You remember Susan Boyle, right? That self-described ’never-been-kissed’ songstress who nailed her audition and impressed the world with her singing voice?
She literally came out of nowhere — East Bumbleshire, maybe? — and dreamed her dream. It was inspirational, but, when you think about it, what made it amazing?
According to the New York Times, what made Boyle so remarkable is “as an example of just how shallow we’ve become.” No one expected that voice from a ”frumpy 47-year-old unemployed church volunteer” (The Time‘s words, not mine). She didn’t look the part of someone capable of playing a Pavarotti in plainclothes. At all.
Boyle got a full minute from Cowell and Morgan. You get less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form a first opinion of your brand once they’ve perused your company’s website.
Remember this when you think about your business marketing, particularly your website. Because what we also remember about the audition was Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan, both with faces caught halfway between snicker and sneer. If it were up to them, they’d have passed on Boyle before she spoke. But they HAD to listen. They were pleasantly surprised – as we all were. But she is the exponential exception to the rule. Your business will not get that chance.
Boyle got a full minute from Cowell and Morgan. You get less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form a first opinion of your brand once they’ve perused your company’s website… And it takes just another 2.6 seconds for that viewer’s eyes to concentrate in a way that reinforces that first impression.
Does your website look shabby and dated? “Next!”
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Does your website work on mobile? “Next!”
Your Business Audition
Shakespeare was right — all the world is a stage. That stage can be an amphitheater or a smartphone. And we all play roles and wear costumes. You should know, to your new business prospects, that you are auditioning for their business as much in person as you are online. And a lot of you run great businesses with talented staff and management and you deserve the work, but you are trotting yourselves out on stage like the ‘frumpy’ Boyle.
The lesson here is we DO judge books by their covers. We could claim it wrong, but we all do it. The smart move is to embrace this truth about us and benefit from it. Your competition already has.