How to piss people off profitably
Cheeks on fire. Drum ’n’ bass heartbeat.
You read the comment. The angry comment, from someone who disagrees with you.
You delete it — you delete the entire article — and look around guiltily, hoping nobody else saw. You vow never to be controversial again.
After all… “What if they don’t like me? What if someone disagrees and shouts at me?”
Well, what if they do? So what?
Okay, that’s a flippant answer, so let me explain.
The one thing we’re all terrified of is standing out for the wrong reasons. Having people dislike us, disagree with us, challenge us.
And we forget there are people out there right now who dislike us, disagree with us, and challenge us.
We can’t be friends with everyone. We can’t please everyone all the time.
This is true for life and business.
Do your avatar exercise. Really throw yourself into it, and use it to pull those ideal customers towards you and repel the others. Put your opinions out there and be brave.
If you don’t, all your marketing will be bland, boring, pointless and a total waste of time, effort, and money. If you don’t go all-out to attract your ideal clients, you’ll end up trying to please everyone.
Which is not possible. Trying to please everyone all the time is like a fast-track to exhaustion and madness.
Instead, adopt the Chelsea Principle.
That’s what my mentor Peter calls it, because you can shorten it to SW3 (Chelsea’s postcode).
Some will. Some won’t. So what?
Not everyone is going to like you — and that’s okay.
The best people to do business with are those who do like you and who are similar to you. So repelling the others isn’t just good, it’s profitable. Why waste money trying to sell to people who are never going to want to buy?
Here’s what you need to do. Grow a thick rhino skin and repeat after me:
Water off a duck’s back. Water off a duck’s back.
Do not suppress who you are to try to fit into some ridiculous notion of what “professional” should be. Be yourself.
There is no B2B or B2C, not really. There’s just people. You’re selling to people.
Once you know as much about those people as you possibly can — your ideal people — you can talk to them in their language, and put your personality into it.
You’ll attract them and repel the people you don’t want.
Guess why I talk about The Dingle and my pole dancing and circus and burlesque fun all the time? Guess why Joe is my podcast partner, and you see pics of my sheeps?
Because it builds relationships. It pulls people who are like me towards me, and pushes away those who’ll never be good clients.
Is your marketing bland and corporate and just like everyone else’s?
Or is it filled with your personality, with warmth and humanity and enthusiasm for what you do and how you help your customers?
What is it about you and your business that makes you special?
If you’re struggling with this, I can help.
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About the Author
Please do share any articles from this site in part or in full — as long as you leave all links intact, give credit to the author, and include a link to this website and the following bio. Vicky is a gin-quaffing, pole-dancing, trapeze-swinging copywriter who writes about the perils and joys of writing, velociraptor training, and running a small business. She writes this stuff on her websites vickyfraser.com and cookiesforbreakfast.co.uk. She’s the author of one book (with two more in utero) and teaches small business owners how to write copy that sells, and how to be more fecking interesting. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
PS It may sound a bit nuts for me to tell you to polarise your market. To attract only some of your potential customers and repel the others. But it makes perfect sense for two reasons.
First, why would you want to do business with people you don’t like much? People who drop in, pay as little as possible, then run off to the next cheap deal?
Second, the people you attract, the ones who love you, will be the ones who stick with you. They’re the ones who really buy into what you’re offering and stay long-term, whom you can really help. And they’ll be the ones who are of most value to you over the years.