5 Ways To Great Marketing And Happy Paying Customers
You are always communicating. My university counseling/communication professors said it this way, “You are never NOT communicating!” You are communicating verbally and nonverbally. You are communicating well or poorly. But you are communicating! I believe as an entrepreneur, you are always sharing a message that communicates who you are and what you do and even why you do it! So, when it comes to growing your business or ministry it is important to master the message you intend to put forward about you and your offers.
In this post we will talk about
- The difference between sales and marketing
- Five stages of marketing
- Knowing your why and two exercises to help you find it.
- The importance of clarity in networking
- Using the same words your client uses
- Your hook
The Big Difference between Sales Vs Marketing & Why It Matters
Mastering your message is about marketing. Even the word marketing is enough to cause fear in some people. It seems a monstrous thing that makes us think used car salesman or multi-level marketing. Neither marketing, nor car sales, or multi-level marketing is something to fear, I promise!
Marketing includes everything you do to reach and persuade your potential clients, also known as customers or prospects or leads. Marketing includes what you do to add people to your email list, the efforts you put forth to add people as fans, your consistent interactions on social media, and more.
Sales includes everything you do to close the deal. Sales is usually what happens once they have become your fan. The sale leads them from being merely a prospect to becoming a true [and hopefully life-long] client.
I love arts and crafts so much that I refer to Michaels (a craft store) as the ‘crack store.’ I have never been in there without spending at least $40. Obviously, I am a fan of Michaels. I became a fan because of their marketing. Who can resist those 40% coupons you get almost every time you shop? Michaels promised to give me an even better coupon if I signed up for their newsletter and got their frequent shoppers card. Now, that is effective marketing!
Sales involves every single email they send about 70% off sales (that’s how I got my second Christmas tree and my giant easel). Sales involves every 50% off coupon I get on one regularly priced item.
Marketing and Your Message
Also, marketing is what converts someone from just being a fan to someone who purchases what you have to offer. Sales without marketing
For example, my husband and I pulled up at a car lot on a ‘special’ sales day. Before we put the car in park, three salesman were standing at the car. I refused to get out. Needless to say, we didn’t stay long. A bulk mail letter got us there, but more relationship needed to be built before the sale.
Another common example of this is the random facebook message you get from someone you haven’t talked to in years, “I know I haven’t seen or spoken to you in 13 years, but I have this great weight loss product you should try because you look fat in your pics on facebook!”
No, I have never gotten a message worded exactly like that, but that’s what it feels like! It’s the underlying message they are sending by trying to sell me before marketing to me.
Mastering your message is about authentic, natural marketing that will gain you fans, followers and hopefully, people who want to join your email list and hear about what you are selling.
Five Stages of Marketing That Build Customers Who Will Sing Your Praises
Marketing is not as scary as it might seem. It is about building relationship. And you build relationship through communication. These do not have to be lifelong in-depth relationships, they are transactional. You create relationship on some form or level with everyone you interact with. This includes the cashier at the grocery, the waitress you see every Sunday at the after church lunch spot, as well as your friends and family.
Mastering your message through marketing can be broken down into five stages according to Elayna Fernandez.
Using NACWE as an example, they are explained as:
- Contact – the exchange of communication between you and another person. This includes verbal and nonverbal communication. For you and NACWE, it might include an ad or a Facebook post you saw.
- Conversation – interactive communication between people. In the case of NACWE, this is an interaction in the Facebook group or exchange during a Community and Education webinar.
- Connection – a specific link between you and someone else. A common connection in NACWE is that we are all entrepreneurs. You can experience the beginning of this connection by posting on Marketplace Monday in the Facebook feed. It is a chance to connect with other entrepreneurs and the NACWE team.
- Community – a group that shares common values. NACWE is a community of christian women. We share christian values. One of NACWE’s core values is community. Community building happens often in our Facebook group and weekly prayer call. This also happens more intimately in the Making it Happen coaching group.
- Conversion – a lasting transformation. Conversion is ultimately what we want to happen as we build community. NACWE strives to provide value during each of these stages, but for us conversion happens when you sign up for our email list or when you join NACWE as an elite Member.
The key to mastering your message and using these five stages of marketing is realizing you can’t skip one. They build on one another. In a group like NACWE they happen fast because it is part of our purpose. The process may be a little slower in a face-to-face networking group.
Know Why You Do What You Do
It is often said that people don’t buy what you sell they buy why you sell it. Not only is knowing your why important for communication authentically to prospects and clients, it helps keep you motivated as your passions grows for your calling.
Finding your why is really important. The problem is that it is hard sometimes. Yes, we are all entrepreneurs that want to make money, but we want to make money for a certain reason. What is your reason?
If you are an entrepreneur who can only come up with “I want to make money” as your why, here are some example exercise questions for you.
- Why do you want to make money?
- What will happen when you make money?
- What do you want to save money for?
- How will saving money benefit you or your family?
- What do you want to buy for your kids or yourself?
- Why is it important to buy those things?
- How will it benefit you or your kids?
- What is important to you about impacting your family?
- How will making money impact the kingdom of God?
- What is important to you about impacting the kingdom of God?
After answering some or all of these questions you will have a clear picture of why you want to make money. It is never just about making money. When you assign value to why you are doing what you are doing, your message becomes clearer to you and anyone you talk to.
B.E.L.I.E.F.S Passion Assessment
Another exercise to help determine your why and master your message is the B.E.L.I.E.F.S Passion Assessment. The acrostic BELIEFS is taken from the book
Wellness: The Awareness of the Whole Individual – it was written to help you seek a full and comprehensive life for yourself and those that you serve.
The BELIEFS is an acrostic for the following domains or areas of your life:
- B is for body. This domain includes everything related to your physical body.
- E is for emotions – your optimal emotional health.
- L is for livelihood. This includes anything that makes you money. It includes your entrepreneurial efforts.
- I is for intellect – anything that stimulates thinking, reasoning and intellect is included in this domain.
- E is for environment. This includes where you live; not just your house, but your community & other places you spend time.
- F is for family and friends – optimal health with your family and friend relationships.
- S is for spirituality. This domain is for spiritual health.
Step One: My Life Would Be Ideal If…
To complete the passions assessment download the worksheet or on a piece of paper or a in a text document, create a section for each domain. Under each section complete the following sentence at least 5 times. My life would be ideal if…
Here is an example of three areas with three statements:
- B is for
body. My life would be ideal if…
- My back didn’t hurt
- I didn’t get migraines
- I was
- E is for emotions. My life would be ideal if I…
- Said no more often and more diplomatically
- Establish and keep better boundaries with my in-laws
- ommunicate my feelings honestly with respect
- E is for
environment. My life would be ideal if…
- My house
- I could settle the division of labor between me, my husband & my kids
- I had a home large enough to host people comfortably
- My house
Step Two: Recognizing Patterns In My Passions & Priorities
After you finish step one, you should have about 35 statements. If you have more in one area and less in another, it is just an indication of what is a priority to you right now.
Look at the complete statement for each section and analyze them with these six questions:
- Are there any patterns?
- Is anything repeated/overlapping in more than one domain?
- Can you see any goals standing out?
- How can repeated words or phrases tie into your core message and motivation?
- Do you see any motivation for why you do what you do?
- Reading through your statements, have you had an “ah-ha” moment and do you feel led to take a particular action right now?
Step Three: Determining My Top Five Passions & Priorities
Of the 35 statements there are likely 5-7 or so that really stand out to you. Write those statements separately. Can you see where your passions lie when you look at those statements? You have identified your why!
When I completed my B.E.L.I.E.F.S Passion Assessment, I saw some definite patterns, but I asked my husband to look and listen and tell me what patterns he noticed. He narrowed it down to 3 things. My passions are:
- Talking about Jesus
- Having people over – hospitality
He then went through every statement with me and pointed out each relates back to one of these three statements. He believes these are my top three or any combination of the three. It was eye opening!
If I take what I learned during the B.E.L.I.E.F.S Passion Assessment, the reason I do what I do is so I can write and talk about Jesus because He’s good and He’s healed me. That’s it. It’s simple.
Having Clarity in Your Message While Networking
Networking is a part of marketing. It is where you practices the six stages of marketing. You can’t effectively network if you don’t understand your message. We aren’t talking about your elevator pitch. We are talking about how you communicate your why, which is your core message. I am not going to walk up to someone and blurt out my why. But because talking about Jesus is my why, it will steer the way I approach, respond and react to people.
When you are clear on your core message, it helps you create connection with people. You can move through the stages of contact and conversation pretty quickly. Your core motivating message is the power that drives what you do. It is what you use to make connections.
When you are networking, in order to make real and authentic connections, you can’t make it about you. It needs to be about whomever you are talking. Talk to her so she knows you understand her problems and the pain they cause. Your talk can also be about her clients or customers.
Making a real connection that will result in community and conversion is about keeping the focus off you. Kricket Cody Harrison, in the NACWE Community & Education webinar training video below encourages you not to be boring by doing the same old thing, “My name is Sally Sue and I am a social media marketer.”
A more current version of that is, “I work with (type of client) who struggle with (problem). When they work with me, they (results) and (benefit).”
The issue with this is that you are talking all about you. You are not focused on who you are in conversation with. It also becomes very routine and people stop listening. In the webinar you will hear Kricket say, “Make your business about the person to whom you are talking. How can you help them or their clients? Be passionate about what you can do to help them.”
When you are networking you need to focus on connecting with the person in front of you by communicating your core message. Kricket Cody Harrison encourages you to reveal your core message by exploring the following questions:
- What do you stand for? What do you believe?
- What are you known for?
- Is it something you always say?
- Is it something you do?
- What would others say to describe you?
- What is your opinion on life? On your industry?
The answers to these questions set you apart from others when you talk to people. Don’t be lukewarm or hover in the middle of the road. It’s ok to have an opinion! It is part of who you are. It makes you unique. Sincere interaction is the fastest way to create connection and build community. Master your core message and express it with passion and confidence!
Speaking the Same Language As Your Clients
When I started my first website, years ago, I was fresh out of the community-based services world (I was a family therapist). All my copy was loaded with jargon and buzzwords that are common in the industry. And, this would be fine if my ideal client was my former co-workers or others who had similar jobs but, it wasn’t. Needless to say,I didn’t get very far with that first website. It was a good lesson to learn early on about mastering your message. You have to use the same words your ideal client would use. Otherwise, how can they find you or understand you?
In an article by Sabine Brandt, she offers three tips for mastering your message in a way that actually brings in paying clients. She instructs:
- “Stay away from big, fancy words. If your clients need to reach for a dictionary before they can understand what you are communicating, it’s time to re-write your content. Use simple and confident words such as: easy, fun, proven, simple, convenient, safe, quick, fast, effective, and other power words that sell.
- Imagine the self-talk of your prospects and customers. What are their real thoughts about their needs or circumstances? People just don’t walk around thinking (or saying) things like, “I would really like to transform my post-baby body through holistic nutrition and targeted exercise!” Instead, they think more along the lines of, “I hate how fat I look and feel since I had my baby.”
- Pay attention to the language people use in public forums. Even if you are just starting out in business and don’t have a huge following you can survey directly, you can benefit from reading others’ book reviews, blog comments, testimonials, Facebook comments, and other social media conversations to gain insight to how people talk about the problems they need solutions for.”
The goal is to use words that make your clients feel like you totally understand what they are experiencing. Simply using the words they will use conveys empathy and understanding. It also builds connection and, done right, it can create connected community. You want them to know you understand their problem. You also want to communicate your message in a way that is clear so they understand you can solve their problem.
Know Your Role in Your Client’s Story with this Narrative Framework
Part of knowing your audience is knowing who you are in the story and who they are. Donald Miller, author of Building a StoryBrand encourages business owners to get into the right part of their clients’ story.
He looks at business building from a classic story perspective. A hero must go on a quest but the hero encounters a problem. The hero needs a guide who gives them a plan to help along the quest. The guide’s plan calls them to action that either achieves success and/or avoids failure. He argues that this is the basic story set to every good story.
In this set up, who are you as the business owner – are you the hero or are you the guide? When you position yourself as the hero you set yourself up as being in competition with your client. Your customer wants to be the hero of their own story. No one wants to give up that role in life. (Personally, Jesus ought to be the only One I give up the hero position for!)
StoryBrand Framework Summary
The StoryBrand framework works on this classic story framework and includes these basic concepts:
- You are not the hero. The hero is your client or customer. Your brand/company/signature program is not the hero.
- The problem is threefold. It is external, internal and philosophical. Companies sell solutions to the external problem, but people buy solutions to the internal problem.
- You are the guide. It is your job to be the guide. A successful guide understands that the customer wants to be the hero and puts the customer in the position to become an accomplished hero.
- You offer a plan. The guide offers a plan the customer/hero can trust. You can do this through demonstration of experience and by outlining the steps it takes to get the plan.
- The hero must be challenged to act. You, as the guide, must call the hero to action. The customer has to be challenged to take action and it needs to be easy to do once they decide to take action.
- All heroes want to avoid pain. All heroes are trying to avoid failure loss and tragedy. Anything you do as the guide to help the hero avoid pain and loss builds trust in you and confidence in the hero.
- Tell the hero how the plan helped (or will help). Never assume the hero understands how your plan will help. You must tell the hero how your plan and you as the guide will change their life.
Use the concepts above to define how your business fits into this story. For extra coaching follow along with NACWE President, Karen Lindwall-Bourg in the video. She walks you through the seven principles with great examples.
Your Tagline As A Snapshot of Your Message
Every company has a tagline or
If you have completed the exercises listed here, you should have a certain level of mastery of your message. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t tweak it the more you write and develop your website and marketing plan. It also means that you have enough familiarity with your message to be a able to develop a tagline without much more effort.
Components of a Tagline
Understanding the components of a great tagline will help you with developing great blog post titles and even better email subject lines. Afterall, you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention, so it is important to become proficient at doing it. When writing your tagline, hookline, blog title or email subject consider these three points:
- Excite. Your hook line needs to add excitement for your reader. You want them wondering what comes next!
- Emote. Your hook line needs to invoke a positive emotion in your potential client. Keep it aspirational and upbeat. She will be the hero!
- Empower. Your hook line needs to empower the reader! She is the hero! Give them something to hold onto.
What You Learned About Mastering Your Message
- Mastering your message is essential for marketing, networking and speaking confidently about what you do.
- Knowing your “WHY” and identifying your passions are essential components of mastering your business message.
- You can’t market or network with clarity until you know and master your core message.
- Mastering your message successfully includes using the same language as your client and knowing where you fit in their story.
- Finally, having a catchy tagline is a great way to capture the attention of those searching for your message.