help marketing not sexy smoc 600

Who loves getting a root canal?


Lawyers, dentists, accountants, waste management, and funeral homes are businesses you’ll see in every town across the United States.

Exciting? No.

Sexy? Absolutely not.

But…when you need them, you REALLY need them.

So how can you market an unexciting brand so people think about YOU first when they are ready to call, inquire, or purchase? That’s what you’ll learn in this post.

1. Grab People’s Attention

Even “sexier” brands have routine procedures and policies they have to explain — like airline safety procedures. Did you pay attention to this speech on your last flight?

No one ignores David Holmes, a Southwest flight attendendent who raps the normally monotonous speech:

Give your business the rockstar treatment. Even if you’re not in a sexy industry, you can treat it like it is.

Quilting is as far from sexy as you can get. As an author of an award-winning book on quilting, I treated my audience to an exciting treatment of my quilts: a music video. I gathered almost 100 photos of monthly quilted table runners I designed and set it to music my son arranged on GarageBand:

I gave my fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse of my creative process, from my original drawings, color palettes, and design journals, to the finished product for each month. No grannies in rocking chairs, only rockstar treatment of an unglamorous topic.

How can you do this for your brand and your industry as a whole?

2. MAKE Your Brand Exciting

Your mission is to provide your audience with an experience they cannot get anywhere else by combining your brand’s personality with the special sauce that makes your products/services unique. That formula looks like this:

BP + SS = EM

Brand Personality + Special Sauce = Exciting Marketing

pawn stars marketing

Pawn Stars turns the grimy pawn shop business into a fascinating story of history and commerce

Ever watched Pawn Stars? The cable series truly makes a pawn shop look like a fascinating place where unique treasures come in every day. Pawn Stars has made celebrities of the Harrison family and their Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, NV: Rick, Corey, Chumley, the “old man” Richard and their experts who provide historical perspective and valuation to each.

The truth however, is far from that. Most pawn shops are a sea of dusty video gaming systems, outdated jewelry, and power tools.

antiques roadshow marketingPBS’ Antiques Roadshow takes a more high-brow approach to the same topic: old stuff lingering in your basement. Their auction experts provide historical background of items you haven’t thought about in years. The clincher at the end of each segment? How much items are worth. Sometimes they’re worth nothing, other times you’ll learn a blanket is valued at over $100K.

THAT will get your attention.

3. Have A Sense Of Humor

Funeral planning is last on everyone’s to-do list. But Speaks Chapel produced humorous 30-second YouTube videos that really make you think about it:

Notice there’s nothing inappropriate or morbid about this video: the humor is appropriate, and certainly gets to the point: it’s your funeral, and if you don’t plan it, someone else will.

And it likely won’t turn out to be the funeral service you had hoped for.

4. Be So Useful People Can’t Ignore You

Dave Hax’s YouTube channel provides videos demonstrating travel and lifestyle hacks. His video showing how to peel an avocado literally changed my life. I never realized it could be so easy, and I remembered his channel because the tactic was so unique:

Provide a valuable solution to someone’s real life problem, they won’t care if your brand is sexy. You helped them at the time when they needed it most.

5. Provide A Tangible Resource

Provide something tangible people can take away and use later. My infographics offer a one-page guide to topics people need in social media marketing. My audience bookmarks, downloads, and prints the infographics.

facebook marketing infographic 2015 edition

They’re even used in college courses.

Can you say “instant credibility?”

6. Make No Apologies

How do you promote a topic no one wants to talk about? A colleague in my community handles waste management for large events. Portable toilets aren’t high on anyone’s discussion list, but she has a wonderful sense of humor about her product, and she’s clear about the service her brand provides: they take care of the stuff you don’t want to.

National brand Waste Management makes their marketing all about people: their employees, their customers and their families. They’re telling a story and humanizing their brand.

waste management social media marketing
Facebook post shares a video of a typical 10-hour day for a Waste Management driver

They also provide recycling and environmental tips:

The key to getting people to pay attention to your brand is to be creative: offer up your brand in a way no one has done before, and you’ll definitely get noticed.


BP + SS = EM

Brand Personality + Special Sauce = Exciting Marketing