Fix This Messaging Mistake to Win More Customers

September 30, 2020 | Weekly Marketing Tip

I love it when people only talk about themselves – how many awards they’ve won or how their Grandpa started the business from their cousin Eddie’s basement with only a shoelace and a bottle cap. It makes for a great conversation.

As you can tell, I’m dripping with sarcasm. Yet, many companies do this exact thing on their website – they talk about themselves and make themselves the hero of the story. BIG FAIL. That’s going to cost some business because the customer is always the hero. Your business gets to play the guide. And when you do, you’ll win more customers.

Watch this week’s marketing tip to find out more about being the guide. And I’ll tell you how great of a marketer I am. 😉

Full transcript below.

Full transcript

Today, I want to talk about how great of a marketer I am and how long I’ve been helping companies. Okay I’m not, I’m not. So before you hit stop or pause on the video or keep scrolling in your newsfeed, I’m not going to talk about that. You don’t want to hear about that. What I am going to talk about is a mistake that a lot of brands, a lot of marketers are making, maybe you’re making it and it’s going to cost you opportunities, it’s going to cost you business. And I’ll also tell you a little bit more about why I’ve got this headlamp on. So my name is Steve Phipps and this is your Weekly Marketing Tip from Wayfind Marketing.

So here’s the thing. Your customers and prospects come to you because you can help solve a problem. And to put this in context of a story, your customer is the hero of the story. You get to play the role of a guide. So think about your customers being like Luke Skywalker and you get to be like Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi. So you get to help them solve the problem. And so that’s why I’m wearing this headlamp. And so this is something that when people go backpacking or camping, maybe you’ve got one maybe running at night, hiking at night, whatever it is, this is a great way to be able to see where you’re going, keep your hands free.

Well, imagine if you will, that your customers are in the dark. They don’t have a flashlight. They don’t have a headlamp. They don’t have anything to give them light, but you do. Well, that means you get to help them solve that problem, whatever it is.

And so here’s the mistake that brands make, though, is they talk about themselves. Like out of the gate, they talk about how great they are, how many awards they’ve won, how many years they’ve been in business, how many trucks they have in their fleet. There’s all kinds of information that some of it might be relevant, but when they lead with that, they’re going to miss opportunities because what they’re doing is they’re putting themselves as the hero.

So stop, don’t make yourself the hero of the story. You’re not, your customers, your prospects want to know how can you help them solve their problem. They’re the center of the story. And so be the guide. Talk about their problems, show that you understand what they’re facing, how that feels, and then you can talk about how you can help them solve that problem. And if how many years you’ve been in business is relevant to helping solve that problem for them, fantastic, let them know about that. But when you come out of the gate talking about you, you’re going to alienate people.

So anyway, focus on being the guide. If you have questions about this, let me know. This is what we do. We use a framework called StoryBrand. I’m a Certified StoryBrand Guide. And man, we love helping people get their messaging clear. So go enjoy your day and go be the guide.

* At the time of this recording, Steve was a certified StoryBrand guide. As of February 2024, he is no longer a certified StoryBrand guide. 


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