Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How to Create Your Supporting Messages

The best possible response from someone who has just heard your key marketing message is another question. This is because it means that your message gave them just enough to engage them in the idea but still left enough room for conversation and interest. To prepare for this wonderful event, you should have supporting messages ready to answer the most common questions ... known in journalism as the W's: who, what, when, where, why and how.

Who: Think about who you like to work with; who likes to work with you; and who you are actually working with (and getting paid by) right now. Use all of this information to make the critical decision of describing who you work with. There is a fine line that you need to walk between setting your intention of who you want to work with and who wants to work with you (and can actually pay for your services).

What: What products and services do you provide? List them simply and succinctly and describe the benefits of each. For example, if you are a plumber, you don't just fix leaks (the feature), you prevent expensive water damage and bring peace of mind to homeowners (the benefits).

Why: Consider exactly why you do the work you do. Perhaps it is as simple as you like helping people and thus became a chiropractor. What is important here is that you mention both your natural inclination or interest in your field and also some kind of credential or supporting evidence that explains not just why you do it, but why you are qualified to do it. Combine both of these into a simple statement, and you will be well on your way to success.

When: Think about when your customers want or need you most. This relates to their "pain." For example, a vet is needed in both emergencies and for annual check-ups. By having a message to support when your customers need you, they get a clearer idea of how you can help them.

Where: This should be your simplest answer - it could be "in my office," "at your home," or "on the phone." There are lots of options, but the main point here is to tell people where you work.

How: Specifically how do you work with customers? Do you sell them a product that will solve the problem? Do you provide them with DIY information so that they can solve it themselves? Do you ask the right questions so that they find the answer themselves? Some combination of the above applies to most businesses.

You probably already have answers to these questions, but I encourage you to write them down so that you can see in black and white exactly what you are selling. Remember to focus on benefits and pain rather than features.

Good luck!

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