Imagine that we hopped on a call, and I asked, "What do you do?”
Would you have to think about how to respond? Or would you know what to say immediately?
There is no wrong answer because we all achieve things at different rates.
What some entrepreneurs view as new and important is considered old news by other business owners who achieved that specific goal a while back.
Or perhaps what someone created for their business a while ago needs to be revisited and revised because the market has shifted.
Personally, I like to think none of us have “arrived” because we’re continually fine-tuning how we live life and conduct business.
No matter what stage of business you are in — how you describe your business offers is important, especially to prospective customers or partners.
I was on a call with a group of entrepreneurs recently, and the host asked us to take 30-seconds to share our name, where we live, and what we do.
As each person took their turn, it was easy to see who had practiced their talk track and who had not.
Some were very polished and on-point. These business owners nailed their story in one sentence using engaging words and concise thoughts.
But others took us on a journey as they rambled through paragraphs of run-on sentences. Their thoughts gushed out like an uncapped fire hydrant as they verbally tried to figure out what to say.
While both approaches accomplished the task at hand, they also both sent messages to the listeners without trying.
It was apparent who had invested time in developing their business messaging and who had not.
These two different types of responses evoked confidence in what some offers, while it was clear others needed to refine their WHAT, WHY & HOW.
The distinction between these two ad-hoc groups was so clear it felt like the difference between a five-star restaurant and a fast-food burger place.
Some people showcased experience and finesse, while the others showed uncertainty and a need for refinement.
These types of interactions are common. We all witness them at various times in business and in life.
Whenever you hear someone ramble about their business or how awesome they are at what they do, do you lean in to learn more or zone out? (I know, I tend to zone out, too.)
What about the business person who is clear and concise with their message? How do you respond to that? (Kinda like 'you had me at hello.’ Tell me more.)
When the "clear message" person also addresses the problems they will help you solve—do you ask for the name of their website or exchange email addresses to learn more? (Me, too!)
So let me ask you:
When you talk or write about your business—are your words on-point? Are you clear and concise? Or do your words take people on "a 3-hour tour" (like Gilligan's Island) while you try to get your thoughts out?
If you want people to lean in instead of zoning out…
If you want to connect with your audience without their eyes glazing over…
If you want to clearly and succinctly describe your business in a way that engages and draws people in…
Then these steps are for you.
Uncovering WHAT, WHY, and HOW your prospective customers prefer to “dine” should be a focus for every business owner.
To connect with others, you need to know what type of "food" they prefer to eat. Do they want to be catered to with specialty items, live piano music, linen table cloths, and professional chefs? Or are they okay with a "quick-lunch" counter affair, paper goods delivered via a sack or tray, and short-order cooks in the kitchen?
When they read about what you offer, will they "open a menu" (aka your website) that is cluttered with way-too-many fast food items (aka words that aren't clear)? Or will they see a refined list that leads to limited made-to-order options?
Either dining experience will work. But it pays to know what your audience wants, so you serve (products and services) in a manner that attracts them in.
Determining WHAT, WHY, and HOW to "serve up" your goods and services will help you stand out while meeting your customers' needs.
No matter which "dining experience" you offer, investing time to write your message clearly will pay dividends for years to come.
Step 1: As it pertains to the solutions your business offers, determine your customers' WHATs and WHYs. WHAT problems do your customers have, and WHY do they have them.
Step 2: Research and study your customers. Pick up keywords they use to describe the problems that you solve.
Step 3: Review competitors that offer services similar to you.
Step 4: Determine what you do well that your competitors don’t offer or do well.
Step 5: Use what you've learned to write your unique selling proposition and nail down messaging that appeals to your audience.
Step 6: Refine and tweak what you're written. Pare your core message down to ONE sentence using 10 words or less.
Step 7: Practice your new messaging. Test it out on others. Refine it some more. Rinse repeat this step often until you share your message easily.
While the seven steps will point you in the right direction, you may desire a bit more "meat and potatoes" to show you how to refine your message and apply it in strategic places like your website.
Joyful CopyCamp will give you foundational insights and frameworks to determine, distill, and deliver your message.
The next 5-week live coaching session starts July 30 at 11 a.m. EDT or 8 p.m. EDT. Learn more and sign up here.
Let's work together on messaging to help your customers lean in.