18 September 2009

Essentials of Your Marketing Message

One reason marketing is so overwhelming for solopreneurs just starting out in business is that not only do we need to know WHAT to do and HOW to do it, we also have to know what to SAY and how to say it.

What you say is your message.

You message needs to be crystal clear on 5 main points:
  • who you're talking to (your ideal client)
  • who you're not talking to (the prospects you intend to screen out)
  • the experience they have that they don't want (their pain or problem)
  • the outcome they want that they are willing to pay you to get (their need, goal, desire)
  • your claim regarding what you can help them get (benefits and value of hiring you)
This may sound like a lot to think about. Ironically, sometimes the best way to crystalize all this is by thinking of your tagline, or one breath introduction.

A trick I learned years ago when I was a journalist writing headlines is useful here -- you don't have to say everything in detail. Readers naturally fill in the blanks. Less can be much better than more.

For example, look at the tagline for this blog:
Getting More Clients to Your Door with Grace and Ease for Solopreneurs in the Healing Arts. It tells my ideal client -- solopreneurs in the healing arts -- and by specifying that it implies who I intend to screen out -- retail businesses with employees, executive coaches, etc. It suggests the problem -- you need more clients -- which also is your outcome goal and desire -- actually getting more clients. Finally it makes the claim that I provide easy solutions that will feel and be graceful to implement.

How you relay your message is key.

There's an old adage in the retail business that the 3 most important factors of success are location, location, location. For professionals like coaches and counselors, and even the solo-practice ND, who market primarily on the internet, the 3 most important factors of marketing success are emotion, connection, and delivery.

The most important lesson from this post is: describe, don't explain.

Describe your client. Describe what they want. Describe the problems they have in getting it. Describe how that impacts their life. Describe what they want instead.

Describe using emotional words. Name the pain. Actually say: you're feeling this (it implies: and I know it). Why? Because that begins to create an emotional bond. It begins to feel to them like they are connected to you. Feeling connected naturally leads to calling for appointments.

Delivery is about style. Be yourself in writing your message. Speak with the warmest, most authentic and empathetic aspects of your personality. Don't explain that you are warm and caring. BE warm in caring in your delivery.

There ya go -- the quick Friday lesson in the essentials of your marketing message. Work on that this weekend, and let me know what you come up with, eh?

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