Your audience doesn’t care about you. Here’s how to engage them anyway.

Before I joined the marketing world, I was a journalist and editor. And having been both the targeted audience and the target-er, if you’ll allow me to create that word, one thing is clear: Everyone assumes their audience cares. But they don’t. Usually not even a little bit.

Obviously, you care about your company’s history (at least, I hope so). But far too often, people become so wrapped up in their story, they forget that those around them aren’t invested. They didn’t put 20 years of sweat into your company, like you might have. They haven’t risked anything for you. And yet, by asking them to convert on your website, landing page, or ad, you’re asking them to take a risk.

Even now. You’re considering whether or not it’s worth your time — risking minutes that could be more valuable if they were spent elsewhere — to continue sifting through what I’m about to tell you. And that’s okay. Weighing the time and emotional investment required to deal with a problem you might not have known you had is exactly what your audience is doing every time they see your message. But if I guarantee you a solution for your time, will you keep reading?

Awesome. If you’re still going, thank you.

Now, I’m not saying don’t include that your company has spent 2 decades working in the industry. Your audience should care about that. You just have to frame the fact so that they can understand why they care. And the answer is, 20 years = a better honed product for them. They don’t care about your sweat equity, but they care about the resulting product’s impact on their life.

In the news world, I would forever get press releases that began the same way: “This Company announces this big thing that they’ve just done.”

And depending on how busy I was and how many stories I had to edit, there was roughly a 40% chance I was going to keep reading. I didn’t have it out for the company. I just didn’t have enough hours in my day to devote time to figuring out why I should care.

So how could that have been avoided? That’s easy. Translate that first sentence for me. Don’t make me do the mental math. I hate math.

In press release terms, that could look like “Company impacts 400 people because of this thing.” Suddenly, I stop. I understand where this is going and that my time is worth the investment to dive further into the words.

That’s obviously a broad generalization, but the gist is, if you want someone to pay attention, translate what the facts you’re presenting mean to them. Convince them from the first words that investing time is not a risk without a guaranteed reward.

We invested our time so you don’t have to. Over 20 years in the industry means a superior and reliable product/service for you,” is a stronger statement for much of the same reason. You leverage that “About us” phrase they don’t care about and spell out why it matters. 20 years = reliability and a better product.

In other words, take that terrible break-up cliche most of us heard at some point in our lives and flip it: It’s not you, it’s me.

Focus every piece of copy in terms of what it means for the customer, and you’ll write far fewer wasted words. Because it’s not about you, it’s about making your message about them.

So if you’re looking to end word waste and restructure your message, let us know! We love to help, and we think you’ll love the results.