On Being YOU in Your Marketing
By Karyn Greenstreet
copyright © 2006, by Karyn Greenstreet. All rights reserved.
A few days ago, a client (let's call him George) asked me whether his marketing is "professional enough." He was worried that his text was "too personal" and didn't make his company look like a large company.
George is a very funny, likeable, insightful person. His email newsletter is extraordinarily humorous and real. He's always telling stories about himself and his nutty family in his articles, then relates those stories to the point of the article. George exposes who he really is to his customers and prospects, and they love him for it.
People are so numb to all the marketing that's coming to them. Let's face it, we ignore a lot of email and letters that come our way. But when I asked George what his open rate was on this email newsletter ("open rate" means the number of people who actually open his email as a percentage of the total number he sent), he said his open rate was 75%!! Wow!!! In this day and age when 40-50% open rate is considered excellent, 75% blows me away.
You really must form a personal connection with your customers and prospects. In my opinion, it's crucially important for you to BE YOU, whether you're crazy or serious, spiritual or pragmatic. Let people know who you are and what you're all about. Don't try to hide behind a "corporate exterior," even if you're working with corporate clients. If there is more than one person in your business, it's okay to say "we," but don't say "we" if it's only you. (Why hide that you're a one-person business? It's a tremendous asset to be a one-person business!)
I'm so tired of faceless companies, and I bet you are, too. I'm not saying that you should expose all your personal problems and foibles which might detract from your message, but exposing your personality really does help to build relationships. It's a little scary to let people know who you really are, but it's also honest and full of integrity.
Me? I'm a lot of things, some of which you already know, and some that might be a surprise:
- I love being self employed. I'm an evangelist about it.
- I adore being in nature and hate crowded, polluted places. The photo above is my husband and I last autumn at the top of a mountain we hiked. We hiked Cornwall, England last year, and will be hiking Yosemite this year.
- We bought a house in the country last summer so that we could be in nature always. It's heaven. Okay, the deer eating my flowers isn't heaven, but the rest of it is.
- I have a distinctive laugh that people seem to enjoy. Which is cool, because I love to laugh! My sister and I have the exact same laugh, and when we get together the energy escalates through the roof.
- My family is loving, warm, supportive and totally insane. I couldn't live without them.
- My spirituality is simple: I believe we all are here for a reason, we all have gifts to give, and it's our responsibility as humans (and souls) to give these gifts to the world.
- I get angry at people who are being mean to others.
- I love to share what I know, and when I learn something new, I love to tell others about it. This is sometimes annoying to my family who really don't care about business plans or internet marketing. Spoil sports.
What about you? Who are you and what's unique about you? What are you going to share with your customers?
So go ahead, be YOU!