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“I wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow…”
“Your father insists on washing the dishes when I want to use the dishwasher… he’s driving me crazy in this lockdown”
“I’m really worried about whether I’m going to get everything done in time…”
amy, what’s your instinct when you hear these kind of phrases?
For me, a couple of years back it would be: look up the weather forecast, talk to dad, and offer to help meet the deadline.
But that only led to a world of frustration until one day, a very smart lady explained to me:
“When someone says “I’m thirsty,” people often hear: “can you get me a drink?” It’s surprisingly easy to jump to someone’s need even when they don’t ask for help outright. But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.”
And an odd thing can happen when you market your business. You can find yourself marketing to people you can help, instead of people you want to help.
I was coaching a writer a few years back. Her target market was business owners who marketed themselves online by publishing content. Her copy spoke to the pain points of stress, the chaos of managing writing and promoting marketing content and keeping on top of a content schedule.
She’d been doing this for a while so I asked her about her current clients to see how her marketing was working.
“To be honest, they’re a bit of a nightmare. They’re always stressed and disorganised – I don’t think I’ve ever been paid on time.”
She knew she could alleviate the burden of having to write regular content, but that didn’t mean her services could alleviate all the burdens and stresses that were making her clients’ lives chaotic. Her focus on stress and chaos in her marketing meant she was attracting people who thought: “that sounds like me!”
So instead we worked on a message to attract wonderful clients – clients with budgets, who paid on time, who valued her work, and were delightful to interact with.
Now, I love my clients, but it took a few years before I was regularly attracting people who were the right fit.
Today, I don’t work with many people at a time, turnover is low, and I am very fond of them all. We work hard together for hours at a time, crunching copy, filming courses, planning marketing strategies. And we also party and hang out for hours at a time: Whether it’s a 3am moonlight dip off the Florida coast after an impromptu evening of axe-throwing, or firing machine guns in Vegas. (My parents still have concerns about my line of work).
But I’ve had my share of the crazy ones as well.
- The CEO and business strategist who promoted positivity, until he talked about his ex-wife… which he often did
- The social network start-up that reviewed every piece of copy through a large committee (nothing was ever published)
- The owner of a digital media agency who had months of work lined up for me… until I turned him down for a hike
Whether you’re in the service industry, or sell a product, you don’t want just any customer with money to spend. You want to attract people who are a joy to work with.
But sometimes marketing advice can mean we’re writing copy that attracts the wrong people to us.
In marketing, we know people like simple, easy-to-use solutions, but if this is the prominent theme in your marketing, do you find yourself attracting people who want a quick fix and won’t put in the work?
If, you focus too much on the pain rather than the aspirational benefits of working with you, are you attracting people who are frazzled instead of ambitious?
If you’re not attracting people or customers you would (as my dad would say) ‘like to go for a drink with’, do you need to revisit the message you’re putting out into the world? In short:
Does your marketing speak to people you can help? Or people who you really want to help?
If not, don’t give up because I know there are some amazing customers out there just waiting for you to call out to them.
Till next time amy,
What else is going on?
- #17 Podcast: 5 Mistakes that Make Customers Ignore Your Marketing
- #3 Lecture: Customer Beliefs you have to Tackle Before You Can Sell to Them
- And this because it’s just the most delightful thing I’ve seen from all of the lockdown posts