SD #36 | Start With "You"—Your One-Word Cheat Code for Keeping Your Focus on Your Customer

#contentcreation #copywriting #customer #marketing #storytelling audience business communication Mar 27, 2023

Read Time: 5.0 minutes


The majority of the copy in any ad or marketing piece should be written in the second person. For example, do you prefer copy that says, “Through our first-rate sales department, we can deliver cars within 24-hours” or “You can drive your new car tomorrow”? 

  Susan Gunelius

What’s the Tip?

There's one word that, when used correctly, can amplify the impact of your messaging and dramatically improve your results when it comes to business storytelling. That word is the second person pronoun "you."

In this issue, we'll delve into the importance of the pronoun "you" in storytelling. We'll discuss ways to use it, provide examples of how to use it, and explore the benefits of incorporating "you" into your content.


How Do You Use It?

At its core, business storytelling is about making a connection with your audience. The pronoun "you" fosters that connection by personalizing your message, making the reader feel seen and heard. When you address the reader directly, it creates a sense of intimacy and trust, making your reader more likely to be receptive to your message.

"You" shifts the focus from the author to the audience. This shift is mission critical because people are naturally more interested in themselves than in anyone or anything else.

So, by using "you," you're able to tap into your reader's or your consumer's innate self-interest, making your message immediately more compelling and engaging.


What are Some Examples? 

Directly Address Your Reader:  Address your audience directly by using "you" throughout your content. This change helps create a conversational tone that makes your reader feel as if you're speaking to him or her personally.

Example: "Imagine you wake up tomorrow morning and your life has been completely transformed. You're living in your dream home, driving your dream car, and your bank account is overflowing."


Include "You" in Your Questions: Asking questions that include "you" can engage your audience and prompt them to think about how your message applies to them.

Example: "What would you do if you had an extra hour in your day? How would you spend that time to improve your life?"


Use "You" to Show Empathy: Demonstrate your understanding of your audience's struggles or desires by using "you" to acknowledge their emotions and experiences.

Example: "You've been working night and day to grow your business. But it can be frustrating when you don't see the results you want as fast as you want. That's why, we created this course—to help you achieve the success you deserve." 


Apply "You" in Testimonials: Use testimonials from satisfied customers that address the audience you want to speak to with the pronoun "you" to create a sense of relatability and trust.

Example: "Before I started using this product, I was just like you—struggling to find a solution that worked. But now that struggle is over and I'm making more progress than ever." 


Direct Benefits to the Customer: Focus on the benefits of your product or service by using "you" to show the reader how it will directly impact her life.

Example: "With our new software, you'll save hours of  time each week, allowing you to focus on what truly matters—growing your business and spending time with loved ones." 


Here are some additional examples of how the word "you" can be used effectively in storytelling:

In a sales email: "You're just one click away from unlocking the secrets to financial freedom. Don't let this opportunity pass you by—take action now and create the life you've always dreamed of."

In a blog post: "By following these five simple steps, you'll be well on your way to building the confidence you need to conquer any challenge that comes your way."

In ad copy: "Introducing the revolutionary new smartphone designed with you in mind. Experience unparalleled performance, stunning visuals, and exceptional battery life—all at a price you can afford."


What's the Benefit to You?

Incorporating "you" into your storytelling can yield numerous benefits, including:

Higher Engagement: Addressing the reader directly with the pronoun "you" creates proximity, increasing the chances of earning their attention and encouraging your audience to continue reading or take action.

Building Trust: Using "you" fosters a sense of trust between you and your audience. It demonstrates that you understand their needs, desires, and challenges, making them more likely to trust your message and consider your offer.

Improved Conversions: When you focus on your reader and your reader's needs, they are more likely to feel included in the story you're telling. By emphasizing the benefits of your product or service, you increase the likelihood of converting your readers into prospects and your prospects into customers.

Greater Personalization: Personalization has become increasingly important in marketing and advertising. By using "you," you're able to create a personalized experience that resonates with your audience and makes them feel connected to you and your product or service.

Increased Shareability: Content that resonates with your readers is more likely to be shared with others. When you create content that speaks directly to your audience and addresses their needs, they are more likely to share it with their friends, family, and colleagues, expanding your reach and increasing your brand's visibility.

The power of the word "you" in your storytelling cannot be overstated. By using the second person pronoun "you" effectively, you can create content that resonates with your audience, builds trust, and drives results.

Be intentional about incorporating "you" into your messaging and watch as your engagement, conversions, and overall impact skyrocket.



  1. 🤝 The pronoun "you" fosters connection and personalization in business storytelling.
  2. 💬 Using "you" creates a conversational tone and directly addresses the reader.
  3. ❓ Asking questions with "you" engages the audience and encourages reflection.
  4. 👥 Testimonials and empathy help build trust and demonstrate understanding.
  5. 🎁 Focusing on benefits shows the reader how a product or service impacts their life.
  6. 📈 Incorporating "you" leads to higher engagement, trust, conversions, and shareability.
  7. 🎯 Be intentional in using "you" to amplify the impact of your messaging.


We hope you've found this issue of StoryDirect useful! Remember to forward it to a friend!

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