Sunday 14, 2017
Written from a table in my garden—overlooking rice paddies and mountains in the Isaan region, Thailand.
First, I must take a moment to say happy Mother's Day.
It's somewhat a shame I'm in Thailand because I can't actually be with my mum to celebrate with her.
If you can see your mother, do so.
Now, I'll tell you something about my mum quickly before I get to my point...
So, she's the proud new owner of a hair salon in Annerley, and this is her life from sunrise to sunset—cutting hair and making people feel great about it.
She used to work there as an employee, so she's known the regulars for years now.
They all love her and the conversation comes as naturally as it is genuine.
In short, she does a brilliant job.
Ask anyone what she does and they'll say she's "their hairdresser"—a subtle distinction from "a hairdresser", but an important one nonetheless.
During their chats, the topic of kids invariably comes up—you know the ones:
"How old are your kids now?" ...
"What're they up to?" ...
"What do they do for work?" ...
And that last question is a funny one for me and my mum, because she says something different every time.
When I was studying, it was: "he's doing economics!"
When I'm working for a client in real estate, as I often do, it's: "he's in real estate!"
If I'm doing some consulting, well, you guessed it: "he's a consultant!"
In short, she finds it tough to understand exactly what it is I do.
Now, this brings me to my point:
My business is broad. It's generally hard to communicate too.
So, my mum breaks it into the simplest form that makes sense... which is brilliant, because one day mum will say, "he helps people sell stuff with marketing!"
And I'll know she understands what I do at the core of my work.
The thing is, you're in the exact same situation as me...
... and you don't realize it.
Your customers are like my mum, and your business is like me.
You know what you do, how it helps people, and all that good stuff, but your customers don't.
Not to the level you do, at least.
Your customers see you in the simplest possible form, like my mum does with my own work.
So, it's important to be clear on what you do and how you do it.
You do this yourself too.
Think of your friends and what they do for work.
You'll think of things like, 'accountant', 'electrician', 'teacher', 'nurse', and so on.
You do this instead of the specific job they might do.
So, if you can't distil what you do into one sentence, how do you expect your customers to?
If you have trouble doing this yourself, do you actually know what you're doing to help people?
It's the most important part of your marketing and it drives what you say in your campaigns.
It works not only at a business-level, but also at a service- or product-level too.
Have a think of what your customers would say and how they'd describe your work in a sentence.
As if they were talking to a friend, even.
If you're having trouble with clear messaging, I can help—all you need to do is ask.
Leave a comment below to let me know or click here to contact me.
The thing is, my mum has this down pat already...
She's 'their hairdresser'—‘she cuts hair and makes people feel great'.
What do you do?
(Enjoy Mother's Day!)
JC Steadman Marketing
P.S. My mum’s salon is named ‘Anna’s Salon’ at 65 Dudley Street, Annerley. Tell her I say, ‘Hi’, if you pop in—she’ll get a kick out of it!
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