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Is It O.K. to Curse In Your Marketing?


Do you think about how you come across?

I know I do. I tend to lean towards being polite and professional – call it a bit old fashioned, but that is how I was raised. I have a humorous side that I am trying to let you see more of….. and in real life, I curse sometimes. But you haven’t seen cursing in my marketing.
How would you think of me if I cursed in my marketing? Would it offend you? Would you quickly unsubscribe?

Allow me to digress for a moment. Last week I attended the Entrepreneur Conference – Winning Strategies for Business with a keynote by branding expert Erika Napolitano.

A few of the things Erika said, which I loved, were “Never Apologize for Who You Are”  and I refuse to turn down my ambition because someone else is uncomfortable with the volume.”

Erika elaborated on how being yourself, even it if offends someone, brings you closer to your ideal customers; those who ‘get’ you and love you for exactly who you are.

Who doesn’t want to work with raving fans?  Who needs customers who have you walking on egg shells? This really resonates with me, as it’s something I have been conscious of and striving for myself.

During the panel discussion Erika Napolitano, Chris Penn and Laura Fitton offered a lot of smart business insights and tips. There was also some cursing. Did I mind it? No.

It did get me wondering though. Was it necessary? We spent the drive home from the event talking about authenticity in marketing, how much of yourself you should reveal, and whether cursing is professional or even necessary.

I did get the sense that I was seeing Erika, Chris and Laura themselves – not a ‘manufactured for public’ version of themselves. I felt their authenticity, and that they were there with no holds barred and no information held back. It endeared me to them and also added a trust factor.

So cursing may not be for you. I don’t plan to start cursing in my marketing any time soon, however, I am striving to be more fully ME in my communication with you, as if you were sitting in front of me and we are having a conversation.

It’s not that I haven’t been authentic with you, I have. I think my own position about whether to curse in your marketing comes from having a notion that marketing is marketing, and my life is my life, and n’er the twain shall meet.

But life, and marketing aren’t like that. Have you noticed? There are lessons that each can learn from the other… and all business and none of me, doesn’t make it relatable. We want to work with people, and we want to have that “know, like and trust” feeling before deciding to do business with them.

So, feeling empowered about being myself, I was surprised to get a long email from someone who attended my webinar on Wednesday, telling me how I offended her.

I have to say, my initial response was good! I am being more of the Me I want to be in business.

Don’t get me wrong – my goal is not to make people feel uncomfortable or to be offensive just for the sake of being offensive. That would be professional suicide right?

What I had done was to be authentically me on the webinar. I had provoked such a strong reaction that this attendee felt compelled to let me know. This is why it’s a great thing on a few levels:

~  that they shared their feedback – I am sure they feel better, and I value the time they took as well as the information they shared

~  we both now know that we aren’t a fit to work together – that frees us both up to move onto prospects or service providers who are a better fit for each of us

By sorting out those who don’t get you, or are offended, you make room for those who do ‘get you’ and like your style. If you are busy worrying, there won’t be enough business left – you are going down the wrong rabbit hole. There is plenty of business around, made up solely of your raving fans.

To be authentic, I know I don’t need to curse, and neither do you. What you do need to do, for more engagement and deeper client relationships, is be yourself.

As Oscar Wilde said, Be Yourself – Everyone Else is taken.

It’s the best positioning you can have in your business and in your publicity!

How can you be more authentic in your own business and create more know, like and trust with your audience? I’d love to hear your feedback on this.

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