Your Jeans are Out of Style and so is Your Marketing Message.

I hear the same statements over and over again, “I don’t know what we should say in our marketing”, “my product is the best because it is,” and “anyone can use my product.”  To be honest I’m just pain tired of hearing these statements.  In one ear out the other.  If you can’t make me excited about writing about your business odds are good I can’t make anyone excited about buying what you have to offer.

1. Don’t just have to write about what you do.

As a matter of fact maybe you should not write about what you do specifically.  Write about instances of what you do, write the answers to specific questions,  write about how what you do makes a difference, tell people how it relates to everyday life.  Help them find answers to questions they’ve been asking all along and answers to questions they didn’t even know they had.  But make it about them, not about you.  They’re not concerned about you, your readers found you to solve their problems, so it’s all about them.

2. You do have to write about topics of value to your audience.

Your prospects are in they ask different questions depending upon what stage of the buying cycle they’re in.  And when you’re in a sales meeting you answer those questions specifically.  So when you’re writing for your marketing materials do the same thing.  To begin they may need to know why they would need a product or service?  What problems does it solve?  Then they might need to know how it solves those problems more effectively than another solution.  Eventually they’ll want to know how you specifically solve their problems.  Blog posts, ad copy, website content everything you write needs to pose solutions to their problems relating specifically to them at each phase of their buying cycle.

3. You can’t reach everyone at the same time with the same message. 

I’m really not a fan of the “C” word (can’t).  I don’t let my 3 year old use it, so when I make the exception to use it I really mean it. Here’s the the deal: You can’t talk to everyone at one time.  Because then you’re actually not speaking to anyone.  And your ad is going to flop, so you’ll be flushing money down the toilet.

Can you discipline all of your kids the same way? (If you can then you’ve unlocked the key to parenting success and should not be reading this blog post you should be writing a book).  Most parents would say no each child is different.  Whoa, what?  Each child is DIFFERENT?!?!  Yes they are and so are all the people you’re trying to sell to.

Look for the people you can help the most, who find the most value in your product or service AND can afford it.  (Now make sure the product you’re selling them turns a good profit because we’re not in business to loose money.) Then speak directly to that person.  No one else.  You can tell when people aren’t really listening to you.  And you can also tell when someone is trying to sell you something you don’t really need.  So stop doing it to everyone else.  Talk to people like you mean it and not like you’re trying to make a buck, the buck is an outcome of a well written message to the right person at the right time.

If you have 10 different demographics who make the list then write the same message 10 different ways, run it in 10 different publications with different imagery.  Some demographics may overlap and that’s OK.  Just ask yourself, “did I make sure that person knows I heard them?” and if the answer is yes then you’ve written a successful ad.  If not then you need to dig deeper and make another set of ads…

4. You need to figure out a way to connect with your audience.

People are not good a following directions, they’re good a making connections.  They want to feel, laugh, cry, go, “huh?”.  The biggest challenge you have to overcome in your marketing is getting people to pay attention.  So you can’t use the tired, “we care about you because we’re a family business” tagline and expect it to stick. Make them feel.  Make them smile, chuckle or just make them think.  If you’re a small business marketing yourself this type of advertising can require a serious gut check.  It’s not what we’re all used to but it’s what we all remember.  It’s not necessarily easy either because you keep wanting to go back to the same old pair of jeans because you’re used to the way they fit.  But they’re out of style and they only looked good on you then because everyone else was wearing them.  But it’s not then and YOU’RE NOT EVERYONE ELSE.  So stop treating your business like you are.  You’re cool, now make people remember you so they know it too.

A solution worth trying: create buyer personas.

Buyer personas are a great way to wrap your mind around who you’re trying to connect with.  In a buyer persona you document an instance of your target market identifying that segments goals, values, challenges, demographics and more.  Give that person a name and put a face with the name by adding a picture.  Then when you’re getting ready to write marketing content to that demographic you can put a face with the name and speak to them in a voice that makes them want to listen.


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