Friday, February 1, 2013

Is it a Business or is it a Hobby?

I recently had a client who was looking for some help with a sales letter. It started out breaking nearly every rule of good copy writing. You know, the ones that say:
     Make it about what the customer wants, not about you
     Use easy words
     Use short sentences
     Don't wander, be concise
     Don't use ambiguous words that are hard to pin down

In addition, this client was using terminology that was distinctly religious or spiritual. There's absolutely nothing wrong with religious or spiritual. It appeals to and reaches a particular group effectively. It also excludes a group who are not looking for that experience, and therefore excludes that potential income..

So in rewriting this letter, I broadened the approach, making it more generally applicable to a wider target audience. Ultimately, this client rejected the broader approach with the comment that what he was selling was so personal to him, it needed to be about spirituality.

Not the first time I've had a client reject marketing principles in favor of how personal their product is to them. Is that wrong? No. But I think it bears some clarity on the difference between a business and a hobby. If you're doing your "thing" because it is personal to you and not doing your "thing" for what the customer needs/wants/gets, then I think what you have is a hobby that may make a little income.

If you have a hobby, you can make it all about yourself. If you have a business. your focus MUST be the customer! Neither is right or wrong, but one will make you more money. (The point of a business, after all) The other might provide great personal experience, but beware of the cost that may have to your bottom line.

If you are struggling with how to make it about your customer, ask me about some help on your own ads, PR materials or website.

Put your customer first. It's NOT about you. Start with anything you want to say in an ad, then ask, "Why does this matter to the customer?" The answer to that question is what you should be talking about!

Best wishes,

1 comment:

Berta Hargrove said...

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