There was a notorious moment in the BBC’s Dragon’s Den where the acerbic Duncan Bannatyne eyed a quivering business person and launched his infamous “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity…I’m out!” line. The business person in question left with nothing but a basic lesson in business and an understanding that it’s more about keeping cash than just blithely making it.

Doing things solely for the purpose of looking good is a dangerous game in business. Invariably it’s expensive, resource-hungry and ultimately leads to a communication that is essentially just telling people how good you think you are.

We still however see companies investing huge sums in “vainglorious” online piffle. You know the kind of thing…

“We are the market leaders in blah, blah, blah…established in 1907…we solve all problems for everyone all the time…because we’re just so super excellent at everything we do…blah blah blah”.

Add in an unhealthy dose of inappropriate imagery (a picture of the London skyline for a sole trader accountancy firm) and you’ve got a website that essentially says “use me…whoever you are”.

The online world today is so much more sophisticated than 10 years ago. Smart businesses understand the worth of getting prospects to recognise themselves within the brand of their business. They understand that being online is about developing relationships, building trust, adding value and making connections.

Tim’s Top Tips:

  • Consider your market and use the language and image of your target customer to build empathy and rapport
  • Put your customers’ needs first
  • Avoid cheesy stock images, be authentic…use personal branding where appropriate
  • Avoid pomp and self centred narrative
  • Use open and encouraging language
  • Great words include:  discover, easy, proven, save money, guarantee, health, happiness, love, results, new, free, now, please, because.


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