A month from today, the 11 remaining Democratic presidential candidates will know where they stand among a significant swath of Democratic Party voters. After a year of debates, ads, and campaigning, voters will have made decisions in 24 states plus several U.S. territories.
Here are three lessons businesses and professionals can learn from the presidential trail about standing out from the competition.
Speak to people’s needs
Self-described socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the oldest person on the campaign trail. However, he has enormous support among young voters, in part because he speaks to their concerns in compelling ways.
Psychologists, financial advisors, and realtors should follow the Sanders model. With so many competitors (candidates) and so many regulations (party lines) limiting what you can say, your thought leadership can stand out by talking differently about critical topics.
For example, financial advisors and realtors cannot promise where stock and real estate will go in the future. But they can get in the press or post on social media about the principles of real estate and financial investment which help families grow their wealth. Likewise, a psychologist shouldn’t predict the results of certain treatments, but he or she can and should explain why certain therapies help people overcome specific challenges.
Every bank has savings accounts, but one may stand out if they talk about how their bank can help your children get on the path to financial success.
Candidates have their talking points which are tailored to national, state, and demographic audiences. Each of these talking points has been rigorously developed, tested, and approved.
This reminds us of financial advisors, many of whom tell us that their messaging is limited by legal and industry regulations. Advisors should take a tip from the campaign trail and get social media and thought leadership approved well in advance because, just as politics turns full circle, so do your customers’ and clients’ concerns.
Go outside the box
Barack Obama and Donald Trump won in 2008 and 2016, respectively, by going after voters everyone else had brushed off. Business owners can do the same by going after customers in unusual ways.
For example, mixed martial arts promoters have a limited market of dedicated fans. A promoter who wants to fill the stands might seek to reach the larger market of wrestling, basketball, and hockey fans who have never considered attending an MMA fight night.
Leadership coaches may want to go outside the box by avoiding the words “leadership coaching.” Instead, a video series highlighting hiring right, training staff, and the costs of bad hiring and training could be very attractive to potential clients.
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