Who Says You’re the Best!
How many businesses seem to be regularly posting self-congratulatory, ‘I’m the best, the only person who can help you’ posts on social media?
I know I’m not alone in finding their tone self-indulgent and rather off-putting.
Conversations with friends and other business owners have confirmed that this excessive boasting and self-promotion from someone who’s essentially acting as a salesperson, claiming that their goods or services are the most superior option, is too much. Yes, we can scroll on by, but we may be deterred from feeling inclined to stop and buy.
Isn’t it less salesy for a business to display a little modesty and share what they have to offer or quietly post recommendations and comments from happy clients or customers? Confidence and self-belief are all well and good but sometimes you can be left wondering if, with that much smugness, they should go and get a room!
There’s a certain charm and relaxed confidence that emanates from someone who simply lays out their menu, invites you to have a relaxed conversation with them about how they can help and then lets you decide what suits you best.
There’s no doubt that everyone wants to buy the best. Some years back an advertising agency ran a campaign for cigarettes for ‘ordinary people’. It had no appeal, as the image cigarette-smoking adverts aim to convey is that of a glamourous lifestyle, elegant, the ultimate in cool. Unsurprisingly this ad campaign was unsuccessful and was quickly withdrawn.
As a counsellor and hypnotherapist, I’m all too aware that my clients need to feel confident in my ability to help them. They need to know that I’m highly-trained, experienced and good at what I do, and I’m happy to reassure them that that’s the case.
Most of my clients are recommendations and I have people travel from all over the country, even from overseas. I’ve written books, regularly write articles for magazines and blogs, contribute to many BBC programmes, have weekly radio shows, am a hypnotherapy trainer, a speaker. There are many strings to my bow and that’s not a secret.
But I’m also aware that one size doesn’t fit all, and that whilst I receive lots of referrals from happy clients, what I provide doesn’t suit everyone.
One of the most impressive posts I’ve seen on social media recently was from a mortgage company who’d been nominated for an award. They posted a video and in it said that whilst they weren’t claiming to be the best, they certainly felt they’d earned the right to win the award because they worked very hard to do all they could for each and every client. They felt they deserved to be on the list, and others agreed because they won it!
Think about a restaurant menu. It describes the dishes on offer, references dietary requirements, promotes ‘specials’ and offers, but then leaves it to the customer to decide. The restaurant appreciates that what’s to one person’s taste may be unappealing to someone else. Yes, a customer may eat there regularly, and, as such be confidently directed to certain choices, but it works best to then leave it to the customer to decide. And, if they’re not happy with their choice, well that’s a discussion for another day.
Everyone has to eat, but not everyone will choose to eat the same food, at the same restaurant or even enjoy eating out. Similarly, in business, it’s important to remind people of your presence and what you have to offer, establish yourself as the ‘go-to-guy’ in your field, but equally remember that there are probably hundreds of people offering similar goods and services to yours. It’s the people, the individual relationships and customer experiences that are often the deciding factor.
Over-the-top, loud, pushy sales pitches on social media may work for some. They may get the message across, but self-effacing is often far more attractive and compelling than the ‘I’m the greatest’ approach that so many seem to favour at the moment!
There are a variety of ways to connect with potential clients:
Blog posts offering top tips or ways to improve their business are often welcome, especially when they’re short, easy-to-read bullet points. Use them to remind people of your worth. Don’t forget that whilst people may enthusiastically watch cooking programmes, they still look forward to dining out and having someone else cook for them!
A regular visual post, including a #tipoftheday or week can keep you in people’s line of sight and remind them that you’re around whenever they need you. Short videos and live streams are effective ways to highlight yourself and your personality.
Networking, physically attending meetings and maybe taking the opportunity to deliver a valuable business spotlight about your business is a good way to build and enhance relationships and prompt further conversation about ways you can help that are personally tailored to their requirements.
There are many effective ways to self-promote and it’s good to vary your approach.
Susan Leigh, Counsellor & Hypnotherapist lifestyletherapy.net