It was painful to watch. Teresa was someone I’ve gotten to know. I always enjoy chatting with her because she comes up with original, insightful comments to explain what she observes. Her blog posts shine with humor and wisdom.
So my heart sank as I watched Teresa’s video series. She went through the basics – choose a niche, don’t cast a wide net, find the pain point – without adding even a small twist that was unique. She has many stories that could showcase her uniqueness, but they’re buried under a mountain of me-too copy.
Even worse, Teresa wouldn’t stand out among the crowd of other marketing coaches. She wasn’t communicating a clear message of differentiation.
So why doesn’t she reach deeper into her repertoire? When I work with clients on one-to-one calls, we tend to find variations of these 3 beliefs. And behind every belief is a backstory.
Backstory #1: “I’ve recently pivoted to this business area. I’m still learning. So I should find out what other people are doing and follow them.”
All too often, we’re encouraged to find mentors. Even if we don’t pay mentors, we look up to successful people. They often share their origin stories and their journey stories — how they started, struggled and achieved success. And all too often, those stories are no longer relevant. What was original and exciting five years ago might be ho-hum today… and might not even be available to offer.
This guideline also holds for copywriting. The “old” copywriting style involved more hype and more sales. Today’s style calls for conversational copywriting.
Backstory #2: “I don’t like to promote myself. I’ve always felt uncomfortable writing about my strengths and skills.”
This backstory usually means, “I don’t have the copywriting tools to write about my services.” If you’re getting an overdose of messages that include words like “amazing” or “on steroids,” you’re not alone.
The truth is, your clients want you to brag! They want to be able to claim, “My coach [lawyer, dentist, accountant, financial planner, massage therapist, or even house cleaner] is the best.”
Most of us feel really good when we’re in a group where everyone’s complaining about their services, and we get to say, “Not me! I love mine!”
The secret is to use techniques — including but not limited to storytelling — to demonstrate what you can do. It’s about presenting facts, confidently and quietly.
I’ve written up some techniques in my guide, Build Your Standout Personal Brand: One Story At A Time
Backstory #3: “I’ve got such a strong online personality, I can’t help but be memorable.”
Your personality can become a big part of your brand. Do you present yourself as a down-to-earth person who’s easy to approach? Are you a “top-of-the-mountain” adviser who speaks confidently and makes it clear you’re the authority? Do you use a lot of home-y examples to illustrate your points? Or are you a just-the-facts, strictly business, number-loving resource?
Your personality makes it easier for certain audiences to “get” your message. Personality often answers the question, “Will I enjoy working with you? Will we make a good team?”
Your message — often conveyed via your brand story — answers to the question, “Can you solve my problem? What can you do for me that others can’t?”
After working with many clients over the years, I’ve come to two conclusions.
First, nobody can “give” you a message or business direction. You have to come up with that on your own.
And second, often you discover your message after it gets reflected back to you. When I work with clients one on one, we rarely begin with a goal of “message clarity.” Sometimes we don’t even address message directly, Yet clients consistently say, “I got much clearer on my message through this call.”
In the process of sharing your ideas, you begin to realize what you want to say. One client wrote, “As I was driving home from a meeting today, I was thinking about a question you’d asked during our call. A few hours later, I got a flash of insight — a new idea that will make a big difference in the way I present myself on the web.”
As you work with your own clients, interact with colleagues, make presentations and attend networking meetings, your message often evolves. You talk about yourself and get a response and start to appreciate how you’re perceived.
“How To 10X Your Visibility With The Most Important Content Creation Strategy Of 2018”