Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about the way we write for social media and websites. For small businesses, this often translates to “how I can write about my business, products and services.”
Yet the tasks you perform, the products you sell and the services you provide are part of the story.
Today you’ll get a better understanding of what you do for your customers.
The small business default position
Any of us over 40 grew up with broadcast radio and linear television that’s full of terribly written but catchy advertising that was full of jingles and slogans.
In 15 or 30 seconds, we’d be assaulted with lists of features, dubious claims and outright lies that have trained us not to trust anything in advertising.
Despite all this, when DIY ad platforms like Google and Facebook arrived, small businesses just repeated the things they’d seen and heard in advertising in their formative years.
The result is a few tired old cliches that you may recognise in advertising today:
- Your one-stop shop for everything boating, fishing and camping!
- For all your home renovation needs!
- Townsville’s favourite place to meet!
- It’s our birthday, but you get the presents!
I’m sure one of those made you cringe just a little.
Yet slogans like these don’t come from a desire to make people cringe. They come from a lack of knowledge of what’s possible — and a lack of courage to be different from we grew up with.
After all, “Surely if a major retailer says it, I should say it too.”
Well, not really. It takes a lot of money to jam an unwanted message down a consumer’s throat.
What you do isn’t necessarily what you do.
Ask yourself, what do you do?
You may answer that you’re a plumber, a resin-earing maker, a sales trainer, or you run a café.
But these are more about what YOU do. It’s not what you do for your customers.
I’d like you to take one step back from the tasks you perform. We all know that:
- A plumber fixes pipes and drains.
- A resin earring maker designs and makes resin earrings.
- A sales trainer trains other salespeople to be better at sales.
- A café owner sells coffee and cakes.
But that’s still just a rundown of what tasks you perform.
Let’s step back outside of what you experience about what you.
We’re stepping into what your customers experience about what you do.
- A plumber makes the things that should work in our homes work properly again.
- A resin earring maker lets you make a fashion statement that won’t cost a fortune.
- A sales trainer builds confidence in those who want to be better at what they do.
- A café owner sells that “ahhhh” moment when you take your first sip of their single-origin batch brew.
When we’ve stepped back from what we are doing and considered what our customer experiences from their contact with us, our description of what we do changes completely.
And it gives us a beautiful insight into what our social media posts, ads, and website content should be talking about.
How to work out what you really do for your customers
You saw above how we can take a couple of steps back from your tasks to uncover a really nice description of what you do for your customers. But it doesn’t need to stop there.
Let’s take another step back to see what we can find that might be useful for our social posts and website stories.
Let’s suppose you are a lawn mowing and garden maintenance business.
We’ll break this into steps:
- You mow lawns and tidy gardens for busy homeowners
- You make outdoor spaces beautiful
- You help homeowners be proud of their yards
- You give homeowners more time to enjoy their outdoors
See how this proceeded.
We moved through four tasks:
- The obvious tasks
- The obvious outcome
- The feeling
- The abstract outcome
The obvious tasks are the things you do. The obvious outcome is the result of the tasks. The feeling is what the customer experiences because of the result. And the abstract outcome describes why the customer’s world is better as a result.
By taking these steps, you can take a business that you think is mundane and present it as three things:
- A solution to the big problem your customer has
- A provider that makes your customer feel good
- A way to make your customer’s world a better place
That’s all for this weekend. Just one short read about what your customer experiences when working with you so that you can make better content online.
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See you again next week.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here are a few ways I can help you out:
1. My new Free Personal Branding Mini Course is now available. It’s five lessons delivered via email over five weeks. Get it here.
2. A while back, I wrote about how the primal brain dominates our decision-making. This is big news for businesses that want to reach people more deeply. Read the guide here.
3. Want to talk about what’s possible for your social media or personal brand? Grab a free 15 minutes with me here.