Tell Them Who You Really Are
In a world dominated by technology, it is easy to forget
about the people factor. So often Internet success is
measured by page impressions, clickthrough ratio, high
placements in search engines... Please, remember that here,
in this highly technical world, you are *always* dealing
with real people. People like you and me - with desires,
ambitions, and habits.
One person at a time.
I participated recently in the Internet Super Summit in
LA - it was truly awesome gathering of Internet marketers,
organized by Jay Abraham and the Netrageous team. One of
the most dramatic moments was relating to that human factor.
It was during Ken Evoy's presentation (in case you still
don't know who Ken Evoy is - he is the author of "Make Your
Site Sell" which is by now considered the best deal among
the books on the topic of Internet marketing). He was
talking about the necessity of focusing on visitors when
building a website and he was illustrating it by guiding
us through his own superb websites.
Ken's point was to be constantly aware how difficult it
is to concentrate on visitors. Without seeing their eyes
rolling up to the ceiling, without hearing their yawning
and their fingers tapping the table, it is oh-so-easy to
overlook when they become bored or impatient....
Please remember that people on the net have zero tolerance
for being bored. And as brutal as it sounds, they have no
interest in your product or service - they only want to
read about themselves and how your product or service can
solve their problems. Everything that is not focusing on
them is boring and if something begins like a boring
sentence, they skip it.
To illustrate how difficult it is to focus, Evoy announced
that as he will explain how and why he designed specific
web elements - he will talk about his visitors. And he
challenged himself and the audience, promising that if
anyone could catch him talking about himself or about his
business instead of his visitors, he would pay $100 (he
also asked Jay Abraham to double the stakes :-)
And so he went on talking about effective web design...
Let me remind you that Ken Evoy knows how to concentrate
on people. His websites are among the most glorious examples
of visitor-focused content. And he himself is a very giving
person -- as far from being self-absorbed as it goes.
So, guess how long it took for someone to catch him talking
about himself during that presentation?
About 30 minutes...
Just think. If Ken Evoy, the master himself, can lose focus
of the most important thing during a two hour presentation -
how likely is it that you can lose track of your audience?
To measure how well you are focusing on your audience, go
to your website, brochure or another piece of communication
that should be focused on your reader, and count how many
times you use "me" and "mine" vs. "you" and "yours". You
should use "you" at least three times as often as using "I"
(and me, mine, our). Yes - three times as often!
Some people advice using equal number of "Me" and "You" in
text - no, no, no! This is not good advice. Equal number of
"Me" and "You" will not put nearly enough focus on your reader.
Even if you write about you yourself, or about your company
and your product, think about your visitors. Concentrate on
helping them get involved with whatever you talk about. Help
them understand it. Educate, enlighten, entertain, inform -
always by talking about them, not about you.
It is so easy to forget about that "people factor" when we sit
in front of our computers - designing, publishing, and writing.
So easy to slip into the trap of creating stuff about us,
about our products, about our business.
Ken Evoy made another important point during that presentation.
He said that once someone skips reading a sentence, it is easy
for them to skip another sentence or bullet point, and then
another one, until they stop reading.
The bottom line? Make sure that you do everything you can, so
that your audience keeps reading - if they stop reading, how
will they ever be able to buy from you?
And thank you for staying with me all the way to the end :-)