According to Aristotle, there are three modes of persuasion: 1) Credibility/Ethos, 2) Rationale/Logos, and 3) Emotion/Pathos. In sales & advertising, all three are important, HOWEVER, in my experience, there is usually ONE of the three modes that carries MUCH more weight than the other two.


For example, if you're selling a new kind of back massager, you might not need to appeal to someone's emotions or prove your credibility in the industry. Instead, all they want to know is that yours "might actually work". So tell them why yours is different, or how it's made that might make a difference to them, and you'll see your sales go up.


On the other hand, if your product/service is a deviation from the normal way someone behaves (like getting someone to pay $0.99 for an app), then you're going to need a lot more than just the facts.

Someone walks into Home Depot to buy a drill... what do they need?


Holes!


But think about this... Who is buying the drill? Is it someone who doesn’t own a drill and simply needs a drill to make holes in their wall?


Or is this someone who needs the BEST drill to make holes in a surface that other drills can’t penetrate? Maybe a long-lasting battery?


See the difference?


To one person, “holes” is a simple concept, and this is the tool that makes holes.


To the other, “holes” is a bit more complicated. How much torque does it have, what kind of drill bits does it need, how powerful is the battery, etc. They already know they need a drill, so don’t say something like “you need a drill”.


Both need holes, but the context is different.


In your business, do you know who you’re selling to? And are you selling the right thing? Context is important.

Or did your market choose you?


What “Industry” you're in, is much different than what “Market”.


For example, you’re in the real estate industry, but maybe you’re in the LA Hipster first-time homebuyer market.


You’re in the restaurant industry, but you’re in the girls-night-out healthy food & martini bar market.


See the difference?


Once you know what market you’re in, you can work on things that fit exactly with your market—but not necessarily with industry “norms”.


Next big question... what’s the “minimum viable audience” for your market?


Is it enough to make a living off of? Or is it a huge market, and you could probably narrow it a little more.


Key point: Just because you go after your market, that doesn’t mean outsiders don’t love what you do, too.


Just make something special and of value for specific people. You’ll be surprised how many others see value in what you’re doing.