5 years ago, right about this time, I was moving out of a large, 1880’s brick house where I’d lived for 5 years with a crazy rock ‘n roll man whom I loved dearly… a man who surprised me one night when he told me he’d fallen in love with 30-something, tattooed bisexual chick.
Needless to say, this move was a hard one for me. I was happy to be leaving the past behind and moving into my own adorable 1930’s house in uptown Kingston, but I was also drenched in grief, weakened by insecurity, and irritated with a whole lot of suppressed anger. I’d loved living in that old, drafty, high-ceilinged house with its large windows and historic charm. It had seen me through the best and the worst of the last 5 years. Now… it was all over.
One morning, as I woke up to endless unpacked boxes and a list of too many things to do, I remember thinking… “If someone walked up to me right now and said, ‘For $20,000, I will handle every detail of your move, from packing to cleaning to painting to supervising the movers and more, so you can let go, focus on your work, and simply walk into your new house with everything ready and waiting for you,’ I would jump on that deal.”
My level of pain and grief and stress were so great that I would gladly have paid a price I couldn’t afford to make it all go away.
Right now, your client is in pain as well. She’s struggling with something that has her tied in knots, stressing out, doubting herself, or going crazy. Right now, she’s begging for a solution, a way out. Something that will help her.
And when she finds it, she’ll pay (almost) anything to have it.
Your job is to let her know that 1) you understand her problem, pain or unmet need, and 2) you have the solution that promises to take away that problem, pain or need and give her what she craves.
One of the biggest boo-boos I see entrepreneurs make when they create new offers or freebies, or when they write copy, is they don’t clearly communicate their client’s problem, pain or unmet need. Nor do they communicate the promise of their offer or service in a way that makes it irresistible to their clients.
So, let’s work on this, shall we?
Because once you nail the Pain of your client and the Promise of your offer, and you can communicate it all with a bit of personal Pizzazz, you’ll have the lock and key to writing copy, tag lines, marketing messages, and more that will entice your perfect clients and inspire them to buy.
First… The Pain (or Unmet Need) of Your Ideal Client
What’s really bugging your client right now? What is she struggling with, worried about, upset about? What problem is sucking up all of her attention? What’s really messing with her peace of mind? Her quality of life? Her happiness?
For instance, if you’re a money coach, and your ideal client is a small business owner who tends to keep her head stuck in the sand when it comes to her finances, what is her pain? What is she stressed about?
Well, most likely, she’s super stressed and a bit dumbfounded because she’s working her tail off, bringing in customers and generating cash flow, yet at the end of the month, she can’t pay her bills. And she doesn’t know why.
She’s terrified that her business isn’t working, that it will never make enough profit, that she may have close up shop and get a job as a cocktail waitress at Red Lobster.
That is her pain.
But let’s say instead of having a service-based biz, you sell… organic soy candles. Your ideal client doesn’t necessarily have an urgent problem or pain. She isn’t up all night sweating over the fact she doesn’t have proper illumination in her house.
But she does have an unmet need or desire. Perhaps that desire is to create a beautiful, romantic atmosphere in her home without burning paraffin wax candles that stink of cheap patchouli. Or she needs the perfect hostess gift when she visits her mother-in-law next week.
She may not have a pain, but she has an unmet need.
Depending on your business, your ideal client is either struggling with something urgent, critical and essential to her success or well being, or she simply has a desire or need that, while not life-threatening, is still important to her in some way.
Either way, you need to be able to acknowledge and express your understanding of her problem, pain or unmet need any time you’re writing copy about your offer.
Note! I didn’t say you need to poke or agitate your client’s pain in your copy. You don’t need to pour gas on a smoldering fire of hurt, confusion, and doubt. But you do need to acknowledge her pain and let her know you understand what she’s going through.
I once had a mentor who said, “If you can describe your client’s pain or problem better than they can, if you can put words to what they feel but maybe can’t express, you don’t have to do anything else to win their trust or convince them of the value you offer. The fact you understand them so well is all they need to say yes.”
So, how can you get clear on what your client’s pain or problem is?
There are many ways. But my favorite? Just ask them.
Pick 5 of your favorite clients or past clients (or people you wish were your clients) and interview them. Email them and ask if you can have 7 minutes of their time to ask them a few questions.
Then, write out 5-7 questions to ask… questions that will give you the answers you need. Like..
- What are your most pressing problems or concerns right now? What are you struggling with the most in your biz/life/relationship/finances/health?
- What worries or fears are occupying your mind most of the time?
- If you could magically eliminate one problem, circumstance, challenge, conflict, situation from your life right now, what would it be?
- Can you give me examples of how your life would improve without that problem?
- What would you give anything to have or fix or eliminate right now? And why?
These are just some possible questions. You can create and ask the ones that are sure to help you identify what your ideal client wants and needs most right now.
Important! When you’re interviewing your clients, don’t sell them, coach them, or offer advice. Just listen… and ask more questions. Record the conversation so you capture the words and phrases they use to describe what they think and feel. Those are the words and phrases you want to use in your copy.
Bonus Hot Tip! Do an Energetic Interview!
Another way to get the answers to your questions is to hook up with your ideal client energetically. All you need to do is sit down, get quiet, go within, and imagine your bestest, most beloved client sitting right in front of you. Intentionally make a heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul connection with her, and just sit and be in that connection for a bit.
Then, ask your client your questions, and listen for the answers. You will hear them. She will answer you. Listen to the language she uses to describe what’s bugging her, what she desires, what it means to her.
I do this kind of intuitive interview with my ideal client each and every time I write copy, whether it’s a sales page or an email or a blog post. It’s so helpful!
Now that you’ve zeroed in on your client’s problem or pain, it’s time to get good and clear on the Promise of your product, service or offer. How to you transform your client’s situation, state of mind or capabilities? What kind of results can your client expect when they invest in your services?
This is what we’ll talk about later this week… the Promise.
Then, next week, I’ll show you how to make your Promise pop with pizzazz!
P.S. If you’re not sure whether you’ve nailed the Pain of your client… or you want to get a jump start on your Promise… or you’re still struggling to find the right words to communicate the power and value you provide in a compelling way… hit me up for a free 15-minute Copy & Confidence Clarity Call. I’ll help you get clear, get confident and get more clients with copy that connects, converts, and changes lives.