I’m going to ask you a question and I don’t want you to think about your answer.
Just go with the first thing that pops into your head.
Okay, ready? Here it goes…
You’re walking down the street, minding your own business when suddenly, the earth below your feet opens up and you start to fall into a huge chasm. Unable to grab onto anything that will save you, you shout out one final message to the world… the message you want your tribe to know and remember when you’re gone.
What is your one final, falling-into-the-abyss message?
Quick! Don’t think. What’s the first thing that pops into your head?
Write it down. Now.
Did your message surprise you? Or is it something you often feel, think or say to people?
Does your falling-into-the-abyss message complement or reinforce the core message of your business? Or is it something you feel, believe or know yet don’t communicate in your marketing message?
I know. So many questions. Here’s why I’m asking.
If your core marketing message doesn’t incorporate or somehow honor your falling-into-the-abyss message, then it may need a makeover.
Now, just to be clear, I’m talking about your core message here, the one your entire business is based on. The one that speaks to who you are, what you do, and why people should give a damn. Not the many marketing messages you create to promote a certain product or service or launch.
Your core message communicates the essence of your entire business… your who, what, for whom, why and why it matters.
In the olden days (and by that I mean 15-20 years ago) the basic ingredients of a core marketing message were:
- Who you serve (your ideal peeps)
- The problems you solve and/or the services you provide.
- The amazing results or outcomes of your services.
- Why you’re uniquely suited to provide these services or solve theses problems.
But now, especially in the solo entrepreneurial world, your core message needs to communicate so much more of you. What you believe. What you stand for. Why you do what you do.
And even what you would shout out to the world as you fall into an abyss.
For instance, let’s say you’re an acupuncturist. Your core marketing message might be that you help overworked professional women who suffer insomnia, hot flashes and other annoying hormonal or stress-related symptoms. Your patients go from stressed out, sleep-deprived, fuzzy-thinking women struggling to keep up with their workload to clear-minded, well-rested, on-top-of-their game professionals destined for a big promotion. One of the reasons you get such amazing results is that you apprenticed with one of the most well-known, highly regarded, well-respected acupuncturists specializing in women’s health.
Great. All of the above is an important part of your message. But equally important is what you believe about the work you do, why you do it, and what you stand for. So, your core marketing message would also include something like…
“I believe the only way to truly restore balance and well-being to the body is by treating the root the cause of your symptoms and taking a whole body/whole mind approach. You are not your symptoms; you’re a whole, conscious, complex human being whose health and well-being are influenced by what you think, feel, believe as well as your environment, diet, and daily habits. All of these factors and influences need to be considered and respected in order to get to the root causes of any disease or distress you may be experiencing, whether that cause be physical, emotional, environmental or spiritual. Only by treating the root cause can you can eliminate your symptoms once and for all.”
Can you see how this statement expresses what this acupuncturist believes as well as her approach to her work? It goes beyond the what, for whom, etc.
From there, this acupuncturist could make a statement of how or why she came to do what she does. How she used to suffer from insomnia and mood swings, none of which were relieved by western medicine. Then, she found an acupuncturist who treated an underlying imbalance in her endocrine system that transformed her health and her life. And even her career path.
She could even make a strong statement about what she wants her potential clients to know, her urgent, falling-into-an-abyss message: “Your doctor doesn’t know diddly! He’s only treating symptoms! Get the holistic care you need to eliminate the cause of your symptoms so you can be healthy and happy forever!”
As we close out 2016 and head into a brand new year, this is a perfect time to give your core message an update. A bit of sprucing up. An injection of your passion, your “why” and what you believe about what you do. So it can stand out, speak to your ideal client and truly express YOU!
One of the cool side effects of updating your message in this way is you will become more confident in and connected to your message! You’ll feel more of your own fire for your work when you say it or share it. Because your deeper calling and personal values will be infused into your message. And it will reveal more of who you are, what you believe, why you’re different and why that difference matters to your potential clients.
So, let’s go over the key ingredients you need to update your core marketing message in the New Year:
Who You Serve:
Who is your ideal client? Whom do you love working with? Who truly values and benefits from your services? If you don’t already have an ideal client profile, this is a great time to create one.
The Problems You Solve or Services You Provide
Your ideal clients need or want something. Bad. They’ve got problems, issues, desires complaints or even catastrophes they’re dealing with. Which of these problems, issues, desires, complaints or catastrophes do you help them with? And with what kind of services?
The Results/Outcomes/Transformation You Facilitate
What will people experience as a result of working with you? In both the short-term and long-term? What will they be able to have, do or be as a result of working with you?
What Makes You or Your Services Different
Do you get results faster than most? Is your approach unique? Do you incorporate some kind of tool or process that others don’t? Do you have experience most others don’t? There is something (if not many things) that are unique about what you offer. Communicate that in your message.
What You Believe About What You Do
What do you believe or feel fiercely about when it comes to your work, your clients, your niche or industry? What are you against, what are you for? What makes you angry or what makes you giddy with glee when it comes to your work or industry?
What You Stand For
Another way to state this could be… what do you want to be known for? Or, what are you willing to take a stand for? This may relate to your business directly but it doesn’t have to. You can be a marketer who takes a stand for animal rights and this is why you donate 10% of your profits to animal rights organizations.
Another way to get to your answer is to refer again to your falling-into-the-abyss message. What do you want to shout out to the world?
Why You Do What You Do
Why do you do what you do? Why do you offer what you offer? Is it because of some personal or professional experience you’ve had? Were you inspired from a very early age? How did you come to do what you do and why do you continue to do it?
It’s not imperative that you have all of these ingredients in your message except the first four. But by including a few of the other ingredients, you’ll give more power, influence, and moxie to your message. If you’re having trouble with anything on this list of ingredients, let me know and we’ll schedule some time to talk it through.
Here’s what I suggest.
Let yourself play with these ingredients. Write whatever comes to mind as you ponder each of these. You’re probably pretty clear on the first 3 ingredients but so what? Let yourself play with different ways of communicating these as well.
Then… share your updated, almost-ready-for-2017 core message in the comments below. Shout out your falling-into-the-abyss message as well! Tell the world who you are, what you do, why you rock and what you stand for!