Fertilizing your business could mean a lot of things, but let’s take it to mean advertising it.
Your business will grow greener if it’s properly advertised.
Then again, that headline is only a partial quote.
Here’s the rest of the quote:
“The grass is always greener on the side that’s fertilized with bullshit.”
— Morgan Housel
That’s what fertilizer is, right?
Of course, you can’t fertilize weeds and get lush, green grass.
In advertising terms, you have to start with the truth.
But you also have to fertilize it, too — especially if you want people to internalize that truth.
Now some might prefer romanticize, dramatize, glamorize, or magnify to “fertilize” when describing how ad creatives transform the plain truth into a message that sticks.
But there’s no need to be too precious about it; there’s usually no small amount of bullshit added to the mix.
And it’s important to come to terms with that.
Yes, Virginia, your ads will need a certain amount of schtick.
Even if your schtick is to pose as “a straight-shooter who doesn’t need a schtick.”
This is important for no-nonsense business owners and operations managers to understand.
Jingles, music, ear-worms, made-up words, brandable chunks, humor, interesting characters, and sound effects can all be considered “schtick” —and they are also invaluable tools for getting your ads heard and your message to sink in.
Why Your Fertilizer Can’t Be “Phoned In”
The real problem for most advertisers isn’t that their ads lack bullshit.
It’s that the bullshit stinks without actually fertilizing anything.
Remember, you can’t fertilize weeds. You have to start with the Truth.
In fact, your bullshit or schtick has to be connected to the truth — and specifically your truth.
Newsflash: copy points ≠ your truth.
Your story, incorporating your values, perspective, and advocated position is your truth.
So what happens when you send your copy points off to a media sales rep or local ad agency to have them add in “schtick” and create an ad out of it?
The ad stinks and all the associated BS fails to fertilize anything of value.
The person romanticizing, glamorizing, and dramatizing your truth — the person adding the bullshit to your messaging — can’t phone it in.
He has to meet you and spend time with you. He has to do a proper uncovery.
So if your current ads aren’t causing your business to grow green, it’s time to find a new ad team.
And if you’re not advertising, but wondering why others are growing and you’re not, now you know: the grass grows greener on the side that’s fertilized…
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