Stop Talking About Yourself

Nov 8, 2023 | Marketing

“Show Notes”

In this episode Sam says we should talk much less about ourselves in our
marketing. People are interested in themselves, not about you. So if your
marketing is talking about you, the people receiving it are not very interested. They are more interested in themselves.


Who was your last social post about?
Was it about you?
If so how interesting is that for other people?

Some people think that being on social media regularly means talking about
yourself al the time. This is not engaging for other people.

So what can you post about?

1. Helping others. By doing this you are helping people, but subtly showing
them you are an expert.

2. Ask a question. Ask others for their ideas and opinions.

3. Commenting on other peoples posts this is helping to build a community not just talking about yourself.


Visitors come to your website because they have a problem and want to know if
You can solve it. The general public don’t browse photographers websites for fun.
They come to see if you can solve their problem. So are you talking about the
visitor and their problems and how you can solve them.

The “I” test

Look at your website. How many times do you use the word “I”(or we) and how
many times do you say the word “you”. If you use “I’, more than “you’, then you
need to re-focus your website to the visitor and away from “you”.

About me page

You have to even make the about page not about you, but what
you have done, how you have helped people, rather just your story from birth.

Blogs, videos and testimonials

These are a great way to show how great you are and how knowledgeable you are
without you having to do it directly. Visitors reading your blogs will realise you are
an expert over time as they read your blogs.


This also applies to meeting people in networking meetings. Let the person you
are meeting talk as much as possible. You will build great relationships as people
will see you are interested in them.


This principal again applies to the newsletter. A newsletter that just explains what
happens in your office last week is not engaging. A newsletter should not be your
news. It should be entertaining, informing and engaging.

Promoting yourself is not the same as talking about yourself. You want other
people to be talking about you and your brand, you don’t want to be doing this

Pascalle Bergman is a person who puts this into practice
perfectly. She is constantly helping people, not talking about herself. Find her here
on Linkedin.

“Show Transcription”

Marcus Ahmed:  Hi, Sam. How you doing?

Sam: Very good, and you?

Marcus Ahmed: Yeah, I’m very well, thank you. You find me in good form. Yes. So this time on this show, it’s your turn, Sam, and you’re going to be talking to us about a subject that’s very close to my heart. So let’s tell the listeners all about it.

Sam:  Excellent. So my topic for this week is stop talking about yourself. Interesting topic. And one basically, which I think we need to use in our marketing, really interesting. So the big question  is, who are people interested in? So this is people in general, and then also it’s the same with people coming to look at your products, interested in buying your services, and the person they are most interested  in is themselves. Sorry to tell you, it’s themselves and it’s not you. So if your website and your marketing and all your promotion is talking about you, they’re not very interested because they’re interested in them. Okay? So I’m going to talk about using that in a few different places, going to talk about using that in social, using that in websites, using that in your newsletter. But I think that’s a really big key is anything you do linked to your marketing is look at it and go, am I talking to my potential customer and talking about them and their problems, or am I talking about me? And  if I’m talking about me, you send them to sleep. Your mum loves it. But beyond that, nobody else is that fascinated. So, social first of all. So then, if you think back to your last social post, who was it about? Be it on Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever it was on, who was your last post about? And was it about you? And how interesting is that for other people? Because that’s an  interesting thing, because people are always told, you must be on social, you must be saying lots of things. And some people kind of get the wrong end of the stick of that and just endlessly talk about themselves. There was a couple of photographers I connected with recently on LinkedIn, and  there was a guy who wasn’t getting any work and he was constantly putting posts out, endless videos, and  his viewers were, yeah, I didn’t yeah, you’re not really getting any work in at the moment. And just like a five minute discussion of his life and what’s going on and the fact that he was a bit upset about this and getting out there and doing a video doesn’t mean just talking about yourself endlessly. It’s not necessarily the same thing. So then the thing is, what do you need to be doing there? Getting out? Because what you don’t need to be going out there talking is, I am great, I am the best photographer in the world. Look, I’ve got this history and I’ve done this and I’ve done that, and I’ve got this amazing camera, and it’s like, that’s thrilling. That’s not what people are interested in. They’re interested in them and how you can help them. So things to think about posting are helping others. Helping others is brilliant. Giving them hints, tips, advice. And in doing that, you’re showing them how knowledgeable you are, but you’re doing it without saying, I am knowledgeable. Look at me. Yeah. You’re giving them  information, and then they absorb the fact you’re knowledgeable, but you’re talking about them. You’re helping them. Did you do your own headshot on your phone? And did you find that your forehead was really large? Well, try moving your phone down that way a bit. You’ve just helped somebody. You’ve shown them, you know, about photography, but you’ve helped somebody without going, I’m an expert in photography. Yeah. You’re helping them along the way, asking people questions. They love that. I found one of the best engagements you get on LinkedIn, you know, just something about your business. I’m thinking of changing accounting software. What are your thoughts? Oh, my God. 50,000 people diving in with their thoughts because you’re asking them their opinions and you’re showing you’re valuing them. You’re not talking about you. You’re not saying, I think we should all use zero. It’s great. You’re asking them what they think. Commenting on other people’s stuff again, it’s listening, it’s sharing, it’s helping people, educating people, empathizing with people. It’s all about yeah. Building. We keep saying the same words, building that community, not promoting yourself. I mean, you are promoting yourself, but not by standing on a soapbox and going, look at me, I’m amazing, by quietly helping people, giving people advice, giving people ideas, all those sorts of things. Yeah. So that’s my thoughts on social youth. I mean, do you see many post markets where you think, oh, my God, this person is so boring because all they do is talk about themselves?

Marcus Ahmed: I said, this is a topic close to my heart, Sam. I mean, in some ways, I look at this as being modern marketing, because traditionally on your website or ever, you’d have your About You page, and it would be II and  that would be seen as the norm. But it’s only recently that people have been starting to understand this idea of conversation and watching it for the other person, isn’t it? I mean, it’s a modern concept.

Sam:  No? Yeah. And for a lot of websites, lots of people think they need an about me page. I think it depends on the business and depends on a few different things. And even in an About Me page on a website, I think it’s actually what you want to get across is actually how you help other people in some ways, and you need to kind of weave history, view into it, because it’s an about me page. But in some ways, if you can show what you’ve done through how you’ve helped other people and through things you’ve done, rather than just going, people don’t want her. I did this. I got photographers. Classic. I got a camera when I was seven and I oh, my God. That’s the same as every other photographer.

Marcus Ahmed: Yeah, everybody does that, don’t they, Sam? I mean, it’s gobsmacking really it is so boring. It is so boring. But you’re right, people do it.

Sam: Weddings, you’ve been involved in companies you’ve really helped and how they really benefited fitted from your photography. You’re still telling your story, but you’re sharing it through how you’ve helped people. And people have benefited from that. And yeah, that kind of brings me into websites and yeah, when someone comes to your website, they’re coming because they’ve got a problem and  they want to know if you can solve it. I hate to break this news to the photographers out there, but the rest of the world  don’t spend their time browsing photographers websites for fun. Yes, I’ve got a new dog and I want to get its picture taken. The kids are going off to university, we’d better get a family portrait done. I’m getting married, I need a photographer. They’re all problems that people need to solve. It’s not like it’s my lunch break and I’m going to go and browse some photographers websites because it’s more fun than watching cat videos on Facebook, let’s be honest. Yeah, sadly not. So people are going to come because they’ve got a problem. So what they want to know is if you can solve their problem and it’s their problem. So you  need to talk about them and their problem, not you. They’ve not come because they’re fascinated about you as a photographer. Unlike we said when you first got your camera and the fact that you love black and white, that can kind of be shown by the pictures you’re showing. They want to know if you are the right person to solve their problem. So are you talking about them and their problems and how you can solve them and not talking about you? I think one of the best things I ask people to do for a website is look on a page you website count up the number of times you say I or possibly we if it’s a kind of team. Website and then how many times you say you and compare them and if the I’s and we’s more than the use then go away and sort it out.

Marcus Ahmed:  Yeah, well, I would go further than that, Sam, and say you should have no eyes in there. It should be all about your client.

Sam: It should to some of you also kind of have to say how you are helping them. So you’ve got.

Marcus Ahmed: yes, okay. That’s how you  phrase it though, isn’t it?

Sam: Yeah. The most things you can say, I am an expert photographer. You can turn around and sort of say, you  need help with a web shot, with that start, you need help with a headshot. My experience  means I’m able to help you, but you’ve got the you  in there first. It’s not starting with the I am, it’s starting with the problem, then  how I can help. So I think you do need some eyes in there, but yeah, that I, I.

Marcus Ahmed: I  was given a statistic once and it’s more to do with networking, but I think it can apply in this case as well, in that you should go for the Pareto Principle, which is 80 stroke 20. 80% of the conversation should be about the person you’re talking to and 20% should be about yourself. So which is quite that’s quite a mark figure, isn’t it, really?

Sam:  No, definitely. And that you can really spot good network as uninterrupted as a good network union to run. You’re certainly finding talking about yourself because they’re very good at asking a bugger I’m supposed to be asking them. And some of the people who are really good are really good at getting you to talk about yourself and not talking about them. And you  need to be doing that yourself. That’s the really good networkers are getting the people are speaking with to tell to talk about themselves because everybody loves to talk about themselves. Everybody’s interested in themselves. And suddenly they relate to you because you’re interested in them. The last thing, they want you to talk to them about you, because that’s not what they’re interested in.

Marcus Ahmed: Yeah. You’d think, really, especially being a portrait photographer, that we’d be quite good at talking to people because that’s what you do, isn’t it? I take photographs of people because I’m interested in people, so I like hearing their stories. But, yeah, you’re right. It doesn’t tend to work out that way.

Sam:  No, that’s it. So, yeah, back to the website. So it’s finding ways, then, to get across that you’re an expert without telling everybody. You don’t need to take the fact you got a photography degree, great, and it can come in there, but not as I’ve got a photography degree. It can come in subtly in other ways when you talked about what you’ve done. And one of the great ways is things like blogs, videos, testimonials, all of those are showing that you’re an expert without you standing on a box and saying it. Testimonials are brilliant. You’ve got a client on a video saying, I did a photo shoot with Marcus and I felt looked amazing, and most of the time I feel like a jacket potato in a pair of jeans. And certainly Marcus did this photo shoot and I felt like a supermodel then. People are really going to listen to that much  more than the website saying, I’m Marcus and I can make you look amazing. If somebody else is saying how that worked, then that’s brilliant. Blogs are also really good as showing you an expert so people can go along, read the different things, and then they realize that you really know what you’re talking about without you having to go, I am an expert. It’s all there and people can find out and you’re helping them on the way and you’re building it that way. And yeah. Talking about on the pages, solving clients problems, you got to work out what are their problems, why are they coming to you, how you’re going to help? Yes, and as I say, I think it’s really good to do that test on your website, how many times using the I versus the you, that’s really key.

Marcus Ahmed: Yeah. And it’s not just websites as we’re talking about, it’s conversations, it’s on the phone, it’s everywhere, isn’t it? Really?

Sam:  The automatic thing is.

Marcus Ahmed: I was going to say.

Sam:  I’ll tell people about my day and yeah, you want to build that rapport, but you want to try and build that rapport by listening, which is a skill. In fact, there’s a guy I was speaking to on LinkedIn a while ago whose entire business is helping people listen.

Marcus Ahmed : Oh, really? That’s a good business because yeah, that’s a good one. And it’s something that you just don’t it’s not just on a website where it’s important, it’s in other parts of your business as well. Phone conversations and networking, as we discussed it’s something that you need to practice and build on. It’s not something that I think comes easily. Listening, especially deep listening.

Sam:  No, that’s it. The automatic thing in a conversation is waiting to find the next slot when I can say something interesting rather than actually listening to what other people are saying.

Marcus Ahmed : Yes, exactly right. It’s something that I think about quite a lot actually on my day to days that people can’t excellent talking about themselves.

Sam:  Yeah. And then I think newsletters are the same because the worst newsletters are the one that are a newsletter. Oh, the cat was slightly sick this week and I spent 4 hours reading emails. It’s like, oh, my God. The newsletter is there to engage people and give people information. Tell people you’ve written the blogs, get them out there on the newsletter so you’ve got useful information for people, educate them, entertain them, tell them. And I wouldn’t recommend just telling a joke, some people do that might work, but it could be relevant videos, interesting products, not necessarily that you’re selling that could be related to their businesses, useful, whatever it is. Entertain, educate, help. Push a little bit in there with a bit of what you offer as well. But not just a newsletter is not your news. There are some that go out like that and my God, they are tedious. It’s a bit like that. It’s bad enough when you get the Christmas card ones, don’t you? With that our family did this, that and the other. You’re one of those every week. Oh my God, once a Christmas is bad.

Marcus Ahmed: I Mean sam, sorry to put you on the spot, but can you think of any books that you could recommend? You mentioned somebody you spoke to on LinkedIn. Maybe you could put a link in that, I don’t know.

Sam: Yeah, I can put a link to him in about that. And then I’m trying to think if there’s some sort of relevant marketing books, links to this. Seth God in books are normally really good and they talk about this sort of thing. He doesn’t put in quite those terms here. He’s often talking about people like yeah. About building a tribe and building a niche. He’s often about well that’s all part of it though, isn’t it, Sam?

Marcus Ahmed: That’s all part of mean. I think it’s quite well documented. Our listeners go onto the internet and they want to find YouTube videos or whatever. It’s quite documented, this idea about listening.

Sam:  Yep, listening and not talking about yourself, which so many people do. Yes. Getting out I think that’s key. Getting out there and promoting yourself does not mean talking about yourself. You can still get out there and promote yourself  by helping people, by putting out blogs that have got useful information, by entertaining people.

Marcus Ahmed: Yes, I was going to say what you want, son, sorry interrupting you. But what you want there is people to be talking about you, not you’re talking about yourself. People who are talking about your brand are talking about you.

Sam: That’s it. I think a really good example. I’ll put a link of some LinkedIn post that I’ve seen and there’s a woman who does helping you do talks, and she obviously does videos where she talks really well and they come up almost every day. And the amount of comments and the amount of  listens and the amount watches, listens, whatever you call it, the amount of follows and stuff are huge because she does these stunning videos that are clearly promoting her and saying how great she is. But she’s not going, hello, I’m great at this. She’s teaching you how to do public speaking in everyone and they’re just genius. We’ll put the link in the thing.

Marcus Ahmed: Brilliant, Sam. Yeah, I think that’s been a really worthwhile show. Chock full of information  there. Again, obviously, please, to our listeners, please, if you’ve enjoyed the show, like and subscribe, that really helps us out. And also we have a newsletter where you can sign up for and you’re going to find  that at /podcast. And that’s website, we’re the number four for photographers. So, yeah, sign up there and you can get our newsletter, which has also got a little bonus tip in there as well, which we don’t give out on this show.

Sam: Brilliant. Thank you, Marcus. I will see you next week.

Marcus Ahmed: See you next week, Sam. Bye.

Sam: Bye.