If You Try To Be Everything To Everyone,
You’ll Be Nothing To No One

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The biggest mistake I see small businesses and individuals make in their marketing materials and websites is the attempt to be “everything to everyone.” They try to sound “corporate” or remove any semblance of personality from their copy so everyone sees them as “professional”.

Everyone is not your market

One of the great misconceptions of small businesses is that your marketing materials should appeal to the largest number of people so you get maximum exposure. That way “it's just a numbers game.”


That's a misconception brought on by the “branding” style of marketing that big corporations use. What you really want is to “drill down” and find out who your real market is and focus your marketing materials on that group.



When was the last time you called your clients or customers and asked them what they like or dislike about your firm, products or services? What would happen if you asked them to fill out a small survey to help you give them better service and improve your product or service?

Ask them questions that will reveal who they are.

  • What kind of movies do you like?
  • What kind of sports? Food?
  • What's your favorite restaurant?
  • Music?
  • What's the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
  • What's your favorite color?

    These kinds of questions will help you find out who is buying your product or service so you can better target them with your marketing materials. They will also reveal the demographic information that is so hard to get because of government restrictions.

People love personality

As I said before, trying to present a cold, corporate image is the worst thing you can do. Why? Those are human beings out there reading your marketing materials or reading your website content.

Think about your best salespeople. Or your favorite salesperson you buy from. Are they a monotonous automaton? Are they dry? Do they spout facts and figures like a brochure when they talk to you? Do you dread it when they walk in your door? Then why would you want people to feel that way when they read yourmarketing materials or your website content?

B to B doesn't mean Boring and Bland

Okay, I'm not saying you should have your marketing materials or website copy written by a clown. However, just because you sell to hard-nosed business people or technical people, that doesn't mean you can't lighten up and show a little personality in your brochures, sell sheets, leave behinds and website copy.


Perry Marshall

Entertain as you inform

Business people and technical people are no different than the general public. They are more likely to buy when they are smiling or happy.

People love stories. And stories are a great way to both entertain and inform. Aesop understood this. Have you seen the Lexus commercial with Diana Krall? The one where she is sitting in a Lexus listening to Oscar Peterson playing piano and telling us that she decided to play piano after the first time she heard him play?

No one said a word about anti-lock brakes, 35 mile-per-hour crash tests, or air-to-air missile systems. But by the end of the commercial, I wanted to hear that stereo she was listening to. Every day.

Could you use a golf theme in your marketing materials? What if you interviewed a bunch of construction guys and found some great stories about how your products saved the day? What would happen if you injected quotes from famous people or included cocktail recipes with every page?

Show some personality and they will beat a path to your door!

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