What’s In It For Me

On New Year’s Eve one of my little cousins got married.

Good times had by all, especially when the speeches were over and they opened up the candy bar…where they had licorice, M&M’s, mini peanut butter cups, and candy galore for the kids. Yeah, ahem, for “the kids”.

Hopefully my little cousin will remember her wedding day as being perfect, but I of course, will remember it for a big marketing lesson thanks to the maid of honor (and for the cherry licorice…I will not forget you either).

As I’m sure you know, wedding speeches can be awkward affairs. With public speaking being one of the greatest fears in many people’s lives, it’s completely understandable that people are nervous.

However, the maid of honor made a HUGE mistake in her speech. Let’s see if you can spot it…

She started out…

“Everyone calls me really organized, but I actually lost the first version of this speech that I wrote while sitting in a park in Manhattan. So I had to write this speech three days ago.

“And it’s been a crazy year for me. This will be the 11th wedding I’ve attended in 2011…”

Do you see the problem?


It wasn’t her day. She’s had her day (she’s married).

This day was about my little cousin.

Her speech should have been ONLY about information relevant to my little cousin, their relationship, the wedding, and the groom to help the audience understand how the bride and groom got together, grew their relationship, and decided to get married.

That’s it.

It’s not about the person talking or writing.

It’s about the AUDIENCE.

And that’s the big marketing lesson.

Yet check out most websites…and what are they about?

The person writing the content.

“I have this qualification. Our gym has this equipment. I spent three years in Mongolia studying three-toed sloths to get this certification. I can cram 14 marshmallows into my mouth at once. I can do this. I’ve done that.”

Yayzz for you.


As the writer has proven, people only care about themselves, including your reader who has come to your site to find out how you can help them…not how great thou art.

To fix this, you need to remember the classic copywriting ‘radio station’ – WIIFM.

WIIFM = What’s In It For Me

That’s what the reader is thinking when they come to your website. “What benefits can you provide to my life? How can you solve my problems?”

The reader needs to know the answers to these questions BEFORE they need to see that you’re credible. That’s important too, but it doesn’t come first.

Their needs come first.

So take a look at your writing and your sales page.

Does it show the reader ‘WIIFM’ as soon as they get there?

And what about the rest of the copy…have you gone through and done the “You vs I” review?

That’s where you go through the copy and replace every use of the word “I” with a phrase that focuses on “You“.

For example, I recently did a copywriting review for one of my Mastermind clients and he was making the “I” mistake.

His line:

“I rested up and went to bed and when I got up, things hit me.”

My re-written line:

“After resting up, and going to bed without any problems, the pain was excruciating the next morning. If you’ve ever woken up with SI joint pain from an injury or worse, with no good reason, then you know how unbearable the pain can be.

And to make it worse, SI joint pain can prevent you from even being able to get out of bed on your will. How frustrating and embarrassing.”


Which of those would get airplay on WIIFM?

Obviously it’s much more work to write like that, but much more valuable to your copy – and to your reader, of course.

But work is what separates success from struggle.

My ‘Nicky Parsons’ emails take me 2-3x’s as long to write as a normal email (like this one), but it’s worth it.

Plus the practice of actually WRITING – as opposed to just vomiting simple sentences into a word document – is priceless.

Becoming a better communicator – in copy, email, video, and audio – will make your life easier and more profitable.

And that’s all that matters to YOU,

Craig Ballantyne

“Fulfillment comes from a life of meaningful achievement and from being present in each moment while moving in the direction we most want to move. And ask yourself, Am I doing what I most need to be doing right now? Am I being who I most want to be right now?” – Peter Bregman