As promised, we are going to dive into your messaging over the next few weeks as here's where I see many entrepreneurs struggle—how to speak and write in ways that bring in enough of the right kind of clients. Get it right and you have people asking to work with you. Get it wrong, and well, crickets might be all you hear.
Here's an example from my upcoming book that I believe illustrates the main difference between ok and great messaging:
Sharing your unique truths about your product/service instead of merely telling what they are, matters a great deal. This is why there can be 20 different real estate professionals in the same area and all are getting business. Or why you find yourself drawn to work with one coach but not another. It’s not fancy marketing language that creates this reaction. It’s their personal take on their business, how they see the world, and what contribution they want to make to others that draw you toward them.
Although this may seem hard to figure out for yourself, it’s not. You’ve likely been thinking about your business and clients through this lens since the beginning. You just may have not articulated it in your marketing materials yet.
Let's look at this example:
Annie is a health and fitness coach. When she starts her business, she talks about the need to get healthy and shares information on her website about eating well, working out, and other tools she can use to help you in your health journey. She shares articles she finds about being healthy on her website that talk about health for men, women, and families. When she lists how she can help you, it ranges from eating healthy to all the different types of workouts you can do, to the differences in several popular diets. Her list of services includes tailored fitness plans, personal training, motivation & support, and nutritional guidance. She gets a few clients here and there but she is struggling to fill her practice.
Lauren, on the other hand, has taken some time to look at her field of health and wellness and think about how she is the same as other trainers, as well as how she is different. She comes to see that although she wants people to be healthy, she does not personally agree with the idea of dieting or restricting foods in order to create a certain type of body shape. It bothers her personally that her field puts such a heavy emphasis on how people look rather than on how they feel or how they rate in health metrics that are not appearance-based. She sees that a particular group that struggles with this is women whose children are young and are experiencing their bodies changing from having children, getting older, and not having time to workout like they used to. Plus, they tend to stress eat or just not have time for healthy cooking even though they long to feed their families well.
Lauren had a similar experience 5 years ago when her children were 2 & 4 years old. In her marketing materials, she shares her point of view that health in women is about more than how we look. She shares tips and ideas for women to manage a family, work, and health in emotionally healthy ways. She shares her personal story about her struggles during that time of her life and what she did to overcome them. The services she offers are specific to solving the problems these women face: private training with childcare, online short workouts they can do with children, food plans that include recipes & shopping lists and can be prepared in under 30 minutes, teaching mindfulness techniques that create greater self-acceptance. Not only is her private practice full, but Lauren is getting requests from women in other states and is making her online materials available to women around the country.
Can you see how differently these two business owners are sharing? Annie is sharing generically about her field, Lauren is sharing her unique point of view. It would be easy to pass by Annie’s messaging of “being healthy”. It just isn’t that inspiring for any of us (even though it should be!)
But if you are a mother, Lauren’s messaging would feel compelling to you and like she really cares about you and your journey. That is the crux of sharing your truths: it’s not really about you, it’s about caring so much for your ideal clients that you want to meet them where they are.
Can you imagine trying to start a relationship in your personal life by being generic? Can you imagine saying “Hi, I like everybody and to do anything” and expect to find friends? Nope. You would share the unique things that light you up and matter to you in hopes of finding similar folks to share time with. In your marketing, it is the same.
Sharing your unique truths is a powerful tool to use to draw in exactly the right kind of client and enough of them. Next time, we'll cover how you get to your unique point of view and other messaging how tos but in the meantime, consider this idea for yourself. Are you sharing a generic message in your marketing materials or one that is uniquely yours?
Have great fun with this question and as always, I'm happy to hear any questions you may have—just drop them in the comments section below.
This is shared from my upcoming book— THE AUTHENTIC MARKETER: The Real Girl’s Guide to Know Your Worth, Get More Clients & Grow a Business that Genuinely Fits Your Lifestyle. Sign-up here if you want to know when it's available.
Linda believes that small business owners can step into a better version of their business when they embrace authenticity and become more fully themselves. Her 25-year marketing career has included Kimpton Hotels, Jamba Juice, and Disney helping her clients win awards and placements in publications like The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine, as well as on the front cover of WIRED magazine. You can visit her website here: lindabasso.com or join her FB conversation.