You Talkin’ to Me?

February 23, 2016   /   by  Diane Callihan

How to Connect with People Through Your Marketing

Traffic, leads, prospects, opportunities and sales. Contacts, clicks, calls and conversions. Data, lists, subscribers and followers. Users, visitors and sessions. Demographics.

These words drive our marketing efforts. They also all refer to essentially the same thing.


Marketing is about engaging, educating and inspiring people.

That’s it.

Real, actual people.

People with names, families, dogs and homes. People who have bad hair days, Star Wars collectables and know the Electric Slide. People who like tacos, are afraid of spiders and appreciate a terrible pun.

Sometimes in this age of digital marketing, I think we forget about people. We get caught up in the numbers. We love analytics and big data. Everything is assigned a cost or a lead value. We want our successes prominently displayed on a multi-colored chart or in a spreadsheet.

But the bottom line is this: Your brand needs to connect with people.

The first rule to making that connection is remembering who you are talking to. Not a prospect, not a lead – a person.

So think about how you talk to a person you’ve never met before. Do you try to sell them something in the first 30 seconds? Do you brag about yourself and tell people how awesome you are?

I hope not.

I hope instead that you make an effort to learn a little bit about them. That you discover things that you have in common that you can both appreciate. I hope that when you find things you both care about, you share stories from your life – experiences that are touching or compelling or funny.

I hope that you are able to celebrate the fact that we all have joy, pains, frustrations and wants, and that everyone is looking for answers, acknowledgement or acceptance. People want to be seen, valued and understood.

If you get that, you have the foundation for building trust and relationships. And that’s also the way to build a brand.

So when you are marketing your business, don’t focus on the hard sell or try to sound impressive with jargon-laden business-speak. Be real. Make an emotional connection. Tell stories that show your company is made up of real people too. Focus on people’s pain points – what is frustrating them or making their life harder – and then be supportive. Listen, share your own experiences, and offer to help.

We’re all just people after all.

If your brand needs help connecting, we’d love to hear your story and see what we can do to help. Let’s talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.