Have you ever been explaining your business to someone, only to get a blank face stare and “huh…?”

There’s nothing more disappointing.

Or, maybe you’ve been talking to someone you could tell would be a great client and the magic starts to happen. What you’re saying is resonating with them and they light up as they see you as the solution to their problem.

Aww, yeah!

So, how is it that we can have such dramatically different responses, sometimes to the exact same language?

What’s more, what are the reactions you’re getting you don’t know about? The reactions toward the content you’re putting online.

Here’s a few tips I recommend to my clients based on the 4 Principles of Effective Marketing.

 

  1. Authenticity

“Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently. This builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust.” – Lance Secretan

Whether in person, or online, the key to telling your story is to be true to yourself. This idea of authenticity should permeate everything from the topics you choose to discuss, down to the tone and language you use to explain it.

Each time someone interacts with us in person, or online, they’re looking for a way to connect with who you are. This is especially true in business.

Most of us have heard the expression that people want to do business with people they “know, like and trust.” Today though, that can be hard to develop when often people’s first interactions with us are online. Each post, blog, e-mail or video is an impression of who you are to your audience. Thus, authenticity must be coupled with, principle number two, consistency!

  1. Consistency

“Relationships feed on credibility, honesty, and consistency.” Scott Borchetta

If each post, blog, e-mail or video or coffee meeting is an opportunity to leave an impression, it’s important to make sure your authentic self is showing up in each encounter.

What does this mean for your business?

People want to get to know who you are and what to expect from working with you. They’re interested in both what their results will be and what the experience will be like.

Showing up consistently means each interaction should convey the same “personality.”

Nothing shatters lead generation progress like presenting your business inconsistently.

One of the most common ways I see businesses make this mistake, is by being inconsistent in communicating who they serve best. Which is why principle number three is so important.

  1. Go for Gold

“People tend to settle for the fiver rather than going for the pot of gold.” -Ian Brown

When we think of “going for Gold” in an athletic setting, it makes sense. Stay focused and stay driven to achieve the best.

It’s no different in business.

But, how can we all make practical application of this idea?

One way is to focus on Gold Clients.

This requires taking an honest look at the kind of work you do best. What aspect of what you do makes you the most money? Who are the clients you serve that have the best results from working with you?

When you focus on communicating what you do best, and who you best serve, now you’re giving your audience what they need to see you as a solution to their problem.

But, how do you do that without seeming “salesy” or like you’re bragging? Principle number four.

  1. Value First

“You must look within for value, but must look beyond for perspective.” Denis Waitley

When it comes to building relationships, people want to feel like you “speak their language.” This applies online and in person.

So, how can you speak their language while still being authentic to you?

The key is communicating from a place of value.

Much like the quote explained, value comes from within. You know what you do best. You know what you’re worth. You understand that if a person comes to you with a certain problem, you are the perfect solution. Now, it’s time to add perspective.

No one likes being “told” anything but, most people like to learn. And, we know people like to buy!

So, communicate your value, from their perspective.

This naturally highlights you as the authentic, gold, solution while speaking in terms that they are likewise naturally attracted to and identify with.

Here are a couple ways you can do this:

i Ask Questions. You already know the problems you solve. So, ask questions about those problems or the circumstances that surround those problems.

When you do this the reader, or conversation partner, will have an “ah-ha” moment and either naturally identify themselves as having that problem, or possibly think of someone they know of that does.

Next, answer the question. Offer expert advice or showcase your product or services as a solution to that problem. They’ll be drawn in to learn more.

(Hint: That’s exactly the style this blog is written.)

ii Case Studies. We as humans love social proof. If you can show us that someone else did it, said it, bought it, believed it… we’re much more interested in it for ourselves.

Case Studies are carefully crafted stories about happy clients. Unlike a testimonial that typically goes something like:

“<Insert business name or person> is great! They really did a great job. I would really recommend them.”

While flattering, these sorts of testimonials do very little to help promote your business.

A case study, however, is made up of three parts designed to educate, attract and increase credibility.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Present the problem. Tell the story of what led the client to you. What were the circumstances? What was the problem?

Step 2: How did you solve the problem? Explain how your business was the perfect solution to that problem, and why.

Step 3: What were the client results? Paint the happily ever after experience your client had because they had you as their solution.

Communicating this way allows you to showcase your talents without seeming “salesy.” It also allows those you’re interacting with to identify clearly what you do, who you serve and the kind of results your clients have. These are specific components necessary in the process of building that “know, like and trust” we all hear about.

Never wonder if you’re saying the right thing again! Follow these four principles and the only “Say What?!?” will be about the increase in bank deposits!

You have the map. Follow the money.