Stop it with the self-promotion

by David Tovey

Stop it with the self-promotion: put your customers first

by SONJA JEFFERSON of Valuable Content Ltd

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about marketing over the years it is this. As proud as you may be of your company / product / service, you should know that your customers or clients are definitely not as interested as you are. Their only concern is how well you can help them to meet their challenges and needs. If you want more of them to buy from you, your focus HAS to be on them, not on you.

Obsessive self-orientation is a mistake that many businesses make with their websites. They are convinced that the purpose of their site, of their marketing is to continuously talk about how fantastic their company is. This is the belief that the louder you shout, the better ‘image’ you put across and the more sales you will get:‘Megaphone Marketing’ if you like.

“Don’t be egotistical. Nobody cares about your products and services (except you). What people care about are themselves and solving their problems.”

David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR

Yes of course the purpose of marketing is help to you to win more business, but if you want your messages to be welcomed rather than seen as an irritation then shift your focus. Make every marketing communication primarily of benefit to the people who receive it and secondarily of benefit to you and your business. It’s not rocket science; it’s a simple awareness of human nature. And it will make all the difference to your marketing.

Mel Lester puts his customers first in his marketing

Last year’s winner of the golden Valuable Content Award, practice management consultant Mel Lester demonstrates this customer-focused attitude perfectly. His desire is to create content that serves his clients and he leads his website with a strong promise:

“Mel Lester is pleased to offer this website as a valuable source of ‘how-to-get-things-done’ information and tools. I set out with an ambitious goal: to create the best Internet resource for helping managers of architectural, engineering, and environmental consulting firms succeed, both corporately and personally.”

Taken from the home page of

Mel’s statement demonstrates all the valuable attributes to aspire to. His content is helpful and focused (more Magnet then Megaphone), his goal clear and compelling. He has committed to content excellence and is evidently sincere in his desire to help. He focuses on the customer first and it gets results: by not selling so hard he elicits more sales.

If you are going to succeed with your marketing put your customer first, like Mel.

Sonja Jefferson is MD of Valuable Content Ltd and co-author with Sharon Tanton of Valuable Content Marketing, published by Kogan Page January 2013.


David Tovey

David Tovey is a professional speaker, coach and author of 'Principled Selling' published by Kogan Page.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar David Tovey September 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Great blog, thanks Sonja – love the reference to ‘megaphone marketing’.



avatar Julian Summerhayes October 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Hi David

Great to see the book in the flesh. The very best of luck with the launch and I am sure it will prove a very valuable tool to all those who feel passionate about selling the right way.



avatar David Tovey October 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Thank you Julian really appreciate your kind words.



avatar Bryony Thomas November 6, 2012 at 11:51 am

Guilty as charged at the moment. It is so hard to get the balance right when you’ve got something to put out there. Especially if there’s a tight deadline. I am slapping my own wrist and getting back to being helpful!


avatar David Tovey November 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I know what you mean Bryony. I have to overcome the temptation to constantly plug the book and remind myself of exactly the same thing – be helpful not boastful!



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