Recently I opened a newspaper and saw a big giant quarter page ad from a business that was celebrating 20 years in business!

Congrats to us! It’s our Birthday!

The odd thing was, nowhere in the ad could I find where they were thanking the customers who had made the past 20 years possible.

It was all a big me me me!, We did it! We overcame! We’ve stuck it out!, type of ad.

Maybe it was just a small oversight.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer that you should boast and post your successes…

But lately, I’ve been noticing this sort of ad more often.

There’s a local monthly magazine that’s loaded with ads from local businesses. I see about five or six different salons advertising in the magazine.

The ads always show a collection of six or seven salon girls carefully posed and professionally photographed.

There’s usually a few dentistry ads showing a picture of the wealthy dentist and his shiny bright pearly whites.

Many real estate agents are equally as guilty – You: “Top Grossing Sales Pro for March” Them: “Oh really???? Wow. So now you have more money than me. Great.”

Is it any different from the me me me type of ad I mentioned above? I don’t think so.

The key here is this:

It’s not about you and your business.

It’s about what you can do for the people you’re serving.

It’s about the benefits I, the customer, will receive when visiting your salon.

I don’t care what nine staff people look like. I’d rather see the immaculate conditions of your salon or hear about the type of treatment I can expect when I come in for a hair cut.

I don’t care what the dentist looks like…Well actually, maybe I do! But I’m more interested in the clean white teeth of real people just like me.

My buddy Shawn, who’s a killer copywriter and marketing maniac, helped me recently while I was working on a letter for a client’s marketing campaign.

The client wanted to include such things as “we’ve been in business X amount of years, we’ve done this for the community, we’ve done that for the community, we’ve moved into a bigger and better office, we’ve upgraded our equipment.”

Shawn replied – “All this is great, but what does it have to do with the customer?”

When we couldn’t answer this question, we removed it from the letter. Instead, the letter directly focused on the positive benefits the customer could expect.

Your advertising needs to be about them – not about you.