Got a good answer for “What do you do”?

Super Bowl ads.

Target AudienceImagine spending millions of dollars to get your one big idea in front of millions of people who may or may not be your ideal client, do it in 30 seconds, and keep your job.

I had a few faves, Kia with Josh Jacobs, Google – Loretta, and some I thought were just awful, Mountain Dew with Bryan Cranston, (dumb) and Hyundai – Smaht Pahk, (trying too hard).

None of the commercials persuaded me to buy or try a new product. In fact, even when I recognized a product, I’m not sure what the message was.

Some, like the Doritos with Lil Nas X ad were entertaining, cool, and silly. I loved it. And “Cool” is part of the name of the product they were pitching. That creative team nailed it.

We mere business owning mortals don’t have the luxury of creating million-dollar, celebrity studded, prime time commercials. We have to rely on words; spoken or written. (Yes, even videos start with a script) And when the message we are trying to get across isn’t clear to our ideal listeners, aka, ideal clients, we miss out on serving them or improving their lives with our products.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know but I have a question: do you have a good answer, a clear compelling answer to the question, “what do you do”?

If your lead magnets, sales conversations, or networking efforts aren’t converting people, the problem is not your service or product.

It’s how you talk about it.

Your product might be best in class.  You may provide over-the-top value. You may be just as good as your bigger business competition.

But are you clear about how you help, why you are different, or what problem you solve?

And if you aren’t clear, then any message you put out into the ether will also not be clear.

Where does that leave you?

Wondering, but not really knowing why things aren’t working. Here’s a tip: start with your message.

And that starts with your who.

Until you know who needs you, you can’t write copy, craft a pitch, or even have a successful conversation about what you do.

Here’s why a clear sense of your who matters, in case it isn’t obvious.

When you are clear, you won’t spend time answering questions your people don’t ask. Like how many degrees you have or where in the third world you were when you had your epiphany. That may become important later on, but it won’t catch their attention.

I know, I know… you don’t want to miss out on a potential client or customer by narrowing your ideal client or buyer. You want to appeal to a wide audience because you “just know” some of your people are out there, and if they hear or see your message, they’ll come to you.

It could happen; sometimes it does. But let’s do some numbers. Let’s say you spend $100 on a Facebook ad and you filter it so that 1m people will see it because you don’t want to limit yourself. Let’s then say you get a miraculous 50% click through rate. (I want your ads person please.) You now have 500,000 new leads from 400 different interests, 9 countries, and they range in age from 21-70. If you are lucky, your one very specific offer — an e-book on how to sell corporate, for instance — might be of interest to 20 of them. The rest will bounce.

Now, let’s say you filter the hell out of your ad because you are clear. You sell sales training to not-for-profit, women-owned companies with 20 employees or less. Your FB ad reach is 200K. Your click through rate goes way down, more like the average, to 2%. That’s okay because you now have 40 qualified leads to nurture, and you speak their language! Not to mention that you are going to speak to people you want to work with; an ideal client or buyer, not some random person who might not be a fit at all.

Clarity is the starting point in all marketing. 

Who do you serve — specifically?

What problem do you solve?

People don’t need million-dollar ads or celeb endorsements to help them buy (but if you can get one, grab it). They want to know you get them, you understand their needs or the problem they have, and you speak their language. Crafting a strong, clear message, is not easy. You’ll have to invest time. You might want to invest money working with an expert.

Whatever you do, don’t wing it. You’re in business to make money and clarity in your message is the first step to winning the game.

In two weeks, I’ll be hosting a free training on how to craft a message that stands out and how to nail your ideal client or buyer. Details to come.

Comment 1

  1. Catherine Johns
    February 6, 2020

    Love this, Greg! Funny how challenging it is to settle on the “who.” Our impulse is always to cast a wider net, and instead, as you say, we need specificity.

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