Persuade without power

3 Marketing Lessons from Dr. King

Yesterday, we celebrated the life of an American hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was a leader in many respects of the word: civil rights leader, religious leader and and an African-American leader. The way he led his life and empowered others shows us just how powerful the correct message can be.

His teachings, speeches, writing and actions help us better understand how to reach your market.

Here are three simple marketing lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King:

1. Persuade without power.

Dr. King was able to persuade millions of Americans to join the civil rights movement and support his dream. He used the platform given to him to peacefully lead people who were being oppressed. Contrast that with Hitler, who used persuasion and “power” to forcefully impose his beliefs across a continent.

Dr. King held great power through influence and used it to empower those without a voice. As a business owner you understand there is a stark contrast between selling your wares and leading a movement. However, your audience will look to you and how you communicate the benefits of your product or services. Employees, investors, and most of all, customers need to be compelled to take action.

The best way to persuade people is to have something good to say, say it well, and say it often.

2. Create a sense of urgency.

When Dr. King joined the civil rights movement he understood the small window of opportunity to make a lasting impression. Dr. King said this in his “I have a dream” speech:

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

3. Inspire people

Dr. King is arguably the greatest leader, and communicator in modern history. He got people to embrace his vision and mission and support him unconditionally. As a business owner, you too can and must give people something to believe in.

Whether it is a great new product, or excellent service – effectively communicating what you offer in a manner that leaves an impression

These three lessons continue to inspire us to be a better entrepreneurs and leaders each day. I am thankful to Dr. Martin Luther King for so much, including the thousands of leaders he inspired unknowingly, and those he’ll inspire for decades to come.

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