For several years, I was “the small business marketing guy” assisting a schizophrenic human potential/wealth training organization which, as its main sales activity and deliverable, put on a 3-day seminar every weekend – and had to draw from 300 to 1,000 people to it every week.
A good percentage of those people were returning many weekends in a row.
Traveling from all over the country to Phoenix.
I learned pretty quickly that, every Monday morning, we had to come up with the big idea for the big promise of how this coming weekend’s event was going to be dramatically different, bigger, and more amazing than last week’s.
Our language was: a history in the making event. It had to be made out to be of Enormous Importance.
Each week we promised an event to end all events.
Each week we promised one of even more importance than the previous week’s.
That, I think, is your real task for whatever you market, each time you reach out to your customers, clients, patients or prospects – making whatever you are offering them of life-altering, mind-boggling, history-in-the-making importance.
Whether a sale at your dry cleaners, a Monday Night Football Party at your tavern or a health fair at your clinic.
Here is the actual copy from a newspaper ad from August 31, 1861, promoting the latest reason to visit P.T. Barnum’s Museum. Note the word “latest” – because he was in the business of constantly coming up with a new, grander-than-all-others-before attraction, to get locals to part with 25-cents yet again, to come to his museum:
Greatest curiosity ever exhibited
First and only…ever seen
Engaged at an immense cost
For a short time only
Barnum’s large, multi-column ads were considered in very poor taste at the time, and his heavily hyped proclamations and announcements, claiming exaggerated importance for every attraction found were ridiculed by his critics.
The crowds that turned out cared little for the criticism.
They just didn’t want to miss seeing the River Horse from Egypt. Or the world’s smallest steamship captain or giant shark that swallowed a whale or whatever else he conjured.
I recommend reading my friend Joe Vitale’s book on Barnum, ‘There’s A Customer Born Every Minute’ as well as Barnum’s own autobiography. I recommend making whatever you next ask your customers’ attention for the greatest, first, only, immensely expensive, enormously important and available only for a short time