Everyone has a story— every human and in fact, every business.
My story starts with the fact that as a kid I was always telling stories. I wrote “books” from the second pew of my dad’s church while he was preaching. I turned every group setting into a performance opportunity—Thanksgiving, my car seat, recess—didn’t matter.
I bring every experience I’ve ever had into who I am now as an adult. It informs how I approach the art that I create and how I help my clients.
You have a story too. Can you think back on the hints throughout your childhood that led you to where you are today? Maybe you were constantly tending to your “sick” dolls or hiring your brother to work at your “McDonalds.” The hints were there.
It’s important for us to know our stories as people and as freelancers, solopreneurs, and marketers.
Before you market a thing about your business, you’ve got to get crystal clear on the story of your company. Before you can strategize how to get the goods and/or services into the hands of the people who need and want them, you’ve got to get clear on how you will communicate the essence of your business’ story to the world.
My definition of brand strategy is a game plan that you put in place that clearly articulates what you do, who it’s for, what makes you stand out from the pack, and how you intend on reaching the people who need and want the stuff you sell.
When business owners hire me to help them craft their approach as they go to market, I start by asking them five questions. These all tell me a lot about your unique company. Get clear on the answers to these questions before you try to market your products.
- What is your unfair advantage? What’s your secret sauce? Why are you absolutely the best to do what you do? This needs to be articulated.
- Who are you trying to reach? Who is your target audience? Who has a pain point that you can eliminate?
- What are three words that describe your company culture? This should come through on your website design, in your copy, and on your social channels. Flesh out how you would describe the “personality” of your business.
- What solution are you providing to the world? You may not be able to encapsulate it as easily as Donald Trump’s “make America great again,” but try. Brainstorm until you can say it in a sentence.
- What is the heartbeat of your mission? What is your “why”? How are you changing the world? At the end of the day, aside from the money, why does your business exist?
The baseline of all marketing is storytelling. Get clear on your company’s story and figuring out how to market your products and services will be much easier.
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