It’s not just a question for Batman.
The vast majority of businesses large and small take themselves way too seriously. For every Dollar Shave Club, there’s a hundred faceless companies doing bland advertisements, trying to avoid offending anyone while fervently hoping they’ll still pull in new customers. For the right small business, a more serious approach can pay dividends. But taking yourself too seriously is a risk.
A little humor can go a long way, and striking the right tone is undeniably difficult. For a financial institution, it has to be lighthearted and cannot in any way imply you have safety concerns. It’s tough to be self-deprecating when certain subjects are all but taboo, which I’ll acknowledge.
So let’s take a very BizEngine look at a handful of ways you can inject a little humor into your customer interactions, your advertising and your everyday business life.
Make ‘Em Laugh
- Do something unexpected. The essence of humor is doing something out of the norm. Something as simple and corny as a beach day at your ski shop can give customers a chuckle.
- E-mail marketing, print advertising and writing are easier to pull off, because they don’t require acting. The grand majority of video and radio advertising I see from local businesses makes me cringe, because while these are decent people, family people, they are not blessed with natural comic timing or range.
- Keep the pop culture references to a minimum. It’s obvious when you crack a joke about Kim Kardashian that you’re reaching for material, and your audience won’t reward you for it.
- Ultimately, be yourself. That’s the kind of advice you usually get from Leave it to Beaver, I know, but it’s applicable here. If you’re not a super witty guy and you like knock knock jokes, so what? Your customers may groan, but they’ll probably still enjoy it.
How do you inject a little humor into your days at your small business?
Photo credit to iStock