When I was a boy I lived on a farm. A little double wide trailer in the southwest corner of Kansas.
I come from a family of farmers. Most people think midwesterners are just dumb country bumpkins who speak with a drawl and work with their hands.
But some of the greatest life lessons I’ve learned come from my childhood as I listened to my family dole out advice in simple, yet profound statements.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Struggling with how to handle a difficult person?
“Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.”
Dealing with obstacles and setbacks in your life?
“Every path has a few puddles. Just put on your mud boots and keep goin’.”
Feeling the need to inject yourself in a situation?
“If it ain’t botherin’ you, leave it alone.”
Agonizing over a decision?
“Most times, it just gets down to common sense.”
In the Battle for Attention, Complexity Kills
When it comes to sales and marketing, simplicity wins.
All of us deal with a degree of insecurity. That insecurity can cause us to use big words or provide complex answers to questions.
But as I’ve written about in How to Become a Benevolent Cult leader, people don’t want complex. They want clarity and certainty.
By using relatable concepts and human experiences in our conversations we do three things:
- We reframe the audience, allowing them to see the world through a different lens.
- We simplify and clarify the problem and solution.
- We build trust and authority with our audience.
Let’s look at a recent example from the news.
Everybody Knows You Don’t Take the Old Tires Off the Car Unless You’ve Got New Tires to Put On.
I was watching the news this week. It was before the mess in Israel kicked off. Everyone was focused on Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker of the House.
The Republican party was in turmoil and everyone had an opinion about the decision to remove the speaker.
The report cut to a man in his early 60’s wearing a plaid shirt and a truckers had. The reporter asked is opinion and the man quickly responded;
You can’t make it any clearer than that!
So what made this statement so impactful and how can you use a little country wisdom in your marketing.
How to Use Country Wisdom in Your Marketing
Let’s look at the statement one more time and break it apart.
“Well it’s a big mess you know? Everybody knows you don’t take the old tires off the car unless you’ve got new tires to put on.”
- He aligns with the sentiment of the audience –The speaker points out the problem and validates what everyone is feeling. “Well it’s a big mess you know?”
This creates alignment. We think, “He thinks the same way I do. So he must be okay.”
- He uses a reference point that’s familiar to everyone – Everyone drives a car. If you don’t drive, you’ve ridden in one. You know how they work.
By referencing a common experience it helps reinforce the point you’re making.
Similes are great for this.
✦ As slow as a sloth
✦ As blind as a bat
✦ A face as pail as wax
✦ Calm as the night
✦ Drowning like rats
People want ‘new’ but ‘familiar’. The more unique your ideas the more important it is for you to connect them to something the audience is already familiar with.
- He points out the absurdity of the decision to oust McCarthy by asking the audience to imagine a ridiculous scenario.
“…you don’t take the old tires off the car unless you’ve got new tires to put on.”
Instantly your mind jumps to someone taking all the tires off their car and then realizing they don’t have new tires to put on. What kind of idiot would make such a hair-brained mistake?
Congress, that’s who.
Whether you’re writing sales copy, a script for a Youtube video, or a post on social media, creating these connection points are critical to you gaining the kind of influence you want.
So this week, I want you to practice using Country Wisdom in your marketing and see what kind of results you get. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
P.S. Next Month, on November 17th & 18th I’ll be holding my annual Copy Clinic. For two days we’ll work hand in hand to improve your offers and copywriting skills.
I limit this clinic to 20 people to ensure everyone get’s plenty of time to work on their project. If you would like to secure your seat early, reply to this email and I will send you the details.