I do. His name was Ken and he reminded me of a young Clint Eastwood: the strong, silent type. He was fourteen and I was twelve. And boy, did I have it bad.
We belonged to the same YMCA and I did everything I could to impress him. He walked by the pool as I was heading off the diving board and I attempted my most daring dive. I landed straight on my back in the water with a loud CRACK that had kids around me groan with sympathy.
While taking Tao Kwon Do, he sauntered into the room. I was practicing side kicks and decided to really put some muscle into it. As I kicked outward, I did it with such force that my supporting leg was knocked out from under me. I landed on the floor! Although I was mortified, thankfully, he didn’t seem to notice.
But I was done making a fool of myself for someone who didn’t even notice I existed. We all have stories like this.
We set our sights upon someone who seems to fit some type of fantasy of what we think will be a heavenly match. And then we find out our object of desire has feet of clay, or bad breath, or can’t hold their liquor without acting like an idiot. It happens.
We also learn that pretending to be something we’re not isn’t the best way to achieve happiness.
I went through this cycle when I’d meet “someone special” and I bet you did, too. You tried your best to find out what would impress this wonderful person and then act the part. I likened it to turning myself into an emotional pretzel. I would try to gauge what someone would like and then be that type of person.
Are you doing the same with your business?
Many business owners try to do everything they can to get the attention of their prospect.
They twist themselves into a pretzel trying to be all things to all customers. I remember hearing about a restaurant that wanted to pull in more families. But at the same time, they were serving cheap beer, thinking that would bring in more customers, too. The problem was, the customers who wanted the cheap beer were getting rather rowdy and it scared away the families. Because the restaurant couldn’t decide what kind of business they wanted to be, it lost sales and eventually closed.
You’re special. I don’t say that as a form of flattery, but to remind you that your business does something no one else can.
It might be turning around projects at the speed of light. Or you may provide the best photography service for wiggly, squirmy toddlers. Or maybe you have a knack for delivering financial counsel with a side order of humor. Whatever is your unique selling proposition (or USP), you need to feature it in your copy and in your marketing materials.
Just be you.
My mom used to say this to me all the time when I would have a first date. I would be as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but she’d give me hug and say, “Relax. Just be you.” It was great advice and it’s even great advice for me now as I write copy for clients. The same goes for you. You are out there, day in and day out serving your customers the best way you know how. Allow your unique charms to shine through your marketing and you’ll soon be attracting the perfect customers for you.
And if you need help with that copy, you know who’s got your back. ;-)