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May 14th, 2009
3 min read
It has been said that you never want to upset your customers. However, I’m here to tell you that sometimes there is a place for it. IF you do it strategically…
The simple truth of human nature is that controversy works.
As much as I hate the news media because of it’s horrible effects on our society as it is currently run, the truth is that much of what they do (causing conflicts and magnifying it on camera for all to gawk at) is done because it works. When people see a controversy, they tend to stick to it like flies on a big pile of steaming crap.
What does this have to do with blogging? Am I telling you to go out and start causing trouble? No, not at all.
As a blogger, it is not always our job to teach and inform. Sometimes, our job is to provoke thought. To get the readers thinking. To cause conversation. Sometimes, in order to do that, you’ve got to go against the grain.
The truth is (and I’ll go deeper into this in my upcoming coaching program) that most people surf the net in a kind of hypnotic trance. In order to get their attention sometimes, you’ve got to reach through their screen, grab them by the sack and twist until it hurts. But, in a nice way, of course! 😉
As a small example, I wrote a post recently where I really dived into the state of our society: The Society of Mediocrity and Your Role as a Blogger. Now, untrue to the title of this particular post, I highly doubt I pissed off anybody with that post and it wasn’t my intention. But, it WAS my intention to get people thinking. So, I held no punches and I even let off a couple of cuss words. In fact, sometimes you will see me use profanity on this blog. It isn’t done haphazardly. It is done for the purposes of a pattern interrupt. Since people are not used to bloggers cussing (especially in this market), sometimes it can be done in order to wake the reader up from their trance and pay more attention to what I’m saying.
In other words, people get grooved into a pattern in things. As long as everything fits nicely into that pattern, they remain in a sort of trance and nothing stands out to them. A pattern interrupt is something which they don’t expect. It wakes them up.
In a completely different application, over on PCMech we sometimes deliberately stoke the flames of Mac versus PC (ssshh….don’t tell anyone! 😉 ) Why do we do this? Because it causes conversation and it gets our audience involved. We like that! So, I do a video where I declare that my Mac will kill your PC and I start the video off with me literally licking my Macbook Pro. Do I have romantic desires toward my Macbook? Well, today I don’t. But, I did that in order to fan the flames just a bit through the use of sarcasm and, of course, to act as a pattern interrupt because I highly doubt people on that site expected to see a video of me loving up my computer. 🙂
So, what I’m trying to teach you today is this: Don’t be afraid to be edgy!
You don’t want to come out and just piss people off. You don’t want to ever use this tactic in an irresponsible way by causing conflicts or problems. But, strategic use of controversy and pattern interrupts works.
And, as I alluded to, this is something I will go into more later on with my coaching students because psychological tactics can work and do when used appropriately and correctly. Be sure to join my mailing list so you’ll be informed as details emerge about my new coaching program. Or follow me on Twitter and you’ll be sure to know when the pre-launch begins.