Image from Rafael Marchesini on sxc.hu
In the battle for your customer's attention, every second counts. You must make a lasting impression quickly, or risk getting left behind by the frantic pace. 

Information flies at your customer fast. You'll be caught standing still if you don't stand out right away. 

But how do you stand out for all the right reasons? How do you create marketing messages that resonate and tell your story in a way that captivates? 

Before you send that Tweet, newsletter, or press release, think. Before you publish that webpage or article, run it through the checklist below. Your reputation will soar as a company that provides value in the information you send. 


Ask yourself: 

Is this...

T - True?

Did you verify that the information you're sending is accurate? Once you post or send something, you're giving your stamp of approval that it's correct. 

Don't sign off on something unless you're sure it's true. The web and social media are littered with untrue "facts" and dumb statements that will hurt your credibility if you attach your brand to them. 

H - Helpful?

This is the golden rule for managing your brand on Social Media. Nobody listens to you if you're only promoting yourself. Give. Serve others. Promote the cool stuff that your peers share.

See an article that would help your network of customers and prospects? Share the love. With the rise of social media, the internet has become a place where those who share and serve win, while self-absorbed businesses get left in the dust.

On the other hand, don't share everything. Share quality information and links others post, and you'll gain a reputation for saying useful things. That's how you gain a following - by posting useful and interesting things. 

The same is true for your website. Let every page speak directly to your prospect in a helpful way that shows you exist to serve him. 

I - Inspiring?

Does your article inspire people that they can accomplish something worthwhile? Does that link or statement you're about to send make people excited about what's possible?

Think of your business, product, or service as a platform to inspire your customers. Make lives better. Paint the picture about happier days and sunnier skies. Show how your product fits into that sunny solution, and you'll attract people that listen, trust, and buy from you.

N - Necessary?

Do you mix business and personal information on social media? Does your website contain a bunch of information your prospect doesn't care about?

On social media, it's important to be human. But too much of a good thing can destroy your brand online. Negative comments, "venting," or spewing frustrations chase people away from you. 

Don't trash your competitors. Take the high road. Be the positive influence your customers are looking for. People have to like you before they'll give you their money. Before you send that email or publish that post, ask: "Is it necessary?"

K - Kind?

Unless you have your head in the sand, you have to admit that the world is full of bad people.

Now, let me ask you a question: 

How did that last statement make you feel? 


Remember that people often decide whether to do business with you based on emotions. You want people to feel the pain deeply, so they'll want your solution badly. But consider yourself the one who soothes the pain. Don't create feelings of frustration that don't already exist in your customer's life.

Speak kindly and carefully of others - especially your competition. You're not trying to beat the other guy into submission. You're only trying to convince your prospect that your solution is better. 

In sales, this can work to your advantage. Acknowledge the competition. Speak respectfully of their product, but emphasize what makes yours better. 

This doesn't mean that you hide their weaknesses. Instead, you keep the focus on why you're the right choice. 
Gain a reputation as someone who THINKs before he speaks - on the web, in social media, and in life. Watch the difference this makes in your number of sales, subscribers, and shares. 

I want to hear from you: What's the most important lesson you've learned about communicating effectively to customers? Share your tip in the comments below. 

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You can follow me on Twitter: @CajunCopy


01/31/2013 4:34pm

Excellent post. These rules of thumb need to be kept in mind regardless of if someone is posting for professional or personal reasons.

I've also seen that even if it's helpful content, posting too much too often is just as obnoxious as posting an occasional bad joke.

01/31/2013 4:58pm

Hi Erica,

You're right on the money! Balance, moderation, thoughtfulness, and discretion are the name of the game.

Think before you speak - on the web, and in life.

Thanks for your $.02. :)

02/02/2013 6:39pm

E-mail can be a nightmare regarding tone. You have to be as neutral sounding as possible, because humor can be construed differently.

02/02/2013 8:22pm

Hi Willi,
You're right. Email can be tricky. It can be tough to come across as natural, conversational, and friendly. Add to that the fact that people have their guard up when they read their emails.

I've stumbled upon a technique that seems to work well for emails. People either receive them warmly, or they're lying to me. :) I'll share it soon.

Thanks for the comment. :)

03/02/2013 4:30pm

I have heard these ideas before, but they are worth it, and worth repeating. I really wish people would regard them in today's fast paced email and social media world. It would be better if they did.

03/02/2013 5:39pm

Thanks, Peter. I wish more of social media was "inspiring" and less "me, me, me!" Seek to provide something valuable, and people wi9ll be excited to listen to what you have to say. Thanks for your thoughts!

05/04/2013 10:50pm

Hey Jesse! I nominated you for the Liebster Blog award, along with a few others. Maybe this will encourage you to write more? :D Hey

05/10/2013 2:45pm

I like your point about speaking respectfully of the competition, Jesse. I've always preferred to do business with people that want to take the high road.

05/13/2013 10:08am

Hi Jesse, I've nominated you for a Liebster Award. http://tinyurl.com/cqebr23

Erica, the Rubber Ducky Copywriter


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