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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Why Settle for Ordinary When You Can Get Extraordinary?

Written By: Mark E. Goodman | Comments Off on Why Settle for Ordinary When You Can Get Extraordinary?

extraordinary Why settle for ordinary when you can get extraordinary? You may think this question is rather silly.

Every business would like to be viewed as being different. Anyone would want to be viewed as special, as opposed to mundane. But this is not always the way things go!

Why do businesses want to create ordinary content?

First, they don’t want to be controversial. As an example, I created some website material for a client. It was a pretty cool holographic video. While most people really liked it, a few people didn’t. A complaint was viewed as being more troublesome than multiple compliments.

Some of the most interesting posts in social media are the ones that take a position. However, if you look at most business’s Twitter feeds, you will primarily see “safe” posts.

Often we search for authenticity but get a commercial.  

The second excuse for ordinary is the budget. If you work with a content creator and come to them with a reasonable budget, you will get a reasonable output.

A reasonable budget for most content creators is quite profitable. They can use a template and process that they have used before. A reasonable budget allows the content creator to manage your expectations and provide something that works.

Want something more? It’s probably not within that budget.

The last reason for ordinary is that you did not ask for extraordinary.  Often a content creator offers you the safe option because it’s what everyone else has. Many times prospective clients simply want to do what their competitor is doing.

Within various disciplines, there is the acceptable ordinary. As long as that is what you ask for, it’s what you will get. And as long as you get the acceptable ordinary, you won’t get fired.

So, how can you get extraordinary content?

First, take a chance. Instead of walking in with three examples of what your competition is doing, look for things you think are cool. Think about how you can intrigue your viewer, as opposed to simply satisfying them. (But understand that occasionally you may have to explain why you took a different approach.) 

Look to combine interfaces and challenge your user. 3D movies challenge people to put on glasses. There were a set of folks who said no, they didn’t want to have to wear glasses – and missed out on the experience.  

Next, don’t immediately start thinking about the budget. What it costs should be the last discussion point, not the first.  

Work with your content creator to scope out something new and exciting. Discuss your vision and what you want to accomplish. If the price comes in higher than you expected, you can work with the creative team to meet the objective at your budget level.  

Alternatively, perhaps the vision and possibilities are so exciting that more money can be found.

Make sure you put your name on it. Visit an ordinary website and you can communicate with info@abccompany.com  or maybe sales@xyz.com. This doesn’t make a visitor feel like they are connecting with a real person, or a company that cares about them. 

And then there are animated videos. While some are helpful to describe complicated concepts, they can be the epitome of cheap and soulless. Consider including yourself and your team in your videos to put a face on the company.

An extraordinary piece of content announces, “I did this!” Also, ask for feedback with forms and requests like “Please tell us what you think.”

Sometimes it is good to understand what the basic package includes, and then offer to contribute something additional and special for the project. My company worked on a video with some pre-recorded content, and then added some pictures and commentary that had been created in the past. We were able to make something that was much better than basic.

Being ordinary is the norm. It’s safe. I recommend that you strive to achieve the extraordinary.

Article written by
Mark Goodman is the President & CEO of e-Conversation Solutions. He is also past workshop chair at SCORE Chicago. Prior to founding e-Conversation, Mark held numerous positions as a technology executive, including Director of Business Development at Motorola, where he was the first business manager in the cell phone group. In addition to Motorola, Mark was an executive for a Silicon Valley company and a film buyer for General Cinema Theatres. Mark holds an MBA from Boston University and an MA in radio/TV/film from Northwestern University.