• Danielle Hughes

Insect Repellent is a Scam

There are Two Kinds of People in the World

Those who get bitten by insects and those who don’t. As you can surmise, I’m in the former camp. My whole life I’ve been the type of person to get devoured by bugs. It doesn’t matter if I’m covered up, they find a way. It doesn’t matter if no one else is getting bitten, they still find me. And it certainly doesn’t matter if I use bug spray (I’ve tried them all!) because that sh*T is a scam. 



It doesn’t matter if it has DEET, is natural, is for the woods, for the family, what have you. Citronella candles? They’re a scam too. I could endorse Mosquito netting though, but that’s another story. And frankly, unless I’m walking around covered head to toe in netting, it’s not a viable option anyway. The honest truth is that no insect repellent actually repels bugs. 


Fools, All of Us

So why do we buy it? Why do we bother? If you’re like me, you WANT to believe it will work. The problem, or the pain point (to use some marketing lingo), is that I get bitten and it’s uncomfortable. They swell. They itch. I scratch incessantly. It’s a nightmare. So I want to believe that something will help. I want to believe that something will alleviate my problem and stop it from occurring in the first place. I’m desperate. Therefore, I’m the perfect and target audience for a product that’s supposed to solve my problem. 


Why doesn’t it work? We could get into the science, but basically some of us just attract insects and some don’t. It’s in our pheromones or DNA or blood type. So no matter what I do, these suckers find me. Perhaps I’m repelling other bugs. Perhaps without bug spray it would be exponentially worse. I don’t know. All I know is that bugs aren’t my audience, but they find me anyway. 


See Where I'm Going Here?

I’ve talked before about the importance of repelling some of your audience. How, if you’re doing it right, certain people will be turned off by your message because these aren’t your people. These are people who won’t resonate with what you do, how you work or who you are. And. That’s. Ok. You don’t want those people. You want the people who — no matter what you spray out there — will find you anyway and want to connect with you. They’re sweet on your message. They’re attracted to it.


Narrow is Actually Wide

The thing to remember about marketing is that you market to a specific audience, but that doesn’t mean you don’t attract other audiences. So when I tell clients to be more them, to put more personality into their message, they often worry they might turn people off. And they’re right! But that’s the point.


Bye, Felicia

The point is to convey exactly who you are and what you do so only the right people will want to work with you. This saves you endless time having to weed through prospects and have discussions that lead to wasted time writing proposals for jobs you don’t really want because you already know, deep down, that the client will be a nightmare, or difficult, or just not someone you want to develop a relationship with. 


I get it. It’s scary putting yourself out there. And as I like to stress, you don’t have to share too much. You’re only sharing enough that you give prospects a sense of what it will be like to work with you. When you express yourself, your interests and what excites you about what you do and who you are, you’re making it easy for people to find connection and see you as a human being, not just a business. People do business with people. It’s that simple. So the more human you can be, the more likely you are to create real lasting relationships with clients you actually want to work with. And repel the ones you don’t. So start spraying my friends. And if you’re not sure where to start, read on. 


Veteran. Seasoned. Experienced. Savvy. 


​If any of these are in the first sentence of your website's About page or your LinkedIn profile, congratulations, you're generic. ​


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