What You Didn’t Know About Religion, Sex and Politics
Mom likely told you avoid talking religion, sex and politics. "It can only get you in trouble," she said. I'm not wanting to contradict Mom, but let's see what happens to people who break with her advice and go full renegade on these topics. What happens when you buck that trend and instead brand yourself around those inflammatory topics.
What can we learn from them?
We can learn tons.
First let's think Sean Hannity. Whether you love him or not, he talks all politics. He talks Trump to the extreme, champions the conservative cause and remains an established Fox personality (there aren't many left) covering the politics others don't or won't cover. He has:
- plenty of opponents that hate him,
- an ultra recognized brand that screams his political views and
- legions upon legions of followers that promote the cause on his behalf.
You may not like him, but you know who he is and you know where he stands.
What comes to mind when you think about Eckhart Tolle, the Dai Lama and Billy Graham? As a Catholic I'll throw Pope Francis in there too though he has an unfair advantage with a brand going back centuries. These folks talk only religion. It's that other no-no topic. Yet here you have people like Tolle that caught Oprah's attention and look at where that got him. A near suicidal victim turned self-awareness expert is now a highly recognized author. I'm sure the income follows. The Dai Lama fill up stadiums with devoted followers. Billy Graham met each US presidents going back to Eisenhower. His funeral spoke volumes about his legacy.
These folks have (or had) the passion, a very attention grabbing and often unpopular message and still have droves of passionate followers that support, promote and take their message to the world.
I'll mention Hugh Hefner as the talker of sex. Everybody's heard of him as the branded ambassador for the playboy lifestyle. You can't think of him without remembering images of the logo, mansion, hotels, casinos, clubs, bunnies and, of course, his magazine.
We may not want to take on these topics for promoting ourselves, but you'd better talk something:
- remarkable, and
- possibly controversial
or your business will wither away. Will anyone know you, remember your, or think of you when they are making a buying decision?
Back in the 60's and 70's it was easy. If you wanted to sell something and had the money, you advertised it on one of the three major networks. The message pounded away at viewers and it got you sales. A good examples are the breakfast cereals sold during the Saturday morning cartoons. They knew the kids were watching. There was nowhere else you could find cartoons. Those little captive eyeballs saw the cereals and told Mom. Mom brought it home from the grocery next time she went shopping.
Today thing are drastically different. Our potential customer are bombarded with advertising. It takes work to get noticed in the crowded spaces that includes:
- 400+ TV cable channels,
- millions of Internet online promotions, and
- countless other types of advertising mediums.
Your phone alone is an ad and commercial generating machine.
You do have the advantage that now you can hyper-target your audience. You can select the niche of target customers that are most likely want what you have and can carefully place your message in front of those eyeballs exclusively. Imagine that you can not only target fried chicken lovers, but fried chicken lovers that prefer KFC vs. Popeye vs. Chick-fil-a. Talk about hyper segmenting your target market.
Still, you have to get a message to them that's memorable because despite how easy it is to target who you want, you still have to compete with all the other messages out there.
So get a little edgy. Broach topics you might typically want to avoid. Vocally taking on a very pro-Trump position may seem crazy, but there are a lot of Trump lovers out there...enough to get the guy elected. Consider promoting your a very conservative Christian position. Make no secret about it. There are a lot of people aligned with that position and you would be memorable with them. Take tips from Howard Stern and make sex a part of your brand, as raunchy as that might be. (Walk carefully here if this one appeals to you.) He has tribes of followers. There's something to what he's doing.
So how are you going to get notice? You'd better have something of you will NOT succeed.