By Dawn Shuler
Your message – your brand, if you will – is crucial to your business. This message encapsulates who you are, what you do, and who you do it for… along with housing your uniqueness. Everything follows from that core statement. This message is woven through your elevator speech, your website copy, the topics you speak on, your social media updates.
Here’s the thing: if you can’t speak concisely, powerfully, and clearly about who you are and what you do, people won’t know what you do!
Case in point: as I’ve been talking to more and more people about my evolving direction as a business coach and strategist, people who have known me for years go, “Oh, really? I thought you helped people write fiction books.” OR “Don’t you teach grammar and writing?”
Well, not really. (I did teach writing classes, but that was years ago. And I did have one coaching client whom I helped write her fantasy novel, but that was just one.)
I realized that people didn’t have a clear idea of what I do – because my message and brand weren’t clear.
We’re all evolving and growing all the time, and entrepreneurs especially seem to reinvent themselves or go in a slightly different direction frequently. They go through transitions, but they don’t update their message. And so other people have a stale image of what they do.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years, take yourself through this process and see if your message and brand need a little freshening up.
One warning before you get started: claim your uniqueness, your quirkiness, the particular way YOU do things… CLAIM it. FEEL it. KNOW it’s powerful. Now you can go off and do the exercises!
Exercise 1: Ask yourself, “What do you want to be known for?” Keep going deeper and find the soulful core of what you really want to be known for. Keep asking yourself, “Why is that important?”
Exercise 2: Describe what you do… what you REALLY do. What are the benefits that people get from working with you? What are your natural talents and gifts? (These are the things that seem to be easy and natural to you… but if you pay attention, you’ll hear statements like, “I have no idea how you can do that! I could never do that!”) What is the experience people get from working with you?
Exercise 3: What successes have you had over the past twelve months? Write down as many things in the past year you’re proud of… these could be business related or life related. This is about you and you show up with your amazingness in business and in life, so it’s all important.
Exercise 4: Fill out your areas of expertise. Now that you’ve had some time to reflect upon your successes, see if you can categorize those successes into 3-5 areas of expertise. For example, high level of organization, leadership, ability to intuitively convey an idea into words, etc.
Exercise 5: Put it all together into your Purposeful Work Statement:
I _________________________________ (solve, do, manage, handle, create, etc.)
for ____________________________________________ (who you do it for)
so that they ______________________________________ (what they will be able to do as a result of working with you)
Bonus Success Strategy Tip: Now, talk to people (meaning in person or on the phone, NOT email) and try out your new Purposeful Work Statement (this is your message in elevator speech form). How does it land? Does it resonate? Do people get excited when they hear about what you do? Keep tweaking until you get enthusiastic responses like, “Oh, I need you!” or “I have clients who could use you!”
Claim your message. Put into a concise, powerful form, and get it out there!