skip to Main Content

123: Jeffrey Shaw – Speak Your Customer’s Lingo

Jeffrey Shaw is the host of the popular business podcast Creative Warriors, a featured storyteller on The Moth, and a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker. He speaks at creative and business conferences on the topics of marketing, branding, customer relations, and sales. For more than three decades, Jeffrey, a.k.a. the Lingo Guy has been one of the most sought-after portrait photographers in the U.S. and uses this honed intuition developed as a photographer to teach entrepreneurs how to attract their ideal customers by speaking their Secret Language.

“We’re going to look at business not only differently, but we’re going to look at it upside down; because the way the rest of the world is doing business, probably isn’t working for you.” 

“By nature of being a creative warrior, also what I call an uncommon entrepreneur, you need to do business differently.” 

“99% of businesses are built backward in the first place. The way most people go into business is they have a great idea, they’re excited about their idea, they build the business, and then they spend the rest of their lives trying to fit people into that business. Where the right way to build a business, is what I refer to in Lingo as customer-centric.” 

“Customer-centric is knowing who your ideal customer is, what their secret language is, and then building a business for them that speaks to them.” 

“The validation paradox is that while we’re trying to find ourselves we ultimately realize that we need others” 

“One of the greatest advantages of working with your ideal customer is you ultimately find out where you belong, you end up working with people who see more in you than you see in yourself.” 

“Grow a community, not a database.” 

“Live your goals without your goals becoming your life.” 

“Step 1: Know the perspective of your ideal customer. You define your ideal customer not by deciding who they are, but by first understanding who you are best for.” 

“Step 2: Create an environment of familiarity. Because familiarity stands out!” 

“Step 3: Present your business in style. Style is a decision maker…we make decisions all day long based on if a style resonates with us or not.  When you know your ideal customer, you can create a style that stops them in their tracks.” 

“Step 4: Pricing creates perception. With pricing, you can decide what perception you want people to have of your business depending on how high or low you price your service/product.” 

“Step 5: Speak to your ideal customer with the words you choose. Words are powerful. Marketing words stand out. One of the processes that I teach in the book is a ‘Stand Out Statement’… 3-7 words that let the world know, let’s your ideal customer know, what you stand for, how you’re a fit for their business and what you can do for them.” 

“What I find as the most powerful way of standing out is ‘What is your unique perception about what you do?’…I believe you stand out by being able to convey to the world what your unique perspective is on what you do.” 


What have you done differently in your life to stand out? 

Express my vulnerability…I do believe in being vulnerable in its right time. I don’t believe in being vulnerable if I’m in any angst and pain. Then it’s too easy to come out as whining and dramatic. But I do open up…And it helps me stand out because it allows my ideal customer o know that I’m with them.  

What makes someone stand out in business or in life? 

You gotta own it. “You gotta rock what ya mama gave ya.” What makes you different, makes you marketable. And then own it, embody it! I find that the biggest gap in success is that people are 60% into their ownership. Just BE it! When you know what makes you different, own it 120%… And it doesn’t have to be loud, it has to be clear. 

What’s the best advice you’ve received? 

No one is going to take care of your life as much as you do.  

How do you want to be remembered? 

I want to be remembered by my kids. And I dedicated Lingo to my kids: “I hope this book gives you something to remember me by more than just my waffles.” 


Lingo Book 

Creative Warriors Podcast 

Brian Clark – Concentric Circles 

Greatest Showman “This Is Me” 

The 2Do App  

The Geography of Genius  

Help Us Stand Out: 

Find Your Yellow Tux Book 

Subscribe And Leave Us A Review On iTunes 

Like Us On Facebook 


Co-Produced and edited by Podcast On The Go