“Fertilizer” piling up?

I once wrote a series of emails for a client in the professional speaking niche.

The client was relaunching a product to his existing list, and this series was to kick off the relaunch.

I started the series with a story about the client.

The story showed how he gets to inspire thousands as a result of the platform he’s built for himself as a speaker — and make a pretty decent income in the process.

All this “me” talk made the client uncomfortable.

He wrote me:

Was re-reading this first email today and am wondering if we’re focusing too much on me? Should it be focusing less on me and more on the pain/conflict the reader is experiencing?

Now in many cases he’s absolutely right.

Talking about yourself and your product is DEATH in marketing.

As the old saying goes:

“Don’t tell me about your fertilizer. Tell me about my greener, lusher lawn.”

In other words, don’t focus on your company or the product. Focus on the customer and what he cares about.

IF you want to sell, that is.

So why was I throwing this rule out the window and piling the “fertilizer” high and deep?

Actually I wasn’t.

Because there’s more than one way to talk about your customer’s lawn.

And one of the most effective ways is to tell an emotionally charged story that connects with your customer’s dreams and aspirations.

In this case, that’s exactly what I was doing.

The two stories I included in the email touched on the two main motivations his audience has for following him: They want to inspire others, and they want to make a lot of money doing it.

So while I used the words “me” and “I” a lot, the stories weren’t really about my *client*.

They were about letting the customer vicariously experience the transformation my client is offering them:

From fear and uncertainty to to thrilling and inspiring thousands with their words.

Nope, no “fertilizer” here.

On the other hand, here’s a real story of a friend who piled the fertilizer a mile high.