The easiest topic in the world for you to talk about is you. Let’s be honest, nobody knows you better than you. You are the expert on you. It’s the same with your business. You know why you set up your business and you know, intimately, what you do. That makes it a very easy thing to talk about in your marketing. Unfortunately, it is one of the worst things for you to talk about in your marketing. This article looks at why you need to stop talking about you and what you should do instead.
Five reasons to stop talking about you
1. Nobody Cares!
Slightly harsh, but relatively accurate. People will listen to you but they then make assumptions and have pre-conceived ideas about what a marketing consultant/software developer/accountant/[insert what you do] does. If you want to grab their attention, you need to talk about them!
2. It wastes time
Talking about you, especially when you get into the nitty gritty of how, is burning time. Imagine you’re at a speed networking event. You have a minute to grab their attention and get them to want to talk to you again in the future. If you talk about what you do, you’re wasting time because you aren’t talking about what they want to hear.
3. It puts images in people’s heads
People have pre-conceived ideas about what you do. Most people think that an accountant lives and dies next to a calculator or spreadsheet. Most of the time, this image in their head is completely wrong, but it happens, and it is negatively impacting your opportunity to generate a connection or prospect.
4. Do you really understand your clients’ needs?
If you’re talking about your business, you run the risk of people thinking you don’t understand them. Buying from a new supplier is always a risk and if your prospects start to think that you don’t understand them, the level of perceived risk in their minds is going up and not down. You can find out more about perceived risk, and what to do about it, here.
5. You don’t stand out
There are now very few businesses that do something completely unique. There are lots of small businesses in your area that do what you do. If you talk about what you do, you’re doing the same thing as most others. You’re not standing out as different to the crowd (there’s an article here about the importance of being different). When people start looking for a new supplier of what you do, they will develop a shortlist. Normally they shortlist the people who are different from the others and are showing that they understand them.
If you don’t stand out, you run the risk of rarely being on the shortlists.
5 things you need to do:
1. Talk to them
Talking to them, particularly online, means writing in the 2nd person. If you were standing in front of them, you would talk in the 2nd person. As people rarely share computer screens today, why would you not talk to them in the same way?
2. Show you understand them
When you talk about their needs and issues, you show that you recognise what they face and what they need. This grabs their attention and keeps them engaged with your brand. Matching what you do with their needs and issues further proves that you understand them.
3. Talk about success
The classic line is “people don’t buy a ¼ inch drill, they buy a ¼ inch hole”. They buy the drill bit to get what they want – the hole. People want the result, so you should talk about the result.
4. Tell stories
Everyone loves a story. We all grew up consuming stories. Starting with people reading them to us, going through reading books and watching films. You can vividly remember your favourite stories. When people are looking for a solution to a problem they have, they will remember stories you tell them much more than a description of what you do. Make the stories about their peers (so they resonate and they recognise themselves) to make them even more effective.
5. Provide evidence
Talking about the person and how what you do helps them, along with what success looks like, is going to move you much closer to closing the sale. Proof that you can deliver on your promises is going to get you even closer. Evidence, in the form of case studies, testimonials and reviews, reduces risk in the mind of your prospect and helps them make the decision to use you.
Take a look at your marketing, particularly your website and answer these questions:
- Does the first sentence talk about you or your target audience?
- Use this test to see if your website pages are more about you or about your target audience.
- Is your marketing written in the 2nd person (you) or the 3rd person (he/she/they)?
- Do you have a set of stories you can tell people that demonstrate how you help your target audience?
- Is there an evidence set easily found on your website and/or social media?
If your answers show you are talking about your business, rather than to and about your target audience, you need to take action. If you would like to talk to us about how we can help you, click here or call us on 020 8634 5911.