You might remember reading my suggestion to make it about them. Or maybe you’ve heard me speak, and that was part of what we talked about.

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that business owners and professionals who make their message about their listeners are much more likely to connect with their audience than those who blahblahblah about who they are and what they do and how long they’ve been doing it and why they’re great at it.

I encourage my clients to run their message through “the filter of them” before they deliver it in person, in an email, or on social media.

So I was intrigued to get a Facebook friend request and follow-up message from someone who sees things differently:

“Thanks for accepting my FRIEND invite. I know we don’t know each other but have a few mutual friends. I’m FRIENDING as many folks as I can because I have an inspirational book coming out soon about a health issue I overcame…I’m looking to reach as many people as I can…so thank you again.”

I guess it’s the coach in me. I couldn’t resist offering a suggestion:

“Hey ______ , good to be connected. As a new friend – and an author myself – I have some feedback for you. Friending people just to promote your book will be off-putting to a lot of folks.

Yes, of course, we have a message to put out into the world and FB is one place to do that. AND, it helps to express an interest in them on the way to talking about us.

I’m guessing from your photos that you’re a speaker as well as an author. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your mission!”

Did my sage advice do any good? Well, this is the answer I got:

“Catherine thanks for the advice.. I truly appreciate it.. I am a trainer and now with the book coming out, I’m doing inspirational speaking also….here is my speaking/training can see vid clips of me in action.”

Let’s see. Still not curious about me. Still talking about him. And now I can watch video of him too!

I admit, I did not click on the link. The guy lost me with his self-involvement and utter lack of interest in me.

What does all that mean for you? Check your messaging – oy, it’s an awkward word but I don’t have a better one.
When you introduce yourself at a networking event. When you leave a voicemail for a potential client. When you send an email to follow up with someone you’ve met. Do you focus on them? Their challenges? Their needs?

If it’s all about you – and you say it well enough – you’ll probably find a few people will be interested.

But if you run it through the filter of them. If you make it clear that you “get” them. If you sound like someone who cares even a little bit about somebody other than you …

You will reach, engage and inspire your audience. Distinguish yourself from most others. And you will vastly increase the chance that the people you speak with will be eager to do business with you.