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Less is More

Less is More

Ask your neighbor, your mom or the stranger in the grocery store, chances are we would all agree: We are drowning in a sea of too much. Everything – from laundry, to children’s activities, to working and social commitments, there’s just one thing there’s never enough of. Time.

And, to top it all off, we’re more connected than ever –information is literally at our fingertips with a tap on our phones. We’re on information overload.

Because of this, our brains process information differently. We’ve become a “short attention span society” that retains information better when it’s bite-sized. As a business trying to generate new customers or sell more products, this should change everything about the way you communicate.

These factors remind me of a saying, “Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” Getting through in our busy, digital culture looks different than it did 10 years ago. Here are a few tips:

Visual stories. Let’s say you are a non-profit with the goal of increasing revenue for an international mission project to help children in poverty. Instead of telling me there are one million children under the age of four living in poverty, tell me about five-year-old Sarah. Explain that Sarah lost her parents to AIDS and is currently being raised by her nine-year old sister. By painting the picture of one child, people are more likely to connect and engage.

Concise storytelling. Being succinct doesn’t mean that you’re diluting your company message; it simply means that you’re taking the time to pare it down to bite-sized pieces. You can always add links to a Facebook post or email that provides deeper content. Charity Water, a non-profit organization that provides clean drinking water to people in developing nations, compels me to join their cause in this video, Time Bomb.

Be unexpected.  When we’re used to seeing hundreds of emails, newsletters and Facebook posts each day, doing something unexpected is not just appreciated, it’s downright refreshing. One effective strategy can be to use a little tasteful humor. Like the gone-viral Southwest Airlines safety speech, you too will have your audience on the edge of
their seats.

Focus and simplicity should be your mantra. As Steve Jobs once said, “Simple can be harder than complex. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”