‘We pride ourselves…’ popular or pompous?

Now, small businesses, it’s time for your seasonal bottom-smacking from Suze for writing pompous ‘we-wee’ content that fools no-one and just makes you look like old fuddy-duddies.

Meet Sir Fuggled Doublebottom, a righteous Pompous Ass from Great Lakes Brewery on Vimeo

Yeah, OK, you pride yourselves. But do your clients/customers care?

I know, it’s cruel.

You’ve worked your fingers to the bone to provide a service that you, your family and hundreds of friends and acquaintances believe is a wonderful solution to people’s problems, or maybe (we hope not) your perception of people’s problems that may not actually BE problems. But heigh, ho.

And you pride yourselves. Great.

But what you pride yourselves on is all about you – and problems you’ve solved in the past

As many of my earlier pleas (i.e. articles) on here have been telling you is that much as it’s important to YOU that you are – rightly – in a position to say you can pride yourselves on being/doing this and that, the very harsh truth is that ‘consumers’ (marketing speak for B2C customers/ B2B clients) don’t care what you have done for others in the past. They only care about what you will do for them now.

Harking back to my old soap box topic about features and benefits (Benefits Sell, Features Smell), let’s look at how that concept applies to the we-wee elements of so much small business content…

Turn your ‘we’-based phrases (features) around into you-based benefits

We pride ourselves

Forget this one. Yes, really. Maybe say something like you’ll know you can count on us, or you’ll have 30 years’ solid experience at work on your project. No priding. OK? It’s stuffy yuk.

Our professional team does this, that and the other … etc.
Of course they’re professional but I’m not interested in what they do for other people. How does this benefit me? With such a high level of training and skills, our team is always ready to help you get the right results.

We recently opened our new fully air-conditioned 5,000 square foot showrooms in downtown Zitsburg
So what? I know that must have been a huge, big-deal for you and you’re paying through the nose for the bank loan. Not my problem. How about Come and browse our (products) in our spacious showrooms – plenty of room to check out exactly what you want, enjoy a refreshing hot or cold drink and let your kids have fun in our supervised soft play area. Now you’re talking…

Why not give us a call to arrange an appointment so we can show you our latest … etc.
That old ‘why not’ bug: probably the most ancient advertising boo-boo of them all. The answer to ‘why not’ is ‘because I’m not interested in a wishy-washy, half-hearted come-on that’s about as motivating as a rotting tuna sandwich. Call us now on 01234 567890 to fix a personal appointment, so we can show you exactly how the (product) will cut your (activity) time in half.

100 free parking spaces
Not much use if it’s a popular area to park and there’s never room for more than a Smart Car. Better – and safer- to say, Easy free parking nearby.

We are so excited! It’s only one week until we launch our thrilling new range of fully recyclable toilet wipes and we just can’t wait!
Oh, come on. Don’t make idiots of yourselves. So often I see people writing that they are incredibly excited when you know it’s just a sales ploy. How about, Only one week to wait for the launch of these fully recyclable toilet wipes that will cut your bathroom waste dramatically! Get your order in now.

Stop using these old-fashioned, ‘we’-based and/or hard-to-believe phrases in your ads, blogs, videos and other content. Selling and sales writing today is about realistic conversations and human relationships, not throwing all your credentials at your reader or viewer. Write in a pragmatic, friendly way and always focus on ‘you’ – not ‘we-wee!’

Many thanks to Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio for the loan of Sir Fuggled. I’m sure he prides himself on quite a few things. (And my son tells me their beer is excellent…)