The 3 unbreakable laws of communication

No matter what the job title on your LinkedIn profile says, you work in sales. Like it or not, you’re constantly pitching yourself. Whether you’re going for an interview, applying for a mortgage, or waiting to get picked next by the dodgeball team – you are pitching yourself.

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The way you communicate yourself, you ideas, your thoughts, your brand or company is key. Ideas are the currency of the 21st century. They have the power to inspire, empower, astonish, and motivate people, when persuasively delivered of course. You can have the best idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate it well you won’t get anywhere.

The world’s most engaging and persuasive messages obey three key laws, according to Carmine Gallo, author of Talk Like TED. They are:  Emotional. Memorable. Novel.

Online is no exception. Here are three rules that can shape your the way you connect to your customers on the web.

Emotional

Zappos doesn't care about shoes, they’re passionate about delivering happiness. Starbucks doesn't care about coffee, it's about employee happiness. Branson doesn't care about getting from A to B, it's about the social good. Remember: passion is everything, you cannot inspire unless you're inspired yourself! You need to transfer your passion through the stories you tell.

And no better way do this online than to captivate the attention by surprising and involving people in your storytelling. Creating a campaign where customers are prompted to participate and share online your brand’s story will enable Conversion Rate Optimization. Take for example Dulux’s “Change your story with Dulux’ campaign. Dulux captures people’s emotions by personalising and localising their campaign. The public choose via their website’s social media where the colored artwork will be . Give the customer a role in the decision-making and they will emotionally engage with your brand’s identity by sharing it online. 

Novelty

Steve Jobs said to his designers that he wanted the buttons to look so good, that he would want to lick them - it’s this sort of thinking that built Apple. He showed us new ways to solve old problems. The best ideas teach us something new. Our brains are trained to look for new and brilliant things.

There is just so much you can achieve online if you understand your customers behavior/what they want. Make your website a point of reference for searching , shopping and sharing. Giving customers a reason to go on your site, whether for help or just to look at your latest offers is key to Conversion Rate Optimization.

Stem the interest of your customers with your mobile presence. No one ever goes anywhere without their mobile. Target your audience with a mobile campaign to boost brand awareness. Take for example, Heineken, who introduced a unique personalized twitter and mobile responsive @wherenext service. Heineken got people to remember them.  How? They are a valuable and credible resource. Depending on the local cultures of the modern city-going , customer who tweet @wherenext will get a tailored suggestion on “what’s hot right now”. What people want is an answer now and something new. What better way to provide this service then on mobile?

Memorable

The best way to be memorable? Present content in ways they'll never forget. Bill Gates made headlines in 2009 when he released mosquitoes into the audience during a talk on malaria. You’ve heard it a million times, but a picture really does paint a million words – retention is six times higher as opposed to just words.

Finally, stick to the rule of three, our short term memory can’t process much more than that. There’s a reason why we talk about the three little pigs, the three musketeers, why we all remember Nike’s slogan (Just Do It) and Obama’s slogan (Yes We Can).

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It’s more critical now than ever before to understand how to rise above the noise and the clutter, and tell a persuasive story. As a brand, you have to stand for something and you have to stand out. JFK inspired a nation in 14 minutes. Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address in 2005 was 15 minutes long. Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech lasted 17 minutes. Great ideas don’t need great amounts of time to make an impact.


This post was inspired by a great talk at last year’s Le Web conference by Carmine Gallo, author of the book Talk Like Ted. Carmine is a global communications coach for some of the world’s most admired brands including LinkedIn, Coca-Cola, and Intel. You can view the slideshare from his presentation here.