Elvis, Marilyn, Cigars…There’s Gotta Be a Lesson Here Someplace!

About a half-mile from my house, a nice lady named Peggy runs a nail salon, tucked in between a pet grooming shop and a cigar store.

Peggy always gives me a friendly wave when I pass her place on my way to buy a bundle of my favorite robustos.

Sometimes, I even pop in and say hello.

Peggy’s salon looks kinda like a thrift shop.

She’s got a six-foot cardboard Marilyn Monroe leaning against a counter.

Her windows are cluttered with Elvis memorabilia.

An ice chest filled with sodas sits on the floor near one of her stations.

There’s an upright piano pushed into one corner. (Hmm. Maybe Peggy leads sing-a-longs between appointments.)

I sometimes ask Peg how her business is doing.

“It could be better,” she usually admits. “I live on my regular customers. I really don’t see much new business.”

No surprise.

After all, Peggy’s shop broadcasts a muddled, confused sales message. People passing by probably wonder if she’s running a nail salon, or a piano bar, or a snack shop, or an Elvis museum.

My suggestion to Peg:

Keep on message!

That’s an old lesson from my brief stint in media relations.

Keep on message!

Everything you do telegraphs a message to others. And whether you’re promoting yourself or running a business, that message should be finely tuned and without impediments or distractions.

You always want your audience — a potential employer, customer, or client — to “get it.”

Most of Peggy’s potential new customers don’t “get” her salon. If the place didn’t have a sign up top reading “Peggy’s Nail Salon,” they wouldn’t know for sure what her business offers.

If you’re interviewing for a new job, keep on message.

If you’re creating a flyer to promote your new business, keep on message.

If you’re writing a sales letter, keep on message.

Got the message?

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