Monster trucks, hair care, Hello Kitty… and UNICORNS!

Follow me for long on Twitter or my blog and you’ll eventually see some insane reference to either unicorns, monster trucks, or any number of bizarre topics (Hello Kitty, hair care products, bacon, road rage) that have little to do with lifestyle business. Sure, I could say that the unicorns and Hello Kitty fascination are because of my daughters, but I’m pretty sure my right people wouldn’t believe me for a split second.

No, I love all those things myself.

  • I love monster trucks. I want a cherry red, dual cab pickup truck with flames on the side, a 15-inch lift kit, and KC lights with the little happy-face covers. It’s irresponsible (guzzles gas and not conducive to families) and would look like I’m compensating for… well, you know. I don’t care.
  • I love Hello Kitty. I never had an outlet for that love until my daughters came along. Now I’m living vicariously through them; if their Hello Kitty pajamas are clean (i.e. not caked with food), then they wear them to bed! (One pair even has flashing lights on it.)
  • I love my hair! Not only do I use salon only products to style it, not only do I know why CHEMICALLY the products work, not only do I spend HUNDREDS of dollars on them annually, but believe it or not, this father of two and a half (due in February) flat irons his hair EVERY SINGLE DAY! (I am certainly no minimalist!)
  • And unicorns. Ahh, my beloved babies. Unicorns are so awesome that if anyone ever figures out how to make a unicorn petting zoo, I’ll be your first customer!

What on earth does any of this have to do with the Customer Love challenge?

(Good question.)

Humans are bizarre

It’s true. Try as we might to put our best foot forward, we all know that there is some really bizarre stuff about us. You might not like any of the things I listed, but I’m willing to guess that you have some crazy-ass interests of your own.

As we get become adults, we are conditioned to not talk about crazy stuff like unicorns. Emails are best received if well written and to the point — you know you can’t include a smiley face to just anyone! Meetings, even if off-topic, rarely ever consist of us spilling our guts over our fascination with cryptozoological creatures. (You think that’s a long word? I’ll post the longest one I know at the end of this post to drive the skimmers a little crazy.)

But most of us don’t migrate towards work manuals in our off time. We don’t long for those meeting agendas for our Sunday morning reading.

We have weird tastes, and any time we encounter someone else with our bizarre sense of style, we are attracted to them.

So what am I suggesting you do for today?

1. Write as the real you

In my interview with Sinclair from SelfActivator.com for Heroic Destiny (available on Friday), she said she wished bloggers would speak with their own voice. I thought this was such a good point that I postponed my original post for today. I felt you needed to hear this earlier on in the challenge.

Want to show your customers love? Be honest about who YOU are first.

Talk about the things that are unique to you. Yes, it is optimal if you can tie them to your mission, but my right people don’t think less of me for talking about horses with horns on their heads. Yes, it might be trivial and nonsensical, but if you get rid of those things, you aren’t left with a human anyway.

2. Stop apologizing

The other thing Sinclair wished was that people would stop apologizing each time they wroite as themselves. I couldn’t agree more!

Whether it is on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or that chartered plane you’re using to write messages in the sky, stop apologizing for letting your personality come through. Every time you apologize for being human, you push away anyone who identified with that human-ness. However, you validate your customers who identify with you when you let your true voice stand without apology.

Don’t discredit yourself and your customers by showing that you feel guilty for being human. (This doesn’t mean be an ass to people. That’s something entirely different — that’s being an ass… which is not good for making customers love you.)

3. Call forth the human-ness of your customers

A lot of my people like unicorns. Now I get tons of emails and messages that are nothing more than confessions of love for these majestic creatures — AND a link to the latest unicorn madness (shirts, pictures, stories, videos…you name it and it’s been sent to me). I get way fewer monster truck links. 🙁

Your customers identify with your bizarreness because they are bizarre too.

Your job as their leader (and you ARE their leader) is to help them be comfortable with their human-ness. Encourage them to step out and confess those bizarre things that make them unique.

  • Send links to things that have nothing to do with business.
  • Write a post about off-topic things you love and why you love them.
  • Better yet, write a post about off-topic things you love and how they relate to your business.
  • Ask your people what they like about [fill in the blank] (remember that everyone’s favorite topic is themselves).
  • Involve your people by running a contest or poll.
    • What’s the weirdest food they like?
    • What is one odd thing about them they wish people knew?
    • What celebrity do people say they look like?

People are social. Social media is for people. Be social when using it!

For those of you who skipped to the end

I know a lot of you just skimmed to this point, so here’s the breakdown:

  1. Remember that people want to connect with a human.
  2. Write like a real human and include your bizarre human-ness.
  3. Stand by your human-ness and don’t negate it with an apology.
  4. Love your people by calling forth THEIR human-ness.

We all feel loved the most when we are loved for who we really are.

For those of you who DID skim, that’s a crying shame. Because you’ll never know what methylchloroisothiazolinone has to do with today’s challenge.

Photo credit

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Showing 45 comments
  • Lisa MB
    Reply

    I love this, David. Thank you. When I started blogging, it wasn’t about building a business. It was a healing tool. So, writing as me and not apologizing for it was the only thing I could do.

    And a funny thing happened while I was doing it…other people let their human-ness show. The more I “unmask” on my site, the more others feel safe to do the same. If I get one comment consistently, it’s “I love how real and raw your writing is.” (And oh yes, the business started showing up.)

    I hope every blogger reads your post today. 🙂

  • Peggie
    Reply

    Well Damn . I was going to write a lovesong to my people today. I’ve even threatened to sing it. no. that would be cruel. anyway…you are reading my mind. except for monster trucks. REALLY? and Hello Kitty? Well, to each his own. Unicorns – they rock.

  • Marlene Hielema
    Reply

    Yes, be yourself. It’s so much easier to write that way too. I have been doing this since revamping my site early this year. It felt like a huge risk at the time, but it has worked. I feel really connected to my business now too.

    Trying to be someone else (that arms length blogger persona) is really hard to sustain and adds yet another hurdle to my writing, which is hard enough as it is.

  • eagledove11
    Reply

    Love, love and yes I definitely loved this post !
    As one who usually shares TMI (borrowed that abbreviation from LaVonne ~ oops!) and am/was about to start ‘culling’ some of that ‘authenticity’; your article was great!!

    The people I most ‘follow’ and respect, admire and ‘thrive’ on are the ones who do allow that beautiful balance of valuable content AND their voice of true authenticity and vulnerability. I see a unique individual then whose ‘strength’ allows me to also be honest & vulnerable !!

    And for those who don’t know what it means (though I fail to understand why !!!):

    Methylchloroisothiazolinone (5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one) is a preservative with antibacterial and antifungal effects within the group of isothiazolinones. It is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, yeast and fungi.

    It is found in many water-based personal care products, cosmetics and hair products.[1] It is also used in glue production, detergents, paints, fuels and other industrial processes. Methylchloroisothiazolinone is known by the registered tradename Kathon CG when used in combination with methylisothiazolinone.[2]
    and more blah, blah, blah!

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    OMIGOSH! I LOVE YOU! The fact that you made a point of further defining methylchloroisothiazolinone is awesome! I’m 6’5″ and so my face is at the same level as the shelf in my shower with the shampoo and body wash bottles. Being the reader that I am, I constantly reread the ingredients on all of those personal care products. I kept noticing this one ingredient (yes, I actually wrote that word by memory when writing this post). There’s also another one that is almost 100% of the time coupled with it: methylisothiazolinone. Still a long word, but didn’t make the cut in the post since it is shorter than its buddy.

    Ahem…back to Customer Love.

    I’m the same way. Those writers who I continually run to are the ones whose personality is so evident that I can picture them as an actual person; someone that I could hang out with. Keep sharing TMI! If people don’t want to read it, they don’t have to…but there are tons that will. 😉

    Just like there are tons who will end up reading WHY I know about methylchloroisothiazolinone.

  • LaVonne Ellis
    Reply

    Oh, I love that you found the definition and shared it with us, thanks! Personally, I stay as far away from personal products as possible — the longer the ingredient names, the further away. They give me migraines in a New York minute. Bleh!

  • LaVonne Ellis
    Reply

    Funny how risky it feels, isn’t it? And then you do it and you wonder what all the fuss was about, lol.

    • Wilson Usman
      Reply

      that’s right, when I use to be a salesman I use to try to be someone else and I learned pretty fast that humanizing myself and talking about my passions and my family would actually make me sound more like a normal person than just that typical “DOOR-TO-DOOR SALESMAN”

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    I agree. I did have a period in my blog life where I realized I was approaching that arms length blogger persona. It wasn’t intentional, just sort of happened. Too much work! Constant revisions of what I’m saying as I removed my personality and sterilized everything (though I apparently left tons of my personality in my writing even then according to my readers).

    I would be that since you’ve been leaving your personality in you’ve seen a difference in your readers, yes? I have…and love it! It truly is more enjoyable!

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    BE CRUEL!!! Well, not in the true sense of the word…but I want to see a video of you singing a love song to your people!!!!

    And how could you NOT like monster trucks? Everyone in traffic moves out of the way when you come roaring down the road. And Hello Kitty? Even though I am not a cat fan, I’m a sucker for anything uber cute and Hello Kitty is the queen of cute. In fact (and this was 100% NOT intentional), I decided to eat cereal for breakfast this morning at work and grabbed one of my daughter’s Hello Kitty thermos to keep the milk in. Didn’t even think about the relationship to this post until I was halfway through my commute. The kitteh mug is staring at me right now!

    I am glad we see eye to eye on the unicorns!

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    I love when people get this figured out early. The whole human-ness thing works when dealing with humans (funny how that works). I’m also super glad that you can testify that the business starts showing up as a result.

    And if we’re being totally honest, I would ALSO like every blogger to read my post today. I would be FAMOUS! (Yes, part of me wants that bad. Wonder if I could use this Leo thing to my advantage there. Hmm.)

  • Josh Crocker
    Reply

    Living vicariously through your daughters in their love of Hello Kitty….Brilliant! hahahah that seriously made me laugh out loud 🙂 Now I know what to look for this Christmas – a pair of 6’5″ Hello Kitty pajamas (with the footies)!

    This is great my homie, I’m putting this one down for the record books. Not going to implement everything all at once, but wait a few weeks/months (for a real “dead” moment amongst my customers…probably winter time) and i’ll blast ’em with some more love at that time.

    This is by far one of my favorite posts you’ve written yet 🙂

    – Josh

  • Peggie
    Reply

    That is SOOO true about everything in life, eh? I mean I was PETRIFIED to leave a cushy office (and SWEET paycheck) to WALK DOGS for a living. Then I built that company to 6 figures in no time (6 mos).
    Then I was scared to death to tell people I was going to learn to READ HANDS.
    Then I did.
    Then I was petrified to READ HANDS for a living.
    Now I do.
    In between I waffled way too long in deciding to sell my first company – which I eventually did but not necessarily the way I wanted to….
    Waiting because I’m afraid doesn’t work…yet I do it.

  • Peggie
    Reply

    I wrote a post about wanting to be famous — like a year or so ago. It’s what I answered when grown ups asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

    I hear ya! I think the unicorns will help. really. and if nothing else you can roll over them with your monster truck. by default you’ll be the only one left and you can be famous in the kingdom.

  • Peggie
    Reply

    hmmm. and they sell us this stuff to put on our skin? BLECH.

    but wow. thanks for the definition. 😉

  • Peggie
    Reply

    you know how i hate – um – love a challenge….we’ll see about the karaoke….

    trucks are for boys. (sorry gals — I’m not at all sexist but those monster rallies kill me – noise, smog and rubber…gad)

    hello kitty? I dig cats and they hate hello kitty. #justsayin no there’s all that purple and pastel and i am so not that girl – despite the fact that my mother bathed me in pink sauce the moment i entered the family home and therefore I do lean a bit heavy there

    you are just making me crack up today.

    #customerlove you all

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    It’s too hot to wear pajamas with footies in Texas (or I’d already have a pair). LOL Just kidding, let’s be clear on this point, I live vicariously THROUGH my daughters…I do not adorn myself with Hello Kitty paraphernalia!

    I will be monitoring you closely and waiting for you to put this in to action. 😉

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    Yep! That’s about right! The only thing missing is the flames painted along the side!

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    You should definitely check out Sinclair at SelfActivator.com (the one I mentioned I interviewed). She approaches blogging and coaching with a background in nueroscience and has a cool take on why we do what we do. All those things we are afraid of even though we know we shouldn’t, it’s all brain science stuff…which she is much better than me at explaining. LOL

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    And you, my dear, have seen the genius in my plan!!!

    Funny, I just wrote a post about “what I want to be when I grow up” within the past two weeks. I should have put ‘famous’ in there, but I figure that’s a given. 🙂

  • eagledove11
    Reply

    If you ever want someone to do some research for you ~ let me know !! I love (repeat LOVE!! research!!)
    warm hugs!

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    I think my love for Hello Kitty is due to the mutual hate between her and non-pastel kittehs cousins. Though I have to admit that I do frequent LOLCats.

    I can haz customerlove?

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    Hmm…looks like you have a passion that might need to be turned in to a business. Just sayin’. 😉

  • Peggie
    Reply

    I’m on my way now — I dig her too!

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    I’ll disagree with this post in the case of people trying to do business. When you want to sell to people, it can be detrimental and damaging to write about quirks that are a little… well, quirky.

    I ran a customer experience test on Men with Pens once. Hired a company, had them hire people to crawl it and observe reactions. Two people saw a post called, ‘Ten Wierd Things About James”. And both said…

    “They can’t be very serious about business with articles like that on their site.”

    So… be careful about this one and remember what your main goal is. If it’s a personal blog, great! Go for it! If it’s a blog that you depend on for your money… think twice. Showing personality doesn’t mean you need to drop your drawers, y’know? 🙂

  • LaVonne Ellis
    Reply

    Yes, it’s a fine line between all the talk of your Right People loving you
    for who you are, and being a business person who needs to make a living, I
    agree. I decided after an unhappy blogging experience several years ago not
    to write about my family any more. And I think long and hard before
    discussing my rather colorful past, lol. Each of us needs to decide where to
    draw our own line.

    ~LaVonne

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    Gasp! My heart dropped a bit when I saw one of my favorite well-known people publicly disagree with me. At the same time, I’m glad my post prompted a response in you to disagree also. It means that others might disagree and I want people came to conclusions that they feel confident about.

    At the risk of looking like the irreverent dumbass who’s willing to question one of the A Listers, I’m sticking to my guns about not apologizing for what I wrote. In fact, I’d like to challenge your disagreement with a few questions and examples. As someone who deals with mountains of data on a daily basis, your statements about the research company raise a few red flags to me. Please know that I am responding completely respectfully!!! I adore you and what you do and it has my stomach in knots to respond (I might just go vomit after I hit Submit). But I want to counter your statements because my goal is to allow people to make up their own minds and not take either of our words as law.

    So, here goes…

    First of all, it surprises me that YOU would disagree with this. Of all the A List people (I know you guys hate that term but that’s how WE all know you) that I know of, you have one of the oddest quirks of all; James isn’t actually a James. You write with a man’s name but are a woman. Granted, you did not make that known in the beginning (and I’ve read the reasons behind your decision), but I do remember when the confession came out on Copyblogger. Would you say that you lost people over that because they didn’t take you serious? You might have, I really don’t know. I do know (based on numerous conversations I had around that time) that people who had not heard of you before then suddenly knew of this James that was actually a woman. This quirk of yours won respect with a lot of people, myself included.

    Concerning the company that you hired, I’m curious how that would compare to a real world test case. Did the company pick people that were similar to your target audience or were they a cross section of the population? We all know that you can’t run a business that targets everyone so I’m curious who these people were. Did their test subjects look like YOUR typical customers? Are they people that would convert to customers even if that “Ten Wierd Things About James” had NOT been there?

    Also, I think it is very important to note that these people were hired to consciously react. That is completely different than someone organically coming to your site through referrals, search results, or other methods that are more common to web based businesses and then drawing their own conclusions naturally. The mere fact that the company pointed them at your site meant that they were going to be more critical.

    Have you done any other kind of testing on your site to confirm these types of results? Any A versus B test cases?

    I’m also curious what you think of business people like Naomi Dunford and Johnny B Truant. In the list of quirky online people, I put them right after you. All three of you seem to be successful, at least from an outside point of view. All three of you break traditional rules of business and reveal things that people COULD respond with “They can’t be very serious about business with articles like that on their site.”

    Or what about people like Ramit Sethi who flat out tells those who aren’t his “right people” to go away? Or Gary Vaynerchuk who is swearing moments after taking the stage? Or even larger brands that are not based on personalities like Snickers (who showed a commercial of Betty White being tackled during the Super Bowl), Jack-in-the-Box (who do goofy commercials including laughing at the word “angus”), or Burger King (who has a creepy king character in their commercials). Even E-Trade has had a baby throwing up on its commercials.

    I’d go on to list people I’ve encountered in the business world too but unfortunately they are not known in this online world. But I can tell you that the way that I write is consistent with my personality offline. My client even laughed today at the fact that one of my daughter’s Hello Kitty thermoses was sitting on my desk…and that client pays me well into the 6 figure mark. For me, this tactic has also been successful in the more harsh offline world where you deal with a smaller cross-section of people. While I like to think I’m special, I can’t imagine I’m the only one who has had that kind of success.

    I DO agree with your point that “Showing personality doesn’t mean you need to drop your drawers”. However I want to be clear that at no point do I recommend being offensive or vulgar for the sake of it. Rather, allowing some quirks to show through is what I’m advocating.

    I sincerely hope that you don’t think I’m responding in frustration. You can’t possibly know how much I respect you and what you do. The only reason I provided so many questions and examples that I believe support my post’s point of view is that I don’t want people to write this off without a fight. To say that you need to think twice about what you do on in business is correct, but to state that you disagree with the article is saying more than think twice.

    Your words carry a lot of weight, even more so with the people in this challenge who follow you. I don’t want people to write off being transparent because they misunderstood either one of us.

    (Please don’t kill me.)

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Holy crow, there, David! It was just a friendly, “Hey, I think different, and here’s why…” I even used emoticons! And now there’s swords waving and pistols and dressing downs (or ups) and crikey, man! 😉

    *points to above* emoticon – means “having fun here”

    Since the gauntlet’s thrown down on the word count of comments, I’ll have to come back in the morning with coffee and see if I can crank out 683. Then you can beat me and I’ll beat you and Lavonne will have the longest comment section ever and you’re buying beers and we’ll party.

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    P.s. (I won’t kill you. Was a good rebuttal – a little overheated and defensive, but a good rebuttal.)

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    Ack! I hate when the written word comes off as overly harsh. You can’t possibly have known the fear and trembling in my voice as I responded.

    Bows and asks for mercy!!! Offers sacrifices of Hello Kitty to the Men with Pens altar!

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    Oh man oh man oh man. People are going to think I hate you and that we have some public feud between us now. And you’re going to send ninjas to my house to take me hostage to the Men with Pens castle.

    Not going to lie though, even if you came back with 683 words of hate, I’d take it as the highest compliment that I received that much attention from you.

    :: hugs his Hello Kitty doll closer ::

  • LaVonne Ellis
    Reply

    *watches and giggles from the sidelines*

  • LaVonne Ellis
    Reply

    testing

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Alrighty, time to respond to this – after wondering why Disqus thinks I’m anonymous. Odd creature.

    First, thanks for thinking I’m an A-lister. I’d disagree with that as well, but I fear you coming at me with bazookas, so I’ll just nod and appreciate the compliment. 😉

    Second, I love a good debate, and I appreciate you DID come after me in the first place. (Although a little avidly, but that’s cool too.)

    You mentioned you were surprised I’d disagree with you, pointing out my own particular quirk of being a woman. Thing is, though, you’ll note that I rarely point out that little quirk of mine and don’t typically hold it waving as a torch of what makes me special. I’m careful about when and where I do discuss it and with whom, because above all, I want to be taken as a serious professional – not someone who gamed the system of society.

    Did I lose clients and readers because of my situation? Yes. There were some very angry people and more than a few who felt betrayed (though that does say more about them than me, I feel). Did I *gain* clients and readers? Hooo, yeah. The pros outweighed the cons… but I *knew* that they would before grabbing the Copyblogger microphone.

    Hence, I was careful and thought twice.

    Concerning the customer experience testing, yes, the people were chosen carefully and were actually people who were considering hiring web designers on a personal level. The group was small, of course, so we can only take the results with a grain of salt, and I didn’t do split testing – I wasn’t that interested in investing more money or time into the test.

    Still, the results need to be considered and again, I needed to be careful and thought twice. (I didn’t leave the article in plain view.) I operate a business, and first impressions as well as reputation are important.

    In regards to people like Naomi and Johnny – they are successful, sure, and they are highly quirky, yes. But they have specific target markets that are very different to ours. The Men with Pens target market is small to large companies that tend to appreciate professionalism over personality. My target market doesn’t *care* about my quirks – they care about results and corporate bottom lines. Ergo, my brand needs to resonate with them and make them feel comfortable. Quirky would turn them away in a heartbeat.

    Nor do I want to turn people away because of arrogance. Taking a “you’re not my ideal client” stance to the extreme and telling people to go away isn’t my style and not the way I roll. Certainly, people will or won’t resonate with who I am based on what I do show, and if they don’t click with my personality or brand, then they won’t work with me – but I don’t actively push that fact in their fact. I let them decide.

    Do I hide my personality? Not at all. But my personality isn’t typically one that’s extremely flamboyant or dramatic, either 🙂

    You mention a lot of well-known names in your post to uphold your arguments that personality and quirks can work in business, and that’s great. But for the most part, these people are the exception, not the rule. You don’t see Steve Jobs cursing it out on stage. You don’t hear Brian Clark telling people to go away. Chris Brogan doesn’t post strange oddities that don’t match his professionalism.

    And thousands and thousands of businesspeople out there don’t flash their quirks either, specifically because they are careful and cautious about their business and want to make sure it always has a good, solid reputation. That doesn’t mean you can’t have your Hello Kitty thermos. It does mean you have to think carefully before you paint your office pink and blue, play lullabies on the stereo full blast and stick up posters of Japanse anime.

    There’s certainly a time and place to use humor and shock people a bit, and you’ve mentioned some good examples – but analyze the commercials and ads you mentioned… believe me, the companies thought very carefully about what they presented, WHY they presented it and weighed out what the consequences of presenting it might be.

    What my major caution is to readers is that some people don’t seem to be able to have the good, common sense to monitor their own behavior. Many readers see, “Show your personality!” and suddenly go friggin’ whole hog all over like flashers at a gay parade. When you’re out to sell consulting services at $250 an hour or land a $15,000 design contract… well, that “take me, baby, take me!” mindset is not really a very smart idea, is it?

    I disagree with the article not because you say, “Quirks are okay,” but because most of it implies personality exposure without some grounding message about how much is too much *especially for those who are in business*. I think THAT is what’s important, because as you say, our words carry a lot of weight, even more so with the people in this challenge who follow us.

    So my comment was meant to say, “Quirks are okay, but pick and choose carefully which you reveal and use in moderation at the right times depending on your goals. Don’t be silly about it and have some common sense.”

    *leans forward to admire Hello Kitty thermos* Nice. Can I have a closer look?

  • Abby Kerr
    Reply

    At the risk of getting involved here — and at the risk of sounding like my mother, whose favorite phrase is “there’s a balance here” — I’ll jump in and say that I think there’s a balance here between what MenWithPens is saying and what David Crandall is saying. And I think it *totally* depends on who your target market is, how they like to be talked to and engaged with, and how comfortable *you* are, as a personality, with self-exposure.

    Self-exposure means different things to different people. For example, for me, self-exposure means sharing the thought process I used to come to a business decision. But it does *not* mean revealing details about my personal relationships — I wouldn’t go there online. I think there’s a way to connect with people online while holding back some things that are off-limits. That’s a different percentage of “one’s true self” for every person.

    Hope I’m making some sense here.

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    :: Pulls out both guns ::

    :: Drops them on the ground and begs for mercy ::

    I GIVE I GIVE!!! 😉

    I love that you are such a good sport and didn’t come back with “Everyone on the internets, hate David”. LOL Believe it or not, it wasn’t so much my intent to respond with defense as it was a result of this mindset:
    — You: Internet goddess whose words turn into golden law and rainbows
    — Me: The new kid on the block whose only hope was to back it up with tons of supporting examples

    I think we see eye to eye on the aspect of intentionality. If your business is to write copy for businesses, you probably shouldn’t be talking about super quirky things. People like Naomi and Johnny whose target audience is much different, they have liberty to do so.

    I also agree that regardless of which market you are targeting, the “take me, baby, take me” approach really should probably be reserved for only one industry (you can guess which one I’m thinking). Ha! Even Naomi and Johnny are intentional about their audiences…though there has been much bra talk with the #MSMS hashtag on Twitter.

    Ultimately, I find myself in complete agreement with your further debate…while still holding to my side. I don’t think they are in strong contrast, but hinge on intentionality. Perhaps I will develop this post more and address that as a key component.

    And one thing I would say that you are 100% correct on: I would indeed come at you with bazookas if you tried to deny your A Lister place. This whole debate brought me from just a fan of yours to a mega-fan of yours.

    :: shares his Hello Kitty thermos ::

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    I don’t see any flakiness here! I love this. I try really hard to write with my own voice. Interestingly, I have a couple of different ones. I’m not always aware…one is my more vulnerable voice. The other more authoritative. One makes people feel comfy. The other is a little more true. Hmmm.

  • David Crandall
    Reply

    I think that can be a really good approach. As you can see from my discussion (or western style shootout) with MenWithPens, voice really could benefit from tailoring it to your audience. (Ok, so it should maybe definitely probably be tailored to your audience.)

    I’ve got a few other areas that I live on the internet and my voice is slightly different there too. Still 100% me, but different. I think that is like real life though, I don’t talk with my wife’s Memaw the same way that I do with my buddies over beer. Still both me, but different based on the relationship.

    Glad you saw no flakiness. 😀

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    I can say with 100% accuracy and surety that I had nothing to do with the #msms hashtag, though irregardless of my gender, I don’t have to wear a bra and could scale tall buildings like Spiderman, were I so inclined.

    I can also say with 100% accuracy and surety that we actually are very much on the same page – you and I. We just need to make sure everyone else is, hence this brilliant debate that clearly demonstrates the finer art of make love, not war. Only not literally, because that would just be wierd.

    Also, I have on my desk a Kevin Parent hockey puck, a black Olympic steel water bottle from McDonald’s depicting hockey players, four tinwhistles (a Susato, two Generations and a homemade jobber), a card from Heather Allard and one from Melinda Brennan (they remembered my birthday!) and a snow globe of the Bonhomme from the Quebec Winter Carnaval.

    Amongst other various items… *eyes the clutter suspiciously*

  • Kriszia
    Reply

    I love how you admitted that you loved Hello Kitty. If that doesn’t show how human you are as a dude, I don’t know what else does!

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