When a struggling entrepreneur comes to me for help with their marketing, I make our first order of business to review their marketing message. I do this because it’s often the Achilles’ Heel in a business that’s plateaued, and it’s a simple fix that doesn’t cost a penny to implement.
If you know YOUR pitch needs some work, make sure you review this marketing message checklist. And even if you think it’s fine, it’s a good time to review these three key elements, before you spend any more time, energy, or dollars on marketing. And, it’s one of the reasons we dive into this area right away in my Elevate online business training program.
1. Make your message revolve around your BUYERS’ point-of-view.
Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of being “me-focused” in their marketing. Without even realizing it, they send an underlying message out that people should hire them because, for example: “I’m a mom.”, “I’m a 6-figure coach.”, “I went to Harvard”, etc.
Being relatable is great, and establishing credibility is important, but if you want people to really perk up, you have to make your pitch relate to THEM, not you. Consider this example:
Let’s say that Danielle is a talented web designer, making rounds at a conference in Chicago. She starts chatting at the coffee bar with a woman named Sasha, who shares she’s in charge of her company’s online marketing.
Danielle gets excited—this could be a perfect client!
Sasha then asks Danielle the inevitable question, “What do you do?”
Danielle replies, “Oh, I’m a freelance web designer. I’ve been working on my own for about 7 years now, and I work on sites for all types of clients.”
Nothing is wrong with this reply, as it does answer the question, and could possibly garner some interest. But what if Danielle were to say: “I help companies transform their websites into a list-building tools that generate leads and convert prospects to paying clients.”
Boom. See the difference? We just shifted her pitch, so it’s about what she does for her clients—not how it fulfills her own life mission. If you were that marketing manager, which of Danielle’s replies would make you want to know more?
Remember radio station WIIFM. It’s the channel others are most always tuned into, and stands for “What’s in it for me?”
2. Make your message focus on your RESULTS—not your process.
I see many coaches and therapists get stuck on this one. There’s Petra the Pilates instructor who studied the STOTT method, or Sandy the psychologist who specializes in Gestalt therapy—and they think that’s their biggest selling point.
They went to school for years and years, and there’s no way they’re going to leave that credibility-builder out of every piece of marketing they release. But, here’s the mistake with this approach: The focus is on their own process, not the RESULTS of their services.
Most folks aren’t going to hire Petra because she knows the STOTT method. They are going to hire her because of the results the STOTT method will get them, such as weight loss, flexibility, strength, flat abs, etc.
I know it’s hard to swallow for many of you reading, but it’s true… Let’s take a look at two ways Petra could pitch herself. Which one would capture your interest more?
Option 1: “Hi, I’m Petra. For 6 years, I studied the STOTT method under the founder. I’ve found the STOTT approach to be the most effective form of strength building for anyone suffering from sports injuries.”
Option 2: “Hi, I’m Petra, a licensed Pilates instructor. If you are an athlete who is suffering from a sports injury, let me help you rebuild your strength, gain flexibility, and increase your range of motion using the proven and renowned STOTT method of Pilates.”
Remember, a confused mind says “No”. If your marketing message gets too complicated, and is bogged down in too many details, you’re going to lose your audience. Get right to the point. The last thing you want is for you to give someone your elevator pitch, and they still ask, “So, what is it that you do?”
3. Make sure your message is specific.
Try to avoid big-picture, sweeping concepts in your marketing message. Instead be as specific as you can. If you are a nutritionist, you’re more likely to get a good response from messaging that says, “Lose weight on a full stomach,” versus, “Get radiant health.” (What does “radiant health” mean anyway? ;))
Another example: If you are an author suffering from writer’s block, which statement would make you more likely to respond:
Ad 1: “Your limited belief system must be dissolved in order for you to reach your full potential as a writer.”
Ad 2: “I can help you overcome your writer’s block. You’ll finish your book in 14 days or less!”
Notice that Ad 2 meets the criteria of our checklist. It’s acknowledging the needs of the buyer (the author), it’s results-focused, and it’s specific.
Your marketing message is a work-in-progress. It’s not something you’ll get right on the very first try. It often times will take some course-correction before you really nail it. But the three tips above will get you started. Be patient with yourself as you go through this process, and be conscious of the response you get. It’ll be so worth it when you get it just right!
QUESTION: Do you think your “elevator pitch” is working well? I’d love to hear your tips or your challenges on crafting a winning marketing message. Please share your comments below!
© 2013 Ali International, LLC
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