In Your Marketing, To Thine Own Self Be True
Posted on 05 January 2012
A subscriber to my enewsletter, Mirek Plowiek from Katowice in Poland, had this burning question about marketing: “Which is more important when communicating with your audience: say things you really want to say, or say things that people want to hear?”
With thanks to Mr Shakespeare, my reply to Mirek is: “In your marketing, to thine own self be true.”
I believe you need to say the things you really want to say and that you believe people need to hear (with the genuine intention of helping them to be more successful). That might mean some people choose not to do business with you, and that’s OK. After all, would you really want to do business with them?!
Robert Kiyosaki, author of the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” series of books, says: “Be true to yourself. Make no apologies for who you are and what you stand for.”
Someone else I admire, Isabel Parlett, “The Soundbite Shaman”, advises: “Write for yourself first… before we can respond eloquently to someone else’s wants and needs, we first have to own what we have to offer, without apology, whitewashing, or sugar-coating.”
And check out this article: “Great Marketing is Not About You … Hogwash!” by Mark Aaron Murnahan. He writes: “…talk about yourself enough so we can know who you are and what you stand for. If you don’t, all that your would-be customers have to base their buying decisions on is facts and figures.”
Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you should ignore your audience and talk all about you you you. You absolutely must understand and consider their wants, needs, interests, pain points and psychological triggers; you need to communicate in ways that work for them, and you need to show them how your product or service will give them what they want. But the content and personality of your message must be an authentic expression of you and your values.
Why? Because people prefer to do business with people they like, trust and respect, and they want to connect with the youness of you.
I believe it is possible to find the middle ground between what you want to say and what your prospective clients want to hear. Instead of either/or, look for both/and: find the overlap between what you want to talk about (your expertise) and what your prospective clients want to hear about (the solutions to their problems). Then, challenge them gently to discover what they didn’t even know they wanted, and inspire them about the possible results that they don’t yet even believe are possible for them.
So are you courageous enough to be YOU, even if some people don’t like that?
The Lesson: The people who like your message will be magnetically drawn to you (and then of course you have to have a system for turning their interest into sales).
Action Steps: Get clear about the essence of your message, then be fearless in expressing it.
What do YOU think?
Which is more important when communicating with your audience: say things you really want to say, or say things that people want to hear? Please leave a comment below.
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Mirek’s company is Outsmarter (an Internet start-up). He explained: “Outsmarter is a computer app that helps you limit the amount of time you waste online. If you feel you’re spending too much of your life on Facebook, Gmail, Twitter etc., you can use Outsmarter to set time limits for chosen websites or completely block them.”