Marketing Today: The Difference Between Showing Off and Establishing Yourself as an Expert


Marketing-today-the-difference-between-showing-off-and-establishing-yourself-as-an-expert.jpgNo matter what kind of business you’re in, you want to make a good impression on customers and prospects. You want to give prospective clients a reason to choose you instead of the competition. That even extends to the content and quality of your marketing.

There is, however, a big difference between showing off and establishing yourself as an expert. So how can your marketing demonstrate your expertise, knowledge, and reliability without having you come across as a showoff?

Here’s a little secret: Your audience really doesn’t care about your company or your experience, or your expertise—except as it pertains to helping them achieve their goals. If it’s clear to your audience that you can help them get what they want, then they’ll listen to why you may be the best choice. It doesn’t matter if you’re using direct mail, email, or some other form of marketing. That principle still applies.

Let’s look at a couple of examples. Let’s say you are a software development company and you’re mailing to potential clients. Which of the following headlines is more likely to get prospects to read what you’re sending?

  • Hundreds of companies around the world have used our cutting-edge inventory software that’s twice as fast as the competition.
  • Here’s how you can eliminate the three biggest mistakes most companies make with their inventory, be more productive, and save money.

The first statement is all about you and your product. It highlights that your product is “cutting-edge.” It mentions that it’s had international acceptance. It talks about how it’s faster than your competitor’s product. It’s showing off.

The second statement puts the focus on your customer. It promises to help them avoid mistakes (and shows that you’re aware of the problems they face—and know how to solve those problems). It also promises benefits of productivity and profitability to them. The whole approach is about them.

And that’s just the headline. You’ll want to do the same thing in your descriptive copy. You don’t want to try to bedazzle prospects with the features of your products or services. Instead you want to talk about the issues they face. You want them to know that you understand what problems their dealing with and that you know how to help them solve those problems.

It’s OK to talk about yourself and your products or services as long as it’s in terms of helping your potential clients achieve their goals.

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