Afraid To Put Yourself ‘Out There’?

Afraid To Put Yourself ‘Out There’?

Afraid To Put Yourself ‘Out There’?

I had a new client in my office earlier in the week who said they were reluctant to post about their business on social media, write blog posts, or go and speak to groups.

The reasons?

Fear of being judged. Getting negative feedback. Saying something wrong and looking stupid.

While it might seem like everyone is putting themselves out there these days, it’s actually still quite common for people to feel reluctant about jumping in.

So, if this sounds like you, here are few bits of advice to help you take that step…

1. The fact that you have a self-filter is a positive thing

The philosopher Plato is quoted as saying, ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”

Caring about the quality and value of your message will serve you well. Lord knows a bit of humility in the ‘selfie age’ is a refreshing thing. But…not everything you say has to be earth shattering and there comes a point when it’s time to just get on with it (see next tip).

2. You can’t expect to be perfect all the time

If you are waiting for everything to be completely perfect you’ll probably die in the process. If you have a valuable message, why deprive people of it just because the presentation is not immaculate?

3. The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Research conducted at Cornell University (by David Dunning and Justin Kruger) found that the higher someone’s level of skill related to a particular task, the lower they rated their own ability. Meanwhile, the same research showed that people who were incompetent at the same tasks, yep you guessed it, were quite happy to blow their own trumpet blissfully unaware of their lack of skill.

If you have reservations, feel reassured it’s a good sign. It science after all!

4. Some people just aren’t worth worrying about

You will need to accept that once you start making some noise not everyone will like it. The good news is that the haters are probably just that – negative people with little else to occupy them. Focus on the people who you can help and who value your advice.

Here is a great article that discusses some of the people you can feel free to ignore.

5. Test your ideas on someone else and give them time to soak

Let’s be honest, there are times when people do show a lack of judgement that comes back to bite them. So yes, if you are prone to a bit of ‘foot in mouth’ it is a good idea to have someone you trust to run your ideas past before you unleash them on the world. The good thing is, if they see value in what you have to say, you can be certain there will be others who feel the same.

Of course, by planning ahead what content you are going to put out, you might find you feel differently when the time comes to publish. What seemed like a good idea on the spur of the moment a week ago might not seem so now. I know there have been times when I have felt compelled to write a post with the wrong motivations but giving it some time has saved me a lot of hassle.

Over to you…

How do you feel about  putting yourself ‘out there’?

Do you have any more tips that might be useful for someone feeling this way?

I’d love to hear from you.





David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

The Best Customer Loyalty Program In The World

The Best Customer Loyalty Program In The World

The Best Customer Loyalty Program In The World

I have managed to build up a nice collection of loyalty cards from a variety of retailers, coffee shops and others. All probably seemed like a good idea when I took them, but in reality I just don’t follow through with them. They end up floating around in the glove box, bedside drawer, or sitting at the bottom of my office tray.

I am willing to bet that I’m not alone and many of you have a dozen or so of these loyalty cards stashed away somewhere that have never again seen the light of day.

If that’s the reality, then why do so many businesses turn to these programs in an effort to gain loyalty from their customers?

Why do they do it even though they know their “Get Every 5th Coffee FREE” card will probably end up at the bottom of a drawer along with a few pocketfuls of loose change and some odd socks?

Founder of SageBerry Consulting and former VP of Marketing at Neiman Marcus, Stephen P. Dennis writes in an article “The World’s Best Loyalty Program”, that many of these loyalty programs are simply a front for collecting customer data.

That’s quite likely true for some of the big corporate rewards programs, but what about the small businesses that do it?

In the article, Dennis cites another reason that these programs have become popular which probably answers that question. They are “me-too efforts that are knee jerk reactions to the competition which end up raising the cost of doing business without engendering true loyalty”.

So, if bribery doesn’t work, then what does?

Since I am a big fan of coffee let’s stick with that example. If you run a coffee shop, here are some ideas that would make me love to get my coffee from you on a regular basis without you having to give me every 5th one free:

  • Serve great tasting coffee and food in a timely fashion.
  • Provide a table that allows enough personal space to relax and enjoy my coffee and food and have a private conversation if I am with someone.
  • Have your staff provide their service with a warm and friendly demeanour.
  • Serve my coffee with 100% of it still in the cup and not running down the sides into the saucer.
  • If my order comes to less than $10 and I don’t happen to have any cash on me, don’t force me to buy something I don’t want in order to use your EFTPOS machine.

Just a few ideas there, but what is the common thread?

If you provide an experience to your customers that they can’t get anywhere else, they will keep coming back. In the example above the suggestions would seem like basic things but are apparently very hard for some to do. The same can be said for many other types business as well. They are focused on all manner of gimmicks and so-called ‘innovations’ but fail time after time to do basic things properly.

As Dennis points out in his article, there are many reputable brands that have built incredible loyalty from consumers without any type of loyalty or rewards program because their value proposition is on the mark, and they just get things right consistently.

The reality is if I have an average or bad experience, it won’t matter to me in the slightest if I get every 5th coffee free or 10% off my next purchase. There’s no value in it and it will actually seem like hard work to get it.

On the other hand, if I know it’s going to be an awesome experience when I come in to your place then it won’t matter to me whether I get every fifth coffee free or a 10% discount. The loyalty program becomes irrelevant.

The best customer loyalty program in the world is having systems and a culture that ensure you consistently meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.


David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications


The Five Types Of Story & How to Choose One

The Five Types Of Story & How to Choose One

The Five Types Of Story & How to Choose One

According to Dr Nick Morgan of Public Words there are five basic types of stories in western culture.

1. The Quest

The hero must achieve some difficult goal or reach a certain place within a certain time. Along the way they must overcome a series of obstacles.

2. Stranger In A Strange Land

In this story the hero is placed in an unfamiliar situation and has to learn to play by a new set of rules.

3. Rags To Riches

The hero starts from a position of disadvantage and through luck, hard work, and determination is ultimately rewarded with riches, fame, glory etc.

4. Revenge

The hero has been wronged by their enemy and sets out to avenge the wrong that has been done to them.

5. Love Story

The classic boy meets girl. Boy does something stupid. Boy has to win girl back again.

Which story applies to you?

Some examples in business might include: Venturing into a new market – stranger in a strange land.

Meeting a product launch deadline – the quest.

The classic entrepreneurial start-up from someone’s bedroom to multi-million dollar company – rags to riches.

Doing something that doesn’t sit well with customers then making it right – the love story.

Succeeding despite having to deal with tough competitors who do everything they can to stop you – revenge.

Whether you are preparing a campaign, coming up with an entire branding strategy, or making a presentation, figure out which of these basic themes applies to you, your business, or product, and craft a compelling story around it.

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications


‘Sell The Sizzle Not The Steak’ But Make Sure You Are Not Talking Bull.

‘Sell The Sizzle Not The Steak’ But Make Sure You Are Not Talking Bull.

‘Sell The Sizzle Not The Steak’ But Make Sure You Are Not Talking Bull.

It’s one of the oldest sayings in the worlds of sales and marketing …

“Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

The problem is that many businesses create amazing ‘sizzle’ but then deliver ‘steak’ that falls well short of the expectations they have created.

Examples of some claims that get thrown around fairly loosely include:

  • Fantastic customer service
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Best [insert product or service here] in town
  • Personal attention! We don’t treat you like a number!

Which all sounds great until the newly acquired customer discovers that in fact…

  • Their service is actually not fantastic.
  • They have had much better [insert product or service here] right here in this very town.
  • The business does actually have some policy that makes people feel like just another number.

By all means sell the ‘sizzle’ to get the customers in the door. But once they’re in, the ‘steak’ better be what you promised.


David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications