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Being crystal clear about WHAT your business does and WHO you serve is a key factor in your ability to attract the interest and response of people who could do business with you.

Typically, that’s not common in businesses.  Consider how often you meet someone who tells you what they do and you’re still clueless about what they do and whether you (or someone you know) might benefit from their services.

A business is in one of 4 ‘Clarity Categories’ based on the mission and market it serves.

ZORBA — this firm is completely unclear about what it does and who might care.  When Zorba The Greek’s new boss asked, “What do you do, Zorba?”  Zorba replied, “Hey Boss Man I have 2 hands and 2 feet.  They do whatever they like.  Who am I to choose?”.  Unfortunately, a ‘Zorba’ business is a muddled business and suffers because of it. (Hope you don’t see yourself in this cataegory!)

MISSIONARY — this firm has ‘seen the light’ and is really clear about why it exists — it’s mission is well defined.  Problem is, the firm’s leaders haven’t identified the groups of people who would most likely understand, value and embrace the firm’s mission or ‘beneficial difference’.  A ‘Missionary’ business feels good about why it exists but without clarity on the market segments it can serve profitably, it hurts financially.

Tomorrow . . . we’ll touch on the remaining two:  the Mercenary and the Marketeer

KEY POINT:
Clarity in your MISSION and MARKET . . . is a beautiful thing

Peter Montoya is the author of a book called, The Brand Called YOU.  Peter’s a very insightful person who understands that, as a service provider, what people buy before anything else is . . . your brand.

Makes sense.  Afterall, it’s the first thing a prospective client learns about you — often even before they meet you in-person.

Prospects, clients and centers-of-influence use the brand called ‘YOU’ to help them identify you and your business from your competitors.  How?  By triggering an association of ideas, thoughts and feelings that your brand represents or suggests.  Your challenge is to ensure those associations reflect what you want and not . . . something else.

Your Personal Brand:

  • triggers . . . an association of thoughts and feelings people have about you
  • reflects . . . the cumulative effect of all the contacts people have with you over time
  • prepares . . . people about what to expect / not expect about working with you
  • occurs . . . by design or by accident and that . . . is always YOUR choice

KEY POINT:
Your brand . . . is a key factor in shaping expectations of key people for your business

I was recently reminded that my worldly wisdom reflects a certain amount of insight into the ‘basics’ of what makes marketing effective. In this online, Google + world it IS nice to remember some of what makes the world go around and business happen.

The Offer Matters!
One basic of direct marketing is that you simply MUST . . . include an offer — an invitation to take some action assuming, of course, that your message is sufficiently relevant and provoking to generate a response.  Ernest Nicastro, a renowned copywriter and direct-marketing expert suggests some thoughts worthy of your consideration:

Reducing Risk Increases Response
Any offer that is both valuable and ‘FREE!’ is better than one that isn’t.
Marketing is a Two-Step Process
Seek first to generate a response, then seek to generate a sale — especially in a B2B world.
An Offer to Make Money Works Better than an Offer to Save Money
Especially true if you’re marketing to businesses more than consumers
Limited-Time Offers . . . Work!
Given a choice, qualified people will prefer to respond than lose out
Make Your Offer Compelling
You have little time and one ‘shot’ — make both count

KEY POINT:
Effective marketing invites ACTion from your prospects

In the property & casualty insurance business being ‘competitive’ and the basis for that position is often built on having a good (euphemism for ‘low’) price — just think of the lizard who’s always touting that, “15 minutes could save you 15% or more”.

Lately, major players, like Progressive and State Farm are getting back to basics . . . and focusing on providing good SERVICE and ‘fair’ pricing . . . as this ad cleverly reveals:

In order to thrive, you want to focus on getting clients who appreciate you for something other than the lowest price. Service is a competitive position that comes at a price. If that price is fair to pay for the value received and affordable to provide, you have yourself a competitive position and a winning strategy.

KEY POINT:
Compete on your great service, not on a low price — that’s a sucker bet

 

WHY . . . would someone find you attractive?

Let me ask you a question. “What is the beneficial difference you create in the life of your client?” Unless and until you can articulate –– succinctly and effectively –– what you do for your clients . . . your marketing efforts will suffer from a lack of focus and purpose.

Your Mission is what you want to say to the question, “What do you do?”.  It’s NOT about ‘how’ you do what you do.  It’s always about ‘what’ you do for a client.  It’s ‘why’ they might care . . . to know you better.

A famous cosmetics mogul was asked, “You’re in the cosmetics business, right?”  She replied, “No.  I’m in the ‘helping-you-get-lucky-on-Saturday-night’ business” Now . . . THAT’S a great Mission!  See if you can develop something like that for your business or practice!

KEY POINT:
Learn WHY you matter to your Ideal Client; your marketing will be better for it.