Your marketing message should tell people exactly what you do and who you do it for.
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A little preparation goes a long way. Having a clear vision of what you do and being able to state it succinctly puts you well on your way to finding your clients. You need to spend some time thinking about what you want to say and how you want to be viewed by others. There’s no excuse for being caught off-guard when someone asks what you do.
Elevator speeches are formulaic. Some business people work the formula better than others. If you’ve sat through introductions at any networking event, you’ve been subjected to the good, the bad, and the ugly. The key to a good elevator speech is that it is geared to your specific target market. Tell people up front, “I work with people who…” and then tell the result (benefit) that working with you brings. It’s not rocket science. You don’t have to be clever or funny (though it helps, especially if you’re the 28th person in a 40-person meeting).
Features, Benefits, and Differentiation, Oh My!
What will using your product or services do for people? What is the transformation or result they will receive by interacting with you or your product? Are you selling what they want or what they need? The answer should be both.
Often in advertising, the features of a product or service will be listed. Which is great. People like to know what they’re getting. But many marketers expect people to extrapolate the benefit of each feature all by themselves. And that is marketing suicide.
People don’t sit there and think of how each feature will make their life better. They look at the list and think, “Okay,” and then move on.
Always speak in terms of benefits to the prospective customer. Speaking in terms of benefits and results helps set expectations of what people will get from working with you. It weeds out people who are unrealistic or looking for different results. For example, a weightlifting program might not actually help you shed pounds, but it will help you shed inches. If you want to lose 20 pounds you might want to look at a strict diet with cardio. If you want to get stronger and don’t care about the scale, try weightlifting.
You need to get a little bit more granular here. Just as you need to quantify the results that you want from your marketing efforts, prospects want to be able to quantify the results they will get from working with you. They want to know exactly what they’re getting and how it will benefit them.
First you need to understand the difference between features and benefits.
- A feature is an automatic steam release valve on a pot lid. The benefit is you won’t burn yourself when you lift that lid.
- A feature is a sensor at the rear of your SUV that will open the rear door just by waving your foot under it. The benefit is that you don’t have to juggle kids, bags, and packages while trying to open the door.
The results or benefits must be worthwhile. This is a function of time and money involved. The more time and money required from the customer, the bigger and better the result must be and that result must be quantifiable.
- “Feel better” is not quantifiable.
- “Have peace of mind” is not quantifiable.
- “Having a greater knowledge of something” is not quantifiable.
So, what are quantifiable results?
- You’ll save a minimum of 7 work hours a week by using this planner.
- You’ll not only gain clarity and purpose, but you will have a written plan of action that you can easily follow to get the career of your dreams.
- Following the methods taught in my course will allow you to calm your swirling thoughts and give you the tools you need to go to sleep quickly—within 10 minutes—and sleep through the night, every night.
Unique Selling Proposition
No article on creating a marketing message would be complete without mention of having a USP. What is your differentiating factor? What do you do that your competitors don’t? What makes you stand out from the crowd of marketers competing for attention every day? Why do people like to work with you?
I was behind a mattress tractor-trailer truck on the highway and across the sides of the trailer in huge lettering it said, “#1 Selling Mattress in America!”
Well, good for them. It’s great that they sell a lot of mattresses. But what good does that do for me? You know what I’d rather see painted on the sides? A picture of a new mattress being delivered on a star-strewn night, and the message, “We don’t sleep well until you sleep well.”
That’s different. That message tells me the company puts their customers first. That they’ll work late to make sure I get what I need.
What makes you different? Is it your background? Experience? A new process that you developed that leads to faster or better results? Do you combine unlike things, for example, an engineering background and personal training to give what you do a different twist?
Finally, Make a Clear Offer
Let people know what you’re offering and how to get it. Make the offer as risk free for them as possible. That is, give them a guarantee of some sort. It doesn’t have to be a money back guarantee. Your guarantee could be “We will work with you until you see success.”
Make it easy to buy, tell them how to pay, what types of payments you accept. You should have more than one type of payment that you accept. Offer a payment plan if it’s called for.
Refine your message. Clearly state what your product or service will do for people in terms of benefits and results. Use language that appeals to your target market. Use language that is easy for your prospects to understand: no jargon. Present it in a format that your ideal client enjoys using. Then be sure to make your call to action clear: Tell them exactly what they get, what it will do for them, how much it is, and how to get it.
You want your offer to be as much of a “no brainer” as possible. That means you pack an enormous amount of value into the offer. So much so that the price compared to the value of what the buyer gets is ridiculously small. That doesn’t necessarily mean your price is low; it means that the value is high.
Call to Action
Once you’ve made your offer, you need to tell people what to do. Your message gets people excited about you, your product, or what you do. Once you’ve caught their attention and generated interest, you need to give people the next step. “Call Now” and make sure the phone number is in large print. “Schedule your free consult by clicking this link.” “To subscribe, click the button below.”
You would think that people would automatically make the next move if they are interested. Some will. But studies have found that just by adding a few words directing their next action, the number of people who actually take that action increases.
Want an example of a call to action?