Amateur is an old word, from the Latin language, and it means lover. Amateurs are people who do something just for the love of it, and it can be used in modern English for people who no one would pay: those people are just amateurs, and for people who pursue a sport or other activity for no reason besides love: Bobbie Jones was the last amateur golfer to win the US Open.
The joys of being an amateur are that you do something because you are passionate about it.
I am an amateur martial artist, swing dancer, and violinist. Although I teach violin, my playing is because I love to do it.
You don’t want your marketing to be amateurish in the sense of feeling cheap. You do want your marketing to exude the excitement you have for serving your target audience, producing your product or service, and growing your business.
The amateur mindset is essential to any successful marketing campaign. Why? Because amateurs love what they do. I remember a story from sales school in Southwestern Advantage that Roger Seip shares in Train Your Brain For Success: Read Smarter, Remember More, and Break Your Own Records.
“I was selling educational books door-to-door in western Pennsylvania. After making a sale to a family, the father took me aside andRoger Seip, Train Your Brain for Success
said“Roger, I’ve been involved in sales and sales management for 25 years, and there’s something that as a salesperson, you do better than I’ve ever seen.” Feeling very cool, I said “Really! Well, what is it?” He looked me dead in the eye and said:
‘Roger, I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to say no to a smiling idiot.’
Looking back, I’m pretty sure this was meant as a compliment. And it’s been very helpful advice in my sales career.’
How are You Being a Smiling Idiot?
So many marketers want to look cool, like some suave advertising executive from the 1950s. But, to grow your business, you don’t want people to feel pressured into buying, you want them to feel served and happy to use your business.
I was reminded of this most recently by a new marketer I discovered via LinkedIn, The Professional Weirdos. “Lord Simon” as he prefers to be called is a goofball who is making a big splash as a marketing consultant because he approaches it as an amateur, someone who is consulting because he loves being weird and he loves marketing.
You don’t have to do some silly shtick or smile as you knock on thousands of doors over the course of the summer, but you do need to have an attitude of refreshing passion for your business, your products and services, and, most importantly, your customers and potential customers.