The Key to Make Your Marketing Message Stand Out

Do you have a difficult time articulating what it is that you do?

Have you noticed other people’s eyes glaze over when you respond to the question, “What do you do”?

Whether you’re delivering your elevator pitch at a networking event, introducing yourself at a business reception, answering the question at a cocktail party, or promoting your services in print (online or offline), stick to the outcomes you deliver and spare the details on how you get there.

I recall being introduced to a “business consultant” at one networking event, and he looked surprised when I asked what he did. It was as if every person should know exactly what a consultant does but in reality, there are many possibilities in the realm of consulting.

He went on to explain the tedious details of his work, and yes, I felt my eyes glaze over but made an effort to concentrate on where he was going with his long-winded explanation. By the end of it, I still had no idea about the benefits his clients got from working with him or whom I could potentially refer to him.

As a copywriter, I write persuasive content that influences my client’s market to take action and buy from them. My clients don’t want to hear about the research I do into their competitor’s deliverables (and more) or how I find the keywords needed to ensure their prospects will find them.

And they don’t care about the numerous drafts and re-writes I do or how I print off my work, edit with a red pen, transfer those changes, and edit again – at least not initially (and a lot of that they don’t care about at all). They want to know that I can help them get more paying customers!

Every entrepreneur and sales professional has their special “magic” (your process) they use to get to the solutions or answers their clients are seeking. But keep that magic a secret for now – it’s all yours. Instead, focus on these 3 areas:

1. Understand your target audience and what matters to them the most (in other words, what is their big problem).

2. Share the outcomes they get after working with you (the solution to that problem and how they’ll feel after they’ve experienced your offerings).

3. Why you – what value do you bring to the table that makes you stand apart from other providers? You can read more about this here: https://bit.ly/2suBgEP.

A wellness provider, for example, may offer a multitude of therapies, but instead of rhyming off that long list, which can be overwhelming and confusing, share the outcome of how your customers will feel after they’ve experienced your services.

Remember, your customers want to get from point A to point B. They’re looking for answers or solutions. In your initial meeting or your marketing messages, please don’t share the twists, turns, and obstacles (your process) it takes to get there. Just let them know what they’ll get when they choose you to help them.

Fighting Truthiness and Hype in Marketing

Truthiness is the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals, without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.

Truthiness can range from ignorant assertions of falsehoods to deliberate duplicity or propaganda intended to sway opinions. – Wikipedia

We know that truthiness is rampant in politics. 6000 kilometres of coastline of sailing through the Adriatic sea, Croatia becomes one of the most famous sailing destinations of the world. Catamaran Croatia adds to your experience of sailing.

But it’s also rampant in marketing.

Many of us think that marketing is mostly truthiness, not real truth in any way, shape or form.

We expect hype and exaggeration, if not downright deception, when it comes to promoting products and services.

Because of this, many of us become almost immune to the majority of marketing messages.

We assume that whatever someone says about their business, product, or service must be a form of truthiness, a veiled lie that hides the real facts.

So, as an independent professional wanting to attract more clients, you are faced with a real dilemma.

You are puzzled about how you can persuasively communicate the value of your professional services given that most prospective clients will doubt almost everything you say.

Because of this, I’ve noticed that many independent professionals shy away from marketing completely.

While others chose to go to the truthiness dark side, hoping an excess of hype will carry the day.

A recent email promotion I received contained a number of over-the-top marketing promises about an online marketing program:

“You will witness a revolutionary new technology being released that will allow you as a small business owner (regardless of skill level or experience level) to… generate as many new clients as you can possibly handle.”

Would you believe that? No, it’s truthiness and hype incarnate!

And anyone who does believe it is likely a naïve, gullible person looking for miracles with little work on their part.

So how can you eschew truthiness and still market your professional services effectively?

That, as they say, is the million-dollar question!

Well, the opposite of truthiness is honesty.

And yes, it is possible to communicate the value of your services truthfully, honestly, and with integrity.

But to do that you need to watch out for certain things that can become a slippery slope in your marketing.

Truthiness Insight #1

You must realize that what you feel about something is not the same as facts about something.

“I feel that my consulting services dramatically increase my clients’ productivity.”

OK, that’s nice, but by what objective measure are you determining the actual effectiveness of your professional services?

How about doing some measuring instead, such as before and after metrics?

When you have actual proof of what happens before and after, your credibility increases, as does your own confidence in your services.

The best marketing outlines real benefits and advantages based on facts, not hope.

Truthiness Insight #2

It’s not unusual to see client testimonials about how great it was to work with someone.

That’s nice and it’s certainly positive, but it’s not as powerful as reports of real changes.

“I lost 20 pounds in four months working with Ralph on both my diet and exercise program. He really supported me during the challenging times and helped me develop positive new habits that have stuck with me for the past year.”

This certainly trumps something like: “Ralph is a wonderful health coach who I trust with my life. You should definitely consider working with him.”

We often hear about the importance of getting testimonials. However, better to focus on getting solid results for your clients and then getting the testimonials will be easy.

Truthiness Insight #3

When you always speak in superlatives about your services, you again undermine your credibility.

Remember, people are skeptical and understandably so. So many promises made by marketers end in disappointment.

Better to actually talk about some of the drawbacks of your services than paint a completely unrealistic picture of “success without effort.”

I make it a point of telling all my prospective clients that if they engage me it will take a lot of work on their part to get out there and attract new clients.

They appreciate that I’m realistic and don’t sugarcoat things.

But believe me, in the past I’ve been less than realistic and it hasn’t turned out well for me!

We need to turn off the hype and get real. When we do, we tend to build more trust and confidence with our clients.

Truthiness Insight #4

We live in a sound-bite world.

Sound bites are important, as they are effective at getting attention and interest for our services.

But is there depth beyond the sound-bite? If not, you’re going to come across as shallow and insubstantial.

I once attended a public speaking course that stated: “You should know 30 times more than what you say in your presentation.”

That’s what real professionalism is about: deep knowledge, understanding, and experience in your field.

As they say, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

This is the motto of the truthiness practitioner and ultimately won’t bode well for your long-term success.

Truthiness Insight #5

One of the hallmarks of truthiness and hype is ever-changing marketing messages.

You think, “Heck, if one message isn’t working, I’ll try another until something sticks.” But you pay little attention to the validity and authenticity of the message.

A message that is clever, catchy, or over-the-top may get attention, but undermine your professional image.

Your message needs to be interesting and believable.

It should make people think, not insult their intelligence.

Take some serious time to work on your marketing messages. Run them past your current clients and get their reaction.

Others will notice truthiness and hype before you do.

But you’ll know you’re on track if they say, “yes, that really hits the nail on the head; that’s the reason I decided to work with you.”

Start banishing truthiness and hype from your marketing.

Not only will you build trust with your clients, you’ll start to attract more of the right clients, clients who are looking for a professional who walks their talk.

Nine Ways to Make Your Business Visible

Imagine that you woke up one morning and discovered you were completely invisible. 

And nobody could hear you either. If you sent an email, nobody would even see it.

Not such a great circumstance if you wanted to attract clients to your business!

But as absurd as this situation might seem, it’s pretty close to reality for many independent professionals. They are rarely seen or noticed by their prospective clients.

If your business is not growing and you need to attract more clients, the very first thing you need to do is gain more visibility.

In business, the efforts to become visible followed this progression: networking – speaking – keep-in-touch marketing – publishing.

I joined my local Chamber of Commerce, professional groups, and networking clubs and I started to meet a lot of new people, many prospective clients.

Then I contacted organizations and started to give talks on marketing for professionals. I met even more people and added them to my mailing list.

I then mailed a newsletter every other month to those on this list, and I sent postcard mailings inviting people to various introductory marketing events.

In 1997, I transitioned to an email list that reached 50,000 people at its peak. These people received this eZine once a week and I also promoted various

products and services to those on the list. Twenty years later the eZine still goes out weekly.

Finally, I published my InfoGuru Marketing Manual that developed more credibility and led to more clients and participants in my marketing groups.

I may be a lot of things, but one is not being invisible!

The hard truth you have to face is that very few people wake up in the morning with your name on their lips. You cannot remain relatively invisible and expect your business to grow magically.

You need to remedy this with a “Visibility Plan.” Here are nine ways to do it:

1. Start slow, with patience. You can’t get in front of 50,000 people overnight. Get clear on who your ideal clients are and where you can connect with them.

2. Focus on as many in-person meetings as possible through professional organizations. Really get to know people and their needs.

3. Reach out to make connections with those you’ve met who could be possible clients or refer you to clients. Real connections are more powerful than virtual connections.

4. With permission, add people to your e-list and send some valuable information at least monthly. This kind of keep-in-touch marketing is essential to stay visible.

5. Set up your website to get opt-ins in return for a report or article. Make it a practice to give away lots of value and demonstrate your expertise.

6. Establish a presence on social media such as Facebook and Linked In. But don’t make this your primary visibility method, as it can be hard to stand out in this crowded arena.

7. Submit articles to online publications that your ideal clients visit and read. This is a great way to build credibility to a very targeted audience.

8. Seek out opportunities to give presentations – everything from speaking at professional groups to giving a TED talk. Nothing is more powerful than highlighting your expertise on stage.

9. Publish a book or e-book that establishes your expertise. A book is a powerful door-opener that provides a platform for the services and programs you offer.

I’ve done all of these things to one degree or another and I’ve also helped my clients do them as well, with great success.

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