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.

Real people.
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 :-)