Andrew McCulloch is an adviser, investor and Non-Executive Director, based in London. 

Entrepreneurial Spirit was created as a creative outlet to share stories and lessons learnt from over a decade in investments and working with entrepreneurs. 

Put on a show and attract an audience

Put on a show and attract an audience

Thats right, this article is about attracting attention.

The internet is full of distracting things. This for example. This is Ken Block and he's a rally driver. Well, now he is a rally driver, but before he started rallying he founded a company that made shoes for skateboarders. Not my cup of tea personally, but I always watch his videos because this guy knows how to put on a show.

I know this because this video was released a week ago and it has already been viewed nearly 11 million times. You can see for yourself below, but I hope you will keep reading and watch the video at the end.

You watched the video didn't you.... but thanks for sticking with me.

The art of Ken Block's success is that he does drifting better than anyone - he has even coined a simple word to describe himself and what he does, Hoonigan, a cross between hooning (driving recklessly) and hooligan (a noisy or violent young man). He goes to great lengths to make each video different and exciting, as well using humour and the latest technology to engage the viewer. His content is shared thousands of times a day and you will see why.

It is because the internet and social media is so crowded with distracting content, it can be hard to make your voice heard and attract the right people to take notice of you. This is why Ford have chosen to partner with him to promote a very ordinary car in a totally different way, in this case the humble Ford Fiesta. Ken's has 600 horsepower and four wheel drive, but it shows what can be done to change people's assumptions.

There’s no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting,
— David Letterman

Whatever your business is, nobody is going to find you unless you get their attention. Now, I'm not having a pop at accountants as we work with them a lot. However, this highlights the crux of the issue, which is that if you are not a rally driver (or something that is inherently exciting), how can you grab people's attention? This particularly an issue where there is a large number of competitors in the sector who basically are offering the same thing.

What would make the difference? Let's think about what goes through a potential client's mind. To use an example, think about a regular product like Coke or Pepsi. They are two brands that for most consumers are basically interchangeable. I occasionally ask for a Coke and they could be giving me Pepsi or a own-label Cola, I certainly couldn't tell the difference, or care. This is what is known as clustering. 

All companies think their brand is special and that it means something to their clients and their potential clients. This couldn't be further from the truth. In situations where people have a vast array of choice, they just group companies by a certain feature to make their choice simpler. 

Potential customers therefore decide on a cluster first and only then might a brand make a difference. It just helps make a choice easier and quicker.

Stand out with a simple message

Ultimately, then how can you make your business or product stand out? If everyone other competitor does the same thing, you need to approach your target customer from a different angle and even better, do the opposite of everyone else.

If there is a theme in your industry that everyone says the same thing, then you can stand out by doing something that no one else is. This is particularly powerful if it is taking a negative view or issue in the industry, and if you can prove that you are not the same, then that might be the thing that gets you noticed.

However, this comes with a health warning. If you suggest you are different, but then can't back that up with the reality, you will be found out and your customers will soon realise they have been duped. It is often said that when someone has a good experience they tell one person and when they have had a bad experience they tell everyone.

Turn your customers into fans

The ultimate way to get exposure is to get people sharing your work. By getting your existing customers to share this with their network, they are doing your marketing for you. They are your best producers and directors, as they will paint a picture of your business that no clever ad or content will ever match. Therefore having advocates is what sets you apart from the rest.

It is a simple choice when one of your existing clients says to a potential client (that you have no idea exists) that they should speak to you. 

If you can simplify the message and show your business or product in a way that shows it in a different light, it might just make people sit up and take notice. 

If you found this article useful, please get in touch, as well as like and share this article using the links below.

I hope you enjoy the video....

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