“You make me sound far more clever!”
I received this message from a colleague earlier today in response to my edits to her write-up that was to go live on my company’s blog later that day. Having spent the past several years writing for various publications, and working directly with clients to share their stories, this was a statement I heard frequently.
One of the perks of being a writer, I suppose.
In reality, however, the stories are already there, they just often need to be revealed by an outsider.
In the case of my colleague, she had told her personal story well, and went a step further in making professional application, the sign of a great marketer. However, my suggestion was to minimize the selling and maximize the telling.
This is where professionals (really, anyone in the business of selling) often go wrong. Too much emphasis is placed on driving a consumer to an end goal, rather than the opportunity to wine and dine them, so to speak. Think about it: Few first dates would lead to successful long term relationships if one party only bragged about how incredible they look naked or how great in the sack they are.
Moral of the story (and a suggestion that may ruffle the feathers of the old-school sales community): Stop focusing so much on selling. Instead, think about what makes you different, and tell that story. And tell it everywhere. Tell it to your family, your friends, your social media connections. Tell it on your website’s “About” page and via your marketing collateral.