Teach Me Something New… Please

I wrote this post originally for LinkedIn’s marketing and advertising section

Every day, 150,000 new websites are built and over 2 million new blog posts are published, which means in order to make an impression and have an impact that lasts, you need to do something that stands out from what everyone else is doing.

Typically, the ideas that are talked and written about today are mostly ideas that are cliché, banal, and extremely overused. As a result, the majority of ideas fail to spread.

Market to people the way their brains would want you to

In order to market your ideas in a way that inspires, you need to understand the brain of the person who’s going to hear that idea. Recent research on brain function shows that when we encounter something for the very first time, we compare it to what we already know. If it’s not new, we ignore it. In a world where there are just too many options to choose from and not enough time, our natural inclination is to ignore most of it. As it turns out, it’s because of the way we’re wired.

According to John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine, people have an insatiable desire to seek, to learn, and to discover things that are new. To a high degree, the human brain seeks out novelty and ignores common sense and unoriginality.

Unique marketers will be rewarded

Seth Godin, who is a popular blogger and marketer, has made a career around marketing ideas that spread. In his book “Purple Cow,” Godin says that delivering the same overused information in the same unoriginal way will fail to get you noticed every time.

In his Ted Talk on the same idea, Seth Godin says,

“My parable here is you’re driving down the road and you see a cow, and you keep driving because you’ve seen cows before. Cows are invisible. Cows are boring. Who’s going to stop and pull over and say – oh, look, a cow. Nobody. But if the cow was purple, you’d notice it for a while. I mean, if all cows were purple you’d get bored with those too. The thing that’s going to decide what gets talked about, what gets done, what gets changed, what gets purchased, what gets built, is: is it remarkable? And “remarkable” is a really cool word because we think it just means neat, but it also means – worth making a remark about.”

How many times have you read an article where the author says, “You have to fail in order to succeed,” or that “Success doesn’t happen overnight.”

There’s truth to both of these ideas, but when you’ve heard the same ideas marketed in the same conventional way time and time again, they lose it’s ability to inspire and to get people to think differently.

Parting thoughts

Your audience, the people who listen to you, craves knowledge, even if they only have a mild interest in the topic that you’re talking about. If you’re able to relate your topic to your audience by teaching them something new that they can use in their daily lives, you’ll hook them every time.


10 thoughts on “Teach Me Something New… Please

  1. I agree that it’s hard to be a purple cow, especially with the influx of how quickly information is spread. I read a post the other day about how the more you write the more ideas you come up with. Perhaps it’s true for this, too. The more you present information the more ideas you come up with to present it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with that. Pablo Picasso had painted over 50,000 works of art during his life, but he’s really only known for about 7 works of art. if you paint enough, you’ll eventually paint a masterpiece. same concept applies to writing.

      Liked by 2 people

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