. And then there was my realization that he was roughly 8 feet tall. And that I’m not (I forget this fact a lot – sort of like a chihuahua). He noticed too, saying, “Wow, from your Twitter avatar, I thought you’d be much taller!”
“She’s larger than life,” said my dear friend Andi. God bless ‘er.
This ‘in person’ thing is the only time I don’t like being short – ’cause otherwise, I really like it:
- I curl up in chairs easily.
- My feet have never hung off the end of a bed or stuck out of the covers.
- I can be carried easily in cases of emergency (or passion).
- Falling down hurts less.
- I’m afraid of heights.
But, when I’m talking to a peer and I have to look up at them to converse, a power imbalance ensues. And, unless the tall person gets off on intimidation and lording over others or unless the short person thinks of themself as unworthy and, well, small – I don’t think it’s comfortable for either party.
Personally, I simply won’t stand for it. I want to look into your eyes, not up your nose. So I did this (see below) and it was caught on camera and tweeted by Steve Woodruff.
(Ignore the face I’m making in this photo, I’ve run through every word I know and I can’t find one that causes that face.)
See, it’s like I told you the other day, I’m not above stepping on things to get what I need.
The Power of the copywriter
Good copywriters solve problems. If your competition or your dream clients are ‘taller’ or ‘shorter’ than you, copywriters and content creators (and social media strategists) should be able to figure out a way to get you to eye level, to position your message and brand in a way that creates a natural conversation, connection and relationship.
Interruption marketing just isn’t cutting it anymore. It’s done from a perspective where the company is decidedly bigger or smaller than their customer, and therefore, has to scream to get their attention. Interruption tactics include:
- TV commercials
- Radio commercials
- Let’s face it: all commercials
- Blinking, obnoxious ‘BUY THIS’ windows that open when you’re just trying to read a post
- Pushing your products on people
- Not listening, just talking/yelling/shouting
- Taking, sucking and bogarting the energy
As opposed to relationship, or relational or human, marketing. Blogging and social media tools can be used quite effectively as a means to this relationship building, by the way.
- Meeting people where they are.
- Listening to what clients and customers need.
- Solving their problems.
- Not pushing your product on them.
- Giving, not taking.
- Being a real person.
- Building a relationship of trust.
All difficult things to do when you’re staring into someone’s belly button.