"I am enthusiastic and passionate about my business, but I must admit, I do a good job of keeping it to myself - unless someone shows an interest during a conversation. Why?
"I'm concerned about turning people off. I'm often turned off when someone I meet goes on and on about something I'm really not interested in. It often seems like they're trying to push me into something. I don't want to do that to others, so I find it hard to promote myself.
"Does that make any sense? Anyone else know what I'm talking about? How can I be sure I'm being passionate without annoying other people? Ideas?"
Thanks! - Ruby Curran
Thanks for this question, Ruby. This really gets to the heart of what stops people from marketing successfully.
There is a fundamental misunderstanding about marketing that you are making. You think marketing is about you. You think marketing is boasting, a big ego trip and fundamentally self- centered. You think that marketing is "going on and on about something I'm not really interested in."
If you believe that, of course, you'll keep your business to yourself. You don't want to be seen as an obnoxious egomaniac.
But marketing is NOT about you. It's not even about your services. It's not about all the things you do and it certainly isn't about going on and on until people are turned off.
Marketing isn't about what YOU do, it's about what THEY get.
Just think, when someone asks you what you do, you tend to talk all about you and how your business works. It just pours out automatically. You can't seem to help yourself. But you realize that this is a turn-off, so you solve the problem by not talking about your business at all (unless someone shows interest).
Clearly, this approach doesn't work.
When someone asks me what I do, I NEVER talk about my business. I talk about the problems my prospects and clients are experiencing. And when I do that, most people do show interest.
I say, "I work with Professionals who have a great service but who struggle with networking." There's absolutely nothing about me in that message. And it interests people because it's about them.
When they ask me how I do this, I say, "I work with them so that marketing is easier for them and becomes less of a struggle, and so that they ultimately attract more clients."
Again, nothing about me, it's all about what they get. And that is interesting as well. It starts a lot of good conversations.
And if they want to know more about how it works, I tell them a story of a client I worked with and the results they got. Again, nothing about me. Stories are great because people can see that if you helped someone else, maybe you can help them as well.
And you know what? When you talk about your business like that, people become interested. They want to know more. Then you provide more information in the form of an article or details of your services on your web site. And, of course, you get their email and put them on your regular eZine list.
Why do I have thousands of people on my monthly email magazine? It's because that's how I've consistently communicated about my business over the years. It's all about communicating value, not going on and on about how great my business is.
But there's also another way to look at this.
I realize, that at any given time, I'm not going to communicate perfectly. I may say things that turn people off. I might send one too many emails and have someone unsubscribe. Once in awhile I might forget myself and go on and on.
But so what?
I do my very best to communicate with integrity. I know my communications provides value. I know that my products and services have made a huge difference to thousands of people.
But you can't please everyone all the time. In fact, if you're doing really well with your marketing, you're still only going to please (get positive response from) about 10% of your audience (at best).