Today, more than ever, it’s important to be sensitive about what others might be experiencing. That means acknowledging things are different, being careful about how you promote your wares, and thinking more strategically about what you can offer to truly help others. Those are actually good strategies at any time for creating more relatable marketing messages.
Think no one understands what you’re going through? Talk to a palm reader. Or a fortune teller. Or a savvy seller. These folks are fabulous marketers because they recognize all humans share similar concerns with common themes. They’ve also mastered the art of reading body language. As much as we’re all unique, the similarities in the concerns we share is uncanny. Knowing this can help you be a more effective communicator and provider.
Darren Hardy recently talked about this in his Darren Daily video newsletter as he reflected on the accuracy of a palm reader’s comments. He was amazed by her psychic abilities, until he mimicked the spiel on a colleague. Hardy concluded we all have the same story to tell, or at least share enough alike thoughts to make it feel similar.
Finding common ground
Think about it. Is there anyone out there that’s never felt like a misfit or outsider? Have you ever thought you weren’t smart, attractive, or experienced enough? Ever felt like you didn’t belong?
Have you hesitated to call someone, introduce yourself, or felt awkward around strangers? Have you ever felt alone when with a group of people?
How much time do you spend regretting something you did? Have you let someone down? Disappointed yourself? Recounted the different ways you could have handled something better?
Have you compared yourself to others? Ever felt smaller when considering their accomplishments or criticisms?
Anyone out there ever been heartbroken or felt abandoned?
You’re not as alone as you think in feeling things that seem too out there for others to understand. Everyone wants to matter. That means being recognized by others. It means feeling heard and appreciated.
We use personal filters in how we process information. This often means there’s a good chance you’re misinterpreting the reactions of others. The key to understanding is realizing others are thinking more about themselves than they are about you. To paraphrase a Brian Tracy quip, even those closest to you are probably thinking more about their hang nail than they are about you.
Reaching your audience with finesse
Knowing that others have probably shared the feelings you think are unique to you makes it easier to craft effective copy. Think about what irks, excites, intrigues or grabs you. Chances are, your audience has felt that way too.
Make your message about your audience when your goal is to engage them. Stop using “I” if you want others to feel understood and appreciated. Instead, try “you” for your written, video and audio content. You’ll be amazed at how much more compelling your message becomes.
That means shifting what you say, too. Your message shouldn’t be about all the things that make you or your business wonderful from your perspective. Features and benefits are passe. That’s too much about you. Instead, figure out how what you do improves the lives of those you serve.
Focus on who’s there
One super simple idea so few seem to embrace these days is focusing completely on the person in front of you. Whether it’s in-person, on a phone call, during a video conference, or during an email exchange, pay attention to who you’re talking to. Put your phone away (and on silent) when you’re face-to-face (or interacting in any other way that doesn’t involve a phone dialog). It means reading the email you’re responding to before shooting off a reply. It means dismissing the idea that multi-tasking is a good way to get more done.
Realize that, while other people may not have experienced your exact circumstances, they share common self-critical concerns. This can be a big help in creating relatable marketing messages. Thinking more deeply about the words you choose to make your message less about you and more about your audience is huge. Giving your attention to the one who’s in front of you is common courtesy.
Think about what makes you feel important. Why do you choose to do business with someone? It’s usually because they seem to understand your concerns – and listen. That palm reader, fortune teller, or savvy seller hear more than they say. The best way to figure out what drives others is to pay attention and focus on who you’re talking to. It’s not complicated. It just requires a slight shift in how you perceive the world.