How to Draft Your Marketing Mission Statement
When clients come to me they often arrive in a frenzied state, wiping sweat from their brows and pulling the tangled hair from their lips, dropping all their stuff on the table and blurting out, “I just need a web site!” You can insert “logo,” “business card,” “blog,” or virtually anything else into that statement. It’s almost always the same conversation. And my response goes like this: “Okay, but why?” We go back and forth a few times with my clients answering the first “why,” and me reiterating – “okay, but why?” I’ve had clients look at me like, “Come on you a**hole, just give me a freaking break already! What do you MEAN why?!?!!? Just make me a logo!!!” I seriously think some of my clients think I’m suffering from some stunted maturation problem where I’m stuck in that phase of child development when “but why” was a fun game we played for hours. But the “WHY” is the most important component in any aspect of your business—especially your marketing.
I’ve recently begun the practice of making my clients write down their marketing mission statements and email them to me. It reminds me of when my Mom sat beside me until my spelling homework was done. And it takes a lot to get anyone (myself included) to write down something so huge and abstract. But once you do it, it’s like walking around with that light bulb above your head just lit up all day long. You know in every tweet, every email, Facebook post, LinkedIn post, Pin, Circle, Plus or whatever, exactly WHY you’re reaching out to your audience and how you’re helping them. Our marketing mission formula is simple:
- Figure out WHO you’re talking to;
- Figure out WHAT they most need or want; and,
- Be clear about WHY your services matter.
Who Are You Talking To?
I always think of Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver when I think about audiences. He sure seemed awfully confused about whether or not he was talking to himself in that mirror. Don’t “DeNiro” your audience. Make it perfectly clear that you’re talking TO THEM. This is where a lot of my clients lose steam. They have great ideas, they get fired up, and they blast their very helpful ideas out into the universe through every channel available to them but have yet to answer this one question – WHO are we talking to? Chances are, if you don’t know who you’re addressing then you’re talking to yourself like DeNiro in that mirror. And after 20 tweets, 14 Facebook posts and a desperate attempt to get anyone to sign up for your email newsletter you’re very likely to conclude that marketing just doesn’t work, or worse yet – that your idea or services just plain stink. But that’s not true (unless it was this idea). Effective marketing demands that you know who your ideal client is. You need to know where they spend their time online. Are they new moms in chat forums? Are they retired armed forces vets reading newspapers? Are they corporate executives at national conferences? Do they read blogs online? Do they read in the mornings, at lunch, at night? Do they only check things out on their smartphones? You need to know these things. Because until you know WHO you’re speaking to, you won’t know WHERE to find them or HOW to talk to them about their needs.
What’s Going to Flip Their Switch?
I used the analogy earlier of “walking around with that light bulb above your head turned on.” That’s what you have to do for your audience. Every element of your marketing must be building to that electric moment when you guide your client to the switch and – FLICK – turn that light on for them. You flip that switch by answering: What does my client most need or want from me? What can I do for them that will make their world so much easier and start delivering results for them? What one service can I provide that will melt my client’s heart and have them clamoring at the door to come in and work with me?
WHY Is Your Service Valuable?
What is your client going to get from working with you? It’s ridiculously easy to miss the mark here. So forgive yourself if you’ve missed it before and then move on. You can spell out all the details of an amazing package of services you’ve pulled together – like a new logo or a facelift for their web site. But you’re still communicating the “WHAT.” And sadly, Joe Schmoe down the street can also create a logo and change some colors and fonts on a web site. What we’re talking about here is your VALUE. WHY should anyone want to work with YOU? Your answer should be structured like this: When you work with me, you get …
Whatever that “dot dot dot” is for you, is what really sets you apart. It’s the results your clients get. It’s the years of experience you’ve poured into making your business so successful. It’s your skills. It’s your efficiency. It’s your demeanor. It’s how you save your clients money by getting things right the first time. So make this stick, and say it in all of your marketing. Even when you think you’ve said it two thousand times too many – I challenge you to just say it a few thousand more. Because people forget. And people lump you in with your competitor unless you’re kicking and screaming and saying – “but I do THIS!!! And you need THIS! And that’s WHY working with me is going to make your life better!!!”
Yeah, you just thought you were reading a simple little blog post, didn’t you? Eh. Eh. When you work with ME you get accountability. Stop daydreaming about this stuff and put some pencil to paper on it (or fingerpads to keyboards if you must). Using the formula above, write out a few test statements and start practicing with them. How do they sound? If you were to start blogging tonight, would you feel connected to your WHO? Would you be targeting the WHAT of their biggest desires and needs? And would your VALUE be unmistakably clear?
And if you’re a suck-up like me, feel free to post your homework below in the comments section so we can learn about this together. If you’d rather flop about behind the scenes and try a few statements on me, shoot me an email or sign-up for a get acquainted call and let me know you’d like to talk about your marketing mission statement.