Can you spot the problem with these LinkedIn posts?

  • “I’m excited to announce that I’m presenting a webinar for the Association for…”
  • “So honored to be a contributing writer to the Daily…”
  • “I’m looking forward to presenting this workshop for the Regional Women’s…”

How about these from Facebook?

  • “Super stoked to share that in my 90 day coaching experience, I’ll be…”
  • “I’m so excited to return to Chicago for a one night show on…”

You see it right away, don’t you? Probably right about the time you think, “I don’t know you and I don’t care how excited you are. Or how honored. Or how stoked.”

Posts like these are the verbal equivalent of selfies. The people who write them turn the lens on themselves instead of looking outward at others.

That’s fine if the goal is your own entertainment. Or the amusement of your friends. Or sharing your emotional state with someone who’s actually interested. (That would be your mother. And your best friend—maybe.)

But every one of these examples came from a social media marketing message. Some of them, messages the person paid good money to promulgate. Wouldn’t it make sense to focus on the people whose attention they want?

Maybe they’re just amateurs at the business of connecting with clients and customers. You’d think for sure the experts would stay away from self-ing. But then I read this in an email from a sales and marketing director who should know better:

“We are excited for our upcoming webinar on 5 Steps to…”

You notice a lot of excitement in these self-oriented posts. So much excitement, in fact, that it rings hollow. I’m guessing they think saying they’re excited will excite the rest of us. It doesn’t.

Here’s how to make your message more magnetic.

Tell us what we’ll get from your webinar, workshop or performance instead of focusing on your own feelings about it. Lead with what matters to those of us who read your post or comment or email. What’s the outcome for us?

One good way to do that is to pose a question. Why? Because we automatically begin to formulate an answer in our minds. Or we wonder what the answer might be. Either way, you’ve grabbed our attention and given us a reason to keep reading.

Another option: name a problem your clients or customers have. “It’s tough to cut through the social media clutter and make your post the one they read and remember. But it gets easier when you know the formula. Find out all about it at our workshop/webinar/conference etc …”

Do you notice how much more compelling that is than “I’m excited about my webinar”?

Or start with a goal you know your perfect people have. “Imagine yourself with all the clients you can handle and a waiting list to boot. You’ll discover how to make that happen at my seminar/in my book/when you come to my conference…”

That’s a lot more engaging than hearing how stoked you are.

Rule of thumb: the more you make your message about the people you serve and the results they get, the better your results will be.

If you’ve been posting verbal selfies, now’s the time to rethink the way you structure your message. How can you put the focus on the people you’re trying to reach? Post a comment below to try out your new approach.