Communicate The Right Identity
The most important thing we need to do when we’re communicating our expertise online as a business, particularly if we are an entrepreneur and we’re selling digital services or products, is to communicate the right identity.
We need to tell potential clients who we are in a way that they can understand what it is exactly that we do.
A lot of the time it is very unclear to people what some business' do.
I see lots of people posting on social media all the time and I don’t know what their business is.
It is like they are superheroes but they are still in their street clothes and are in disguise. They are not showing the superhero they actually are, they don’t communicate the right identity.
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All The Channels
The biggest mistake I see people make and it is the most foundational element when it comes to marketing yourself online, is that people are trying to be all the channels on the satellite tv network.
Say someone comes along and they like watching comedy, they are likely going to sign up for the comedy channel and they’ll want to watch comedy. Now imagine you are watching the comedy channel and all of a sudden it has football or baseball or something else on there, you will start saying this isn’t what I signed up for!
The problem is that people try to talk about too much stuff.
To avoid this, talk about your subject, become the expert on that subject for them, become their tv channel of choice on that subject and communicate your expertise.
The Man In The Street
Now imagine if a man in the street was going to walk up to you, what would he walk up to you for? What is he approaching you as?
Picture the perfect client, what is he coming to you for and what is he going to talk to you about. That is who you need to market to.
Focus On The Money
Often times businesses get confused because they don’t focus on the money.
What do I mean about that?
We often work with clients and they will come to us and say we offer all these services and we want to market all these things. They will say we have this product and that product, this target market and that target market, we want to create a website and we want to create a marketing campaign and we need to cover all these things…!
Then we will tell them to stop and ask them where is the money coming from?
Where are you making the most money?
Where are people most convinced you are the expert?
You see businesses need to follow the money.
Whenever you decide to market, pick your most profitable service, your most profitable product line, your most profitable range and market that.
Market the money.
Your Mission Statement
Once we’ve starting figuring out who is approaching us, who the man in the street is, i.e. who our perfect client is. And we start learning things like what he looks like, where he comes from, what his interests are, how old he is, how much he is willing to spend.
Then we can figure out what we should start communicating as our core expertise, we can start communicating our core Mission Statement.
A Mission Statement is a simple sentence or two that communicates what we do and it helps us focus on what we are doing.
It also helps our potential clients know we are the right fit for them.
Then we can take this Mission Statement and put it on our advertising material, on our website etc.
When you do that you are now communicating your core mission, how you are going to help them and what your mission is in their life.
What Are They Trying To Buy
The biggest mistake people make when creating a Mission Statement is to say “we sell widget X”.
For example we were giving marketing consultation to a client whose website stated they fitted artificial grass in gardens.
When we asked him what are people trying to buy?
He replied saying 'artificial grass.
We then advised him that that was not what they are trying to buy - what they are trying to buy is a low maintenance garden.
We then carried out an exercise with the client to research on Google the terms ‘artificial grass vs low maintenance gardening’. The searches for low maintenance gardening were much higher than for artificial grass.
Why was that?
The reason is because people are not buying artificial grass for the sake of buying artificial grass, they are buying it because it is low maintenance.
They may be elderly and can’t do the gardening anymore, or maybe they have children running around and are sick and tired of the grass getting worn down, or they are too busy to keep on top of the gardening.
These people that a want low maintenance solution to their gardening problems.
We then encouraged our client to market low maintenance gardening. Now he could also open up his services to the needs of wider audiences.
Instead of just selling artificial grass he could install waist high planters suitable for the elderly or for people with back and knee problems to enjoy planting flowers or vegetables. Knowing what people are trying to buy means he could start focusing on buyers’ needs.
So the Mission Statement would be ‘we provide low maintenance gardens’ instead of saying ‘we sell artificial grass’.
Communicate Your Identity
Once you have done all this, then you take that identity and you communicate that identity consistently over time.
All of your content whether it be a blog, a video, a post, a Google collection etc can be focused on you communicating your identity as the expert, as the guy who provides “low maintenance gardens”.
This is marketing 101, this is the very first step, communicate the right identity to your potential audience and solve the problem they are personally trying to solve...