Newsflash: other people aren’t you

by Jason on November 11, 2011 · 0 comments

Brain by GreenFlames09

The secret to good copywriting, and effective communication in general, is to get inside the heads of your audience.

Duh.

Here’s where many people in startups get it wrong: by trying to communicate with and treat people how they themselves would like to be treated.

Here’s a newsflash: if you’re the founder of a bootstrapped business, hardly anybody thinks the way you do.  Unless your target market is other self-funded companies (and here’s a tip, pick a market with more money than that!) then other people, pretty much all of them, are in a category you may have heard about called “normal.”

This insight hit me this week after a few communications I had went in a totally different direction than I thought they would.  The outcomes were all good, but all the preparations I’d done with different paths to take depending on the objections didn’t happen.  Because there weren’t any objections.

Now, when I was putting myself in their positions, I had tons of reasons to push back, but after enough surprises, I finally clued into the trap I mentioned earlier: hardly anyone thinks like I do.  They have have an entirely different structure of time, of feedback loops, and of motivations.

If you’re running a bootstrapped company, this can’t be overemphasized.  The decision tree that led you to where you are today, and the – let’s call it psychic imprinting – that resulted, well, it’s changed you.  And you’re probably not done yet.  Until you get some velocity and distance at the other end of the tunnel, interactions with the general public are going to be weird, and your negotiations and interactions with staff, prospects, customers, and just about anyone else needs to be tempered with some basic self-awareness of that.

Or at least that’s my philosophy for the moment.  This is one of those posts I think I’ll be checking back on in six months and either nodding or shaking my head.

What about you?  If you’re in a startup, have you noticed that gap in mentality?

Photo by GreenFlames09

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