I Made a Mistake.
Three+ decades ago, I made a mistake that changed me. I should have known better, but I wasn’t thinking straight.
I think I was caught up in the fanfare of everything, so distractions from what really mattered were easy.
Ironically, three weeks before the big day, I called things off. But he convinced me to go through with it because it would be a pain in oh-so-many-ways. Ha! Wasn't that irony in the making?!
Have you guessed my mistake yet? Yep, I married the wrong man. It was a BIG wedding (with 900 guests) and a SHORT marriage (we got divorced in less than three years).
While this wasn't the ONLY misstep I've ever made, it sure was a doozy. Unfortunately, I had to walk through this type of brief "experience" a few times until I got it right. Oy vey!
Here's what I (finally) know: If you don't learn from your mistakes, you will repeat them until you get the lesson(s).
In your business, do you keep repeating the same missteps over and over again? (Maybe it's not you, but the person who writes for you.)
While there are some mistakes we all make at one time or another, there are a few common ones that rise to the top EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Common Mistakes & How to Fix Them
See if any of these miscalculations have happened to you:
Misstep #1: Not Understanding Your Audience.
If you don't understand what's important to your customers, they won't care or connect with your business
Remember, it's all about your customers. They need to see that you understand what keeps them up at night BEFORE you sell them something.
What's the Fix? Do your homework. Ask your customers and prospects about their problems. (You know, the problems your solutions solve?!) Find out how having those problems make them feel. Then use their answers to guide how you write your business.
Misstep #2: No Product-Market Fit.
If the product you're offering isn't selling, you need to make sure your customers really want it.
So many times, we're guilty of thinking our services and solutions are like the "Field of Dreams." Sadly, the "if you build it, they will come" philosophy doesn't work as well without Costner or the movie.
While you take time to understand your customers' problems, also take inventory of the types of solutions they need to fix those problems.
What's the Fix? Before you create or try to sell, take time to become crystal clear about what your customer needs and how accomplishing it will make them feel. Then write copy that clearly shows the value they will get from using YOUR product over someone else.
Misstep #3: Features-Focus Instead of Benefits-Focus.
If you spend all your time listing the widgets and gadgets of whatever you're selling, you've only answered the question, "what comes with that?"
When you glaze over answering, "how will this solution help me?" you miss an opportunity to show how awesome their life will be after they use whatever it is you offer.
What's the Fix? Focus on how your solutions will help goals get realized and lives become amazing. Answer multiple reasons WHY someone might want what you're offering and tap into any emotional connections that help scratch their itch. Get in your customers' heads and speak to their desires.
Misstep #4: Trying to Copy Others.
If you want to stand out in today's noisy marketplace, why do you try to copy the roadmaps others created for themselves? Did you know that mirroring others is a subtle form of manipulation? It also shows you don't have any originality.
Now, if you're running a franchise, you definitely want to run with the "imitating others" concept. But, if you're unique and different (as I suspect you are), then you need to showcase what makes you shine.
What's the Fix? Take a look at those who are similar to you. Determine their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Then figure out how you do things better, differently, and uniquely. Elevate those things every little chance you get.
Misstep #5: Not Using Headlines & Subheads.
In a world where everyone scans, headlines and subheads are key. You only have 3-5 seconds to draw people in to learn more. If you haven't invested time writing interesting headlines, no one will look at what you're offering.
But the power isn't just in the ability of prose to grab attention. Your headlines need to convey a benefit while leading your customer to your goal.
What's the Fix? Before you write word one:
- Start with the end in mind.
- Determine your goal FIRST.
- Write as many headlines (and subheads) as possible BEFORE you write any marketing copy.
A Word to the Wise.
You'll be well on the way to success once you, or your team member, applies these recommendations. Of course, there are many more tips that you'll want to use. But, we'll save those for another time.
Just remember, we all make snafus. Those of us who own our mistakes will make giant strides forward. Those who don't take inventory will play the "same song, different verse" game until they get it right.
The question is: Do you feel like repeatedly singing or moving forward?