There are some strange days in January. This week has included, so far, Bubble Bath Day (8th), Play God Day (9th) and today is Peculiar People Day. It seems we need to make up our own entertainment to get around the bleakness of January.
But the 13th is Make Your Dreams Come True Day. A completely unofficial holiday, with unknown origins. In fact, the only place I seem to find reference to it is on those sites that gather together all the weird and wonderful special days.
What dreams can I make come true?
Look, people dream of all kinds of things. You will probably not be able to help them win the lottery or make someone fall in love with them.
But your every day is someone else’s dream, whether that is the thing that you make or do that they can buy or the way that you’ve brought that thing to life and to market. There is that saying that your life is someone else’s dream. Maybe not when you’re doing the VAT return, but there will be plenty that they’d love to swap you for.
So show them.
Tell them your story
I talk a lot about telling your brand story, and this is a version of it. The founder story is the stuff of business legend, and it’s key to make sure you tell yours. There are many variations of it though. Your “about us” page would probably tell the long hand version of the story. Your Instagram bio is going to be the very concise version.
You might tell it in chapters, as part of your business blog. If you want some inspiration, then I’d take a look at the recent posts from Rupert at Conker Spirit. Here’s the story of someone leaving a “proper” corporate job to follow a dream, and bringing that dream to life. Very successfully to life I would say, given the growth of Conker (very decent gin and quite partial to their Cold Brew Coffee Coffee Liqueur).
At this time of year, in particular, there will be lots of people thinking about what they want to do with their lives. Many will have a dream of doing their own thing, sticking it to the man and going out on their own. If you’ve been there and done that, share the story.
People need good news and good examples. It’s great to show there’s not just one way to do things. Your way might not resonate with them, but it’s good to have a variety of views. It’s also good to show it’s never too late to start and change. Opportunity does not only belong to the young.
Update your story
You might have been great at telling your startup story. But when was the last time you looked at it and told the latest tales?
With all the stats around business failure rates then it’s great to see those outwitting the odds. Learning from others is always helpful, even if it’s a what not to do, or what to look out for. What would you tell yourself if you went back in time?
Not everyone wants to create and run the next Virgin and be a massive conglomerate. Don’t tell yourself you are “just a…” anything. You might well just be someone else’s dream scale of venture, so your story is just as relevant, if not more so, than Richard Branson’s.
Tell your customers’ stories
Another way to make dreams come true is to show the positive impact of your product and service on current customers’ lives. Ok, so dreams coming true might feel a stretch, but by sharing the stories of what problems you’ve solved for people or the benefits it’s given them it gives people another reason to choose what you do.
It’s the reason we all use testimonials, as a measure of what our “thing” really does for people. It’s why we love tried and tested reviews, we still read restaurant reviews, and even TripAdvisor reviews. We want to see behind the curtain, to see the reality, not just the promise.
You can also tell the stories around why you’re not for some people. It’ll help your tribe know that you really are for them, and it’s okay to have people realise this is not what they’re looking for. Their dream lies somewhere else.
If you want to see the very real business impact this approach can have, then I really recommend getting hold of They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan. By answering the tough questions, the elephants in the room of buying swimming pools in this case, Marcus turned a failing business into one that turns away business. In effect, the answers are customer stories, the pros and cons that people will have found with the various products.
What’s the elephant for customers for what you do? For me, it’s often about cost, which is why I wrote this post.
Just do something unexpected and nice
Ok, this might be stretching making a dream come true just a little bit, but you might make someone’s day. Send them more than they’re expecting. Give them a free coffee with their lunch. Give them a free lunch.
Send a thank you letter. Proper old school, handwritten (this on the basis that you have the appropriate permissions to do so!). No sales pitch. No offer. Just to say thanks.
Maybe showing that sometimes you do get something for nothing is a kind of dream come true.
To me, producing compelling content is to produce something relevant but a bit unexpected. It’s why I like Rupert’s blog posts. They are relevant in that they tell the story of a brand I buy into, but I wasn’t expecting them to be so honest, such a good read, and so insightful. I hope he keeps them up, and I definitely suggest they’re worth you signing up for.
So, what dreams will you make come true this week?
Oh, and if you think this is all stuff and nonsense, then the 13th is for you as well. Happy Sceptics Day! Although some might say it’s not till October. But that’s sceptics for you.