Spiritual Entrepreneurs: How to Compete With Cat Videos
If you’ve been on the internet recently (my roommate Charlene says its bound to catch on any day now), you’ve probably noticed that two major monoliths have now largely conquered the field and taken up permanent residence in our consciousness. These two behemoths, for the purpose of our discussion, will be called Lists (“9 Child Stars That Turned Bad”) and Cat Videos (a category that includes cats and all other animals doing adorable and ridiculous things).
We are now so inundated with Cats Falling in Fishtanks and 5 Things That You’re Doing Wrong to Ruin Your Whole Future that it’s hard to remember a time when they weren’t a part of our every day lives.
Some experts posit that the phenomenon of Lists may have initially arisen as a response to the Rise of The Cat Video. Some visionary genius must have said, “Hey, we have this crazy good product but we can’t get any eyeballs because everyone’s watching Cats Steal Dog Beds, so we need to bitch-slap our potential stakeholders with The 7 Ordinary Foods That Are Making You Fat and Old. And we need to do it now. Today.”
Be that as it may. Now the rest of us are trying to get precious limited attention in a world filled with Baby Goats in Pajamas (that one really is worth a look, but please stay with me for just a few more. . . . Oh. Ok). Some of us have big plans to help change the world, to help bring humanity to more conscious, intentional, sustainable, spiritual, functional choices. We dream of being part of the change we want to see, and so forth.
But how are we going to capture your clicks when you could be watching cats or “13 People You Didn’t Know Are Banned from Saturday Night Live”? Or my personal favorite, “5 Things You Should Worry About That You Don’t”?
As conscious capitalists and mission-minded entrepreneurs, here to change the world, we must first face the fact of the crowded, indifferent, overwhelmed marketplace. The truth is that we are oversaturated and over-stimulated.
For the moment, while we make our massive leap from one dominant paradigm to the next (“I Make More Money Than You” becomes “We Make More Money More Spiritually And You Can Too”), many of us would like nothing more than to lie down quietly in those Dog Beds that our Cats Have Stolen.
The truth is, no matter what, and no matter how world-changing your offer, it’s always going to be tough to go up against Cat Videos and Lists. On the really depressing days, you may be tempted to tap out. You may even be tempted to go over to Dark Side.
But I would suggest instead that you keep reaching to borrow from the best our furry friends have to teach us.
Here at Supertight Brand, we focus on 2 things:
- Getting Your Offer Tight. And probably even tighter than that.
- Keeping Your Spirit Light. And probably a lot lighter than that.
Tight and Light is the secret power behind the Cat Video. When you see the link for Best of Cats Fall Unexpectedly in Bath Tubs, you know exactly what you are being offered. It will be short, sweet, to-the-point, and immediately address your pain-point (“I Need to Be Distracted/Entertained Now!).
You will not have to wade through mounds of stream-of-conscious blogging or newsletter to get there, nor a crowded website with 12 potential services for you to decipher. You will not have to endure 20 minutes of video to Get. To. The. F-ing. Point. No. It is Cats in Bathtubs, and is ON. GO!
That’s a tight offer. Make your offer just as tight. Once we are all up in your Kool-Aid and we’ve paid for your expertise, you can demand a lot more from us, like that we actually do the exercises in the workbook. But for your first round of invitation? Cat Video Ninja Style. In and out, tight and light.
Here’s my offer. Here’s who its for. Here’s the breakdown it addresses. Here’s the remarkable solution it provides. Have a nice day.
Cat Videos are also light, because animals do “Light” naturally. They are watchable because they are so real, raw, vulnerable, and generally doing stuff NOT because people are watching them, but because, Hey, that bathtub was just sitting there. Light is about aliveness; sometimes alive good, sometimes alive bad, but always about being connected to the juicy, real, high-voltage current of things.
If you want to cash in on some Cat Video Light Currency, let us see some of your natural joy and your occasional pain. Because life (and business) is full of moments when that incredibly tempting giant vat of water turns into a bad, bad idea. We’ve all had that moment, and some of us have that moment several times a day. It’s real, and we uber-sophisticated ultra-cynical 21st Century humans know “real” instinctively when we encounter it.
Real is the opposite of Positive Icing on a Shit Cake. We know that when we encounter it it too. Mostly.
Lastly, to return to our other friend, The List. Some research suggests that the most effective (clicked) Lists are those that suggest we are in some sort of imminent danger if we don’t become aware of these 9 Mistakes We’re Already Making. Threat marketing is nothing new, and has been practiced with great proficiency since people first got together (Trade Your Excess Animal Skins for My Amulet That Will Ward Off Oncoming Mongol Horde Attack!)
All the same, I still like to bounce on the side of the Juicy Possible Future rather than the Inevitable Mayan Apocalypse, so I would simply suggest that if you’re going to use Lists in your offer or marketing, use them with some sense of fun, intrigue, or surprise. Make them tight and keep them light. Make the sort of Lists that cats would make if they actually cared enough to make lists.
In the end. The final sad truth is that Resistance is Futile. We cannot beat the Cat Video. But we can join them.