The Butterfly Effect – and how to apply it to your marketing

Let’s start with something so simple you’ll wonder how much difference it can really make.

It just takes a small shift in perspective but it will transform your business. It will mean people not only read, but act on your marketing. 

Yellow brimstone butterfly fluttering near a plant with orange flowers

The butterfly effect – change one small thing in your marketing and watch how it improves your business.

Are you ready? Here it is…

You are not your customer.

Your marketing is not about you. It’s about the people whose money you want.

Here’s one of those unvarnished truths I was telling you about: nobody cares about your business and product except you. And possibly your mum.

Like everyone else on this planet, the thing people are most interested in is themselves.

So let me ask you this, and I need you to be honest with yourself. If you’d never heard of your company and the only thing you knew about it was from your website and marketing material, would you buy from you? Really?

Now look at the conversion figures you’re getting from your website or adverts.

You may have an amazing product (or service) – I hope you have, because if you haven’t I can’t help you – but if your marketing doesn’t show your customers how you can solve their problems, you’re stuffed.

How much do you talk about yourself on your website? How much do you talk about your customer?

Count up the number of times the word “we”, “our” or “I” appears in your piece of copy. Now count up the number of times the word “you” or “your” appears.

How many “we”s are there? I bet there are hardly any “you”s. My mentor Peter Thomson calls this “weeing all over your marketing” and it’s true in more ways than one…

As a general helpful rule, there should be three times as many “you”s as “we”s in your copy.

Of course, like all ‘rules’, this isn’t true all the time. Sometimes you’ll want to tell a story about yourself, and that’s fine. We’ll talk about focusing on yourself another time.

But for now, if you’re writing about your product or service, make sure the focus is on your customer, not you.

So here’s what I’d like you to do. Go to the home page of your website and look at it as a stranger. Be brutal. Would it appeal to someone with a problem you can solve?

Now rewrite it. Try not to use the personal pronouns at all. Use only “you”. Your initial attempts may be a little clumsy, but you’ll end up with something much more useful than you had before.

Don’t worry too much about the flow at this point – just take the focus off yourself.

Put the focus on your customer and their problem. Then show them how you can solve it. That’s all they care about. And remember: it doesn’t matter if you like your marketing or not. It only matters if your marketing gets people to buy your product.

Let me know how you get on.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS Still struggling with your business? I know the feeling, in fact that’s why I wrote my book Business For Superheroes. Grab yourself a copy here.

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