We Brits are a shy, retiring race aren’t we?
It’s a standing joke among our foreign friends that British people are quiet types, hiding our proverbial lights under bushels and refusing to claim our successes or brag about our achievements.
When we are placed in to the spotlight for succeeding at something, our most likely response is to put our heads down, blush like fury and pretend it hasn’t happened.
Getting a British business owner to admit to online success is like asking Tiger Woods to be modest about his golfing abilities.
Or be faithful.
It just doesn’t happen!
This is all very well and good, but what happens when our business actually depends on an element of self-aggrandisement and bragging to make it work?
I’m talking about the times when we win an award for great customer service, and should be shouting it from the top-frame of our site, or when we hit a magical milestone online like achieving 10,000 subscribers, and telling the virtual world all about it could mean the difference between generating customer trust, or losing it.
A Major Hindrance
In these cases, being ‘British’ in our approach to online marketing and business overall can be a real hindrance to our success.
British self-praise: Like squeezing water from a stone
I have a friend who writes bids for companies, to help them win more business in the UK.
Her job is to call up the company, speak with the owner, and work out exactly why they are the right people to deliver the bid specifications, and why they should win the contract.
Every day, she has conversations with people that go along these lines…
“So what makes you unique? What are your key selling points and features? What makes you better than your competitors?”
“Well, we’re not sure that we are, really. We do a satisfactory job. We haven’t had any complaints. Yet, I mean.”
“Right. So, have you got anything about you at all that I can use to persuade the evaluator to choose you as their preferred supplier?”
And so it goes.
It will transpire later down the line that the company in question has won various awards for great service, were the first firm to launch an innovation in their industry, get 100% satisfaction scorings from customer questionnaires, and have a quality management system in place to rival NASA.
And yet, when put on the spot, these company owners simply can’t bring themselves to speak favourably about their own company.
Why we need to be loud and proud, online
The trouble is, if you have a company but are too shy, embarrassed or humble to speak out about your success, no one else is going to do it on your behalf.
When we hear great stories about large corporations such as Apple or Microsoft launching terrific products, or breaking new ground in developing technology or communications, who do you think writes these press releases?
Apple and Microsoft!
The marketing process is all about acknowledging where your strengths lie, and then shouting about them loudly enough that customers sit up and take notice.
This is why, to make a huge generalisation about an entire nation, we Brits are generally terrible, when it comes to speaking out about our success.
Other nations will rightly shout out in pride when they achieve new goals in their industry, while Brits tend to sit back in the shade and hope quietly that someone might stumble across their achievements.
Taking the challenge to reduce our “Britishness” in our marketing approach
So, my advice today is to be the opposite of British, with your business success.
If you’ve achieved a certain number of subscribers this week, let your customers know.
Tell your readers and competitors through blog articles and press releases.
Put a big icon / image on your home page when you reach goals, launch new great products or break new ground.
Tweet about your achievements.
Change your Facebook status when you have won a new client.
And when you get some new feedback or a testimonial…WOW! SHOUT ABOUT IT!
Be proud and confident in what you are achieving with your business.
If you really are so reticent that you struggle to sing your own praises, get someone in to do it on your behalf.
They’ll be able to recognise just how much you have achieved, and give you the right amount of accolades and positivity to get the message out, loud and clear.
Your company success, marketing strategy and brand identity could depend upon it!
Now over to you…whether you are British or not…how do you SHOUT about your achievements?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.