Whether you’re just starting out in business, or you’re at a stage where your business is evolving, changing or growing, if you’re struggling with how to tell customers about your business you’ve probably got at least one of these three problems:

  1. You know what your business does, but you don’t know how to get it across to people quickly and clearly
  2. Your business does too many things – it takes you an A4 page to explain it all!
  3. You don’t quite know what your business does – or what you want to focus on

My business has been evolving and growing over the past year, and I’ve suffered from all three of these. My lack of focus was leading to problems with trying to describe what I did succinctly… which was making it impossible to explain it quickly. What had started off as a simple offering – and a simple message (helping busy business owners with their admin) – had become something more complex (sales funnels, copywriting, elearning, landing pages).

I wasn’t sure what to focus on, and as I love the variety in my work, picking just one thing wasn’t an option. And it was hard at first to see how I could distil such a broad range of services into a simple and clear message that someone new to me and my business could understand it right away.

It’s taken a lot of reading around the subject, listening to podcasts and having lightbulb-moment conversations with friends, colleagues and experts to really get me to drill down on what I do for my clients and how to describe it in the right way.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

 

Where to start to clarify your message

This can be quite an involved process, but answering these five questions is a great place to get you started.

 

1. What are you selling?

How do you describe what you do?  Start by writing down a list of the services or products your business offers. Next, think about what you would say to a friend you haven’t seen for a while, to a stranger at a business networking event and on the homepage of your website.

You’ll possibly end up with quite a lot of words, but that’s fine – the end goal is to edit and distil this down into a sentence.

 

2. What’s your ‘why’?

Simon Sinek asks us to ‘Start with why’ and it’s sound advice. Your ‘why’ for your business will be something beyond just making money. There is a reason you’re doing this particular business and not something else – what is it?

(For example, my ‘why’ is that I am fascinated by the process of building a business from nothing – taking an idea and testing it out, taking the plunge and developing it into something real – and I want to help and support other business owners to grow and develop their businesses.)

 

3. What makes you different?

What do you do differently or better than your competitors? Do you serve a different audience? How do you go the extra mile? Why would a customer come to you instead of to someone else?

 

4. Who are your customers?

Before you can get clear on your message, you have to get clear about who you’re talking to. Back when I was an English teacher I used to teach my students to always consider the purpose and audience of any piece of communication before they started – and it’s good advice for businesses too.

One way to do this is to think about your current best customer. Who are they? Are they an individual, a large company? Build up a picture of what your ideal customer looks like, and direct your messaging to that person or organisation.

 

5. What problem you do solve?

There are two broad types of problem: external and internal. And it’s the internal problems that your prospective customers will pay to solve.

You may think you’re selling a product or service – but what you’re actually selling might be an experience, a feeling of luxury, increased sales and revenue, or peace of mind.

For example, say you run a dog walking business. Your basic offering is that you walk people’s dogs for them. Your customers’ external problem is lack of time. But their internal problem might be that you help them to stop feeling guilty about not having time to take their dogs for long walks.

So while you will want to start with the basics – your product or service – take it to the next level and really think about your customers’ pain points. What keeps them up at night?

6 December 2018: Master Your Message workshop

If you’d like to get some help with getting clear on your message in person and online, I’d love to see you at my live workshop next week. You’ll get input from me and from business guide Gavin Hill-John of TalkSkills in a half-day session, focusing on drilling down on the What, Why, Who and How of your business.

 

What you’ll get

You’ll come away with a clear and succinct way to describe what you do for your customers that you can use and adapt for your elevator pitch, website homepage, brand statement and social media profiles.

 

Where and when

The workshop takes place at Insole Court in Cardiff on 6th December 2018, 10am-1pm.

Book your place here.

Whether you’re just starting out in business, or you’re at a stage where your business is evolving, changing or growing, if you’re struggling with how to tell customers about your business you’ve probably got at least one of these three problems:

  1. You know what your business does, but you don’t know how to get it across to people quickly and clearly
  2. Your business does too many things – it takes you an A4 page to explain it all!
  3. You don’t quite know what your business does – or what you want to focus on

My business has been evolving and growing over the past year, and I’ve suffered from all three of these. My lack of focus was leading to problems with trying to describe what I did succinctly… which was making it impossible to explain it quickly. What had started off as a simple offering – and a simple message (helping busy business owners with their admin) – had become something more complex (sales funnels, copywriting, elearning, landing pages).

I wasn’t sure what to focus on, and as I love the variety in my work, picking just one thing wasn’t an option. And it was hard at first to see how I could distil such a broad range of services into a simple and clear message that someone new to me and my business could understand it right away.

It’s taken a lot of reading around the subject, listening to podcasts and having  lightbulb-moment conversations with friends, colleagues and experts to really get me to drill down on what I do for my clients and how to describe it in the right way.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Where to start to clarify your message

This can be quite an involved process, but answering these five questions is a great place to get you started.

1. What are you selling?

How do you describe what you do?  Start by writing down a list of the services or products your business offers. Next, think about what you would say to a friend you haven’t seen for a while, to a stranger at a business networking event and on the homepage of your website.

You’ll possibly end up with quite a lot of words, but that’s fine – the end goal is to edit and distil this down into a sentence.

2. What’s your ‘why’?

Simon Sinek asks us to ‘Start with why’ and it’s sound advice. Your ‘why’ for your business will be something beyond just making money. There is a reason you’re doing this particular business and not something else – what is it?

(For example, my ‘why’ is that I am fascinated by the process of building a business from nothing – taking an idea and testing it out, taking the plunge and developing it into something real – and I want to help and support other business owners to grow and develop their businesses.)

3. What makes you different?

What do you do differently or better than your competitors? Do you serve a different audience? How do you go the extra mile? Why would a customer come to you instead of to someone else?

4. Who are your customers?

Before you can get clear on your message, you have to get clear about who you’re talking to. Back when I was an English teacher I used to teach my students to always consider the purpose and audience of any piece of communication before they started – and it’s good advice for businesses too.

One way to do this is to think about your current best customer. Who are they? Are they an individual, a large company? Build up a picture of what your ideal customer looks like, and direct your messaging to that person or organisation.

5. What problem you do solve?

There are two broad types of problem: external and internal. And it’s the internal problems that your prospective customers will pay to solve.

You may think you’re selling a product or service – but what you’re actually selling might be an experience, a feeling of luxury, increased sales and revenue, or peace of mind.

For example, say you run a dog walking business. Your basic offering is that you walk people’s dogs for them. Your customers’ external problem is lack of time. But their internal problem might be that you help them to stop feeling guilty about not having time to take their dogs for long walks.

So while you will want to start with the basics – your product or service – take it to the next level and really think about your customers’ pain points. What keeps them up at night?

6 December 2018: Master Your Message workshop

If you’d like to get some help with getting clear on your message in person and online, I’d love to see you at my live workshop next week. You’ll get input from me and from business guide Gavin Hill-John of TalkSkills in a half-day session, focusing on drilling down on the What, Why, Who and How of your business.

What you’ll get

You’ll come away with a clear and succinct way to describe what you do for your customers that you can use and adapt for your elevator pitch, website homepage, brand statement and social media profiles.

Where and when

The workshop takes place at Insole Court in Cardiff on 6th December 2018, 10am-1pm.

Book your place here.