By Mars Dorian, Contributing {grow} Columnist

I always try to find deeper ways to connect with my audience and customers. The web can separate your site from your audience by oceans, and to bridge that distance, you have to fight hard to make that connection.

I drew the following cartoons to express what I believe are some of the most effective ways to connect with your audience and build an online presence that is SPELLBINDING!

social media signal versus noise

1) Become the signal. Get rid of the noise

Some people have earned permanent residency in the echo chamber.

After all, it’s a cozy place. Easy to maintain. No extra care required. But I challenge you to ditch that space when you TRULY want to make a difference with your business and marketing. You see, I read Seth Godin, like probably a lot of you. Feverishly. But the danger with admiring your role models is copying them without having their experience. And that’s what is happening — marketers copying Godin left and right.

They talk about standing out, building tribes, and being a linchpin.

You know it’s not coming from them. You know they have NO experience to foster that claim.

Seth Godin says “tribe,” “remarkable,” “linchpin” and they rehash it like it’s the cure to mortality.

It’s noise.

Leverage your OWN experience — if you want spread the idea of being remarkable, standing out and going all the way to the edge with your marketing, then actually do it. Let your actions get the message across because then it will be authentic, and people will learn from your real experience, instead of tweeting some repeated impressive-sounding but ultimately shallow phrase. Instead of adding noise to the echo chamber, become the SIGNAL.

unmask the marketer

2) Uncover the mask.

I recently met an online client in the offline world (still remember how to do that?), and I was FLABBERGASTED to say the least. That quirky, nuclear-powered, vibrant person I met was NOT the stiff and stilted persona that I have known from the online realm.

She later confessed to me that she disguised herself online to appear more professional, putting on a mask every day.  You know the spiel — mission statement with incomprehensible gibberish “I set up system to maximize your online visibility and managementyadadada…”, a stockphoto profile pic and glossy-blue brand design because it feels corporate and professional.  Arghghghhgh.

Like Tara Gentile says, we live in a “You” economy nowadays, and that means you have to bring your original style, beliefs, obsessions, and quirks, combined with your brand promise to form a holistic perception.

In other words, hold your “freak” flag high and proudly. And that’s how you’ll attract like-minded customers who will love to make business with you.

Ditch that mask.

social media storytelling

 

3) Don’t just explain. Tell stories.

It’s hard to write about this because the whole aspect of “storytelling” in the online marketing space has more hype than hyperspace.

But the truth is, storytelling is and ALWAYS will be effective. We have been storying since we were smelly monkeys scribbling pictures of beasts on the cave walls. Stories helped us survive, because we could share life-saving experiences without actually going through them ourselves. We are still wired to prefer stories over any other content form, and that’s why you should use it excessively.

A press release blog post puts us to sleep but tell us a story and we’re engaged like a piñata filled with fireworks.

Look at your brand, your company, your blog, yourself and tell us your stories.

 mesmerizing content

4) Mesmerize me.

Ahhh … I’ve held on to the most difficult thing for last.  Is marketing today anything more than having a good looking website with grrrreat content?

Isn’t everybody going after the SAME THING?  How are you going to cut through the noise and grab your visitors by the throat? Why do you come back to the {grow} blog again and again?  Here’s why.  Mark Schaefer provides mesmerizing content.

How can YOU achieve that? I think it comes from a place of absolute congruence between your personality, your platform, your message, and a certain creative spark.

Another mesmerizing guy is Gary Vaynerchuk. His soul belongs to video. The guy seems like he was born with a video camera in his cradle, and that’s why people watch him, even if they couldn’t care less about wine.  If he tried his hand at blog writing, he wouldn’t be nearly as captivating, because it’s not his domain.

Mitch Joel provides mesmerizing podcasts because he’s a masterful interviewer.

I communicate through cartoons.

It’s all about which style you connect the MOST with, and then conveying that in your message in an entertaining and interesting way.

I know, it’s kind of meta. But don’t you find it mesmerizing :) ?

mars dorianMars Dorian describes himself as a creative marketeer with a moon-melting passion for human potential and technology. You can follow his adventures at www.marsdorian.com/

Original illustrations by the author.

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