When you pick up your badge at WPPI, they give you this bag with a bunch of “stuff” in it.  The bag itself is useful, I guess, if you need something to carry around stuff.  Of course, most people who come to WPPI bring their own “bag,” to carry the things that are important to them - so it’s kind of like this bag is really just for the other stuff.   

The bag is full of flyers, and postcards, and catalogs, and promos, and “stuff.”  It’s all about capturing your attention.  It’s all about getting you to take a closer look at the companies that made this “stuff,” and hoping that by blitzing everyone - at least a few people will end up turn into a paying customer.  

I went through my bag.  I picked out about 5 things - all from companies I know and already love - and threw the rest away (actually I recycled them, don’t throw things at me).  I didn’t need another bag, and I certainly didn’t need a bag full of “stuff,” from companies I neither know or use. 

It actually struck me pretty solidly as I went through and picked out a few things to keep.  As I looked through the bag, there were companies for which I had such a strong feeling (good or bad), that it was entirely irrelevant what was on the “stuff.”  It didn’t matter how well done, how big, how enticing the offer, or whose picture was on it.  The effort to win my attention didn’t matter, because these companies didn’t have my affection.  On the other hand, there were companies for whom I had no use for their flyer - I’m already a customer - but I kept it anyway.  They are companies I love, and I kept their “stuff” because it was sort of a show of support - at least in my mind.

We do a lot of things to attract “attention.”  We do email marketing, and blogging, and direct mail, and bridal shows, and a ton of other initiatives under the guise of “marketing.”  We do a lot of work, spend a lot of time, and invest good amounts of money on things that are designed to get people to look at us.  

The problem is, what happens then?  Imagine the world of your ideal client.  Their sales cycle is pretty short, happens only once, and during that time they get utterly blitzed with “stuff” from you and your competition.  Everyone is trying to capture their attention, at least long enough to extract a booking.  

There are companies I partner with because I know they care about me.  These are companies that I know have a vested interest in me and my business, and as a result, I have deep affection for them.  They aren’t the cheapest.  They aren’t always the popular choice, but there is a sense of mutual loyalty that can’t be swayed by their competitors attempt to get my attention.

What if instead, you focused on attracting your ideal clients’ affection instead.  What if instead of the focus of your entire marketing strategy being to get people to look at you, it was based on building an authentic relationship that resulted in genuine affection between you and your clients?  What would you do differently?  

Would you still do ads?  Would you still do bridal shows?  Would you still blog?  Would you still Twitter and Facebook?  Would it affect your pricing? Your turnaround? Your level of service?  Would it affect they way you meet with clients?  Would it affect your booking process?  If you were focused on affection instead of attention, what would you do differently?

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