The Problem With You

I’ll tell you what the problem with you is.

You is too confrontational.

I don’t mean that as in:

“you is way too confrontational innit bruv’”

I mean that copywriters are constantly telling you that the most important word you can use in your copy is YOU.

And to a large degree that’s true.

YES, you should write to one person, and tailor your words just to them, but not always. Sometimes it works against you.

Let me explain.

At the beginning of the football season I started the once glorious, but now rubbish, Manchester United.

And they were okay. We were winning games. Life was good for a Man U supporter.

Someone would ask me about the game and I’d reply

“Great game, we played them off the park!”

Fast forward a few months. Things ain’t so good. There was a period there where they couldn’t score in a brothel. Life was bad.

Same person asks me how the game was and I’d reply…

“Shocking game. They they were running around like a bunch of idiots”

You see what’s happened?

When things were good. I associated myself with my team, claiming…

WE played them off the park.

But as soon as things took a downward turn, I disassociated myself with the team.

THEY they were running around like a bunch of idiots.

And this ins’t just me.

(And it’s not just Man United supporters. Although I suspect we might be more prone than most, after all that glory, you know.)

Nope. It’s you too. And it’s your readers, and customers and clients.

But you can use this little nugget to your advantage.

When you are talking about the good stuff to your audience you can and should use YOU….

Appeal to their self interests. They will LIKE it.

But when you’re talking about the bad stuff you don’t always have to be so confrontational.

Help them share the burden, and you increase empathy with your sales message.

Rather than…

“It’s just another long outstanding bill YOU know you should deal with.” Which makes me think…

Yeah, I know, you’re right, but screw you buddy!

Instead try…

“We’ve all been there, right? That long overdue bill we keep putting to the bottom of our to do list.” Which makes me think…

I know, tell me about it, and you’re right, I really should do something about it, tell me more…”

It’s a small simple change that can pay off big. And there’s plenty more little tricks like that in small strategic steps…

So now, I think WE can all agree that YOU should check out small strategic steps today, eh, eh, eh…

Small Strategic Steps

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