The power of ‘You’

This post will take Estimated reading time: 3 minutes to read Copywriting

The word ‘you’ is very powerful in marketing.   But sadly, those three letters don’t get used often  enough when small businesses are writing marketing copy.

 

The most common word used is ‘we’. I’m sure you’ve seen it before.

 

  • “We provided accounting services to small businesses….”
  • “We stock a large range of office furniture…..”,
  • “We have been in business in the local area for over 20 years…..”.

 

I’m sure you’ve read them all before.  Businesses love to talk about themselves.  For some reason they think that will make them more attractive to prospects.  Unfortunately, the complete opposite is the truth.

 

Imagine you are in a retail store looking for shoes and the shop assistant came up and said to you “I just wanted to let you know we’ve been here for over 20 years and have a range of over 200 styles of Mens shoes” and walked away.  What would you think? I know what I would be thinking….Firstly, I’d probably say “What the?” and then I would think “Are they going to ask me what I’m looking for?”

 

Why is the word ‘you’ so important in marketing?

 

The word ‘you’ makes customers feel like you are talking to them. Fundamentally, your marketing copy is there to connect the problem your business solves with the needs of the customer.

 

The word ‘we’ only allows you to be very general about your services and say what you can provide.  The word ‘you’ forces you to take these services and relate them specifically to the needs of the customer.  And when you do that, your marketing copy is much more effective.

 

So how do I fix this?

 

The first step is realising you have a problem.  You need to review your marketing copy and simply look for how many times you say the word ‘we’.  I guarantee that now you are aware of the problem, it will stick out like a sore thumb.

 

Secondly, have a go at re-writing your copy yourself.  And re-write it as if you are talking directly to a customer.  Pretend for a moment you are that sales assistant working in a shoe store and you are talking to your customer trying to find out what they need.  You may ask questions like “Are you looking for casual or work shoes?” or “Are you sick of of wearing shoes that don’t fit properly?”.  This copy will connect more with the customer than “We sell casual and dress shoes” or “We provide a fitting service for every customer”.

 

A better option, is to get a marketing copywriter to take a look at your marketing materials and re-write them for you. The investment will be well worth it.

About the author

Chris Dale Chris Dale is the founder and Managing Director of MarketingHQ. He is a Certified Practising Marketer with over 15 years senior marketing experience. He helps small and medium sized businesses create great marketing strategies and systems that grow their businesses. You can connect with him on or on LinkedIn.

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