Hack of the Day: Simplify Something Causing Resistance

Has something ever backfired on you because you made it too innovative or too complex?

When I first started my photography business, I wanted to get some excitement going among my friends and various networks.  Since this was before I knew anything about internet marketing, I advertised my new services through a traditional marketing channel: a postcard advertisement.

I was really excited to show off my photography (and postcard design) skills and tried to create something that those who knew me couldn’t resist: I featured a picture of my 1 year old son.  I also wanted to be innovative so I decided to use my first name and middle name as the name of my business instead of using my last name: Photography by Adam James.

To my disappointment, I didn’t hear back from a single person. 

These were my friends.  I just couldn’t believe that they weren’t going to support me, so I decided to ask a few of them if they got my post card.  To my surprise, they had received the advertisement, but they didn’t realize it was me because they didn’t know who “Adam James” was.  Additionally, a “stick-on” code added by the post office had covered up some key information (not shown). 

So, they tossed the postcard in the trash without even knowing it was me.

My mistake was that I had made my advertisement too complex for even my friends to understand.  In business, it is so important to have a clear message in what we are doing and what we are asking for.  

Is there something that is causing resistance for your customers which you could simplify?

Action Item: Simplify one piece of your business.  It could be a product, web page, advertisement, process, brand, or even your business name.