Today, Paul Zelizer, the founder of the Awarepreneurs Facebook Group, posted about a common perception that many independent professionals complain about:
“I do REALLY, REALLY deep work and therefore people don’t understand my work and that’s why my business isn’t thriving.”
But this isn’t just a concern for those who do “deep work,” it’s an issue for just about anyone who offers an intangible service, from coaching and consulting to various kinds of healing or spiritual work.
The truth is that none of these services are very easy to talk about conceptually in a way that is easy to understand.
Instead, your marketing communication needs to be about the things people relate to more easily – their personal struggles and stories of how these struggles were overcome.
Here are some points to consider about helping people understand the work you do, no matter how deep or esoteric it may be.
1. Is your work real?
That is, does it produce measurable changes in your clients? When you work with your clients are they able to resolve things better, become more resilient, more skilled, more confident? Can they face issues with less resistance and fear?
If so, that’s something you can communicate and is very easy for most to understand. “When people come to me they often have deep-seated emotional issues that tend to stop them in many areas of their lives. When people work with me they get beyond those issues and are happier and face life with more courage.”
2. Is your work valuable?
Do your clients really value what you do? Once I worked with a bodyworker who offered a modality designed to help me with my back pain. The thing is, it didn’t. And it’s sometimes hard to know if what you’re offering is really as valuable as you think it is.
You might ask clients to fill out a questionnaire after working with you. If you’re not getting great feedback on overall value, you need to consider what you should do differently. And if you get great feedback, then you can be more confident in your marketing.
3. Are you communicating?
If you are clear about the first two points above, then start communicating about them in a very simple way. Tell stories, give examples, and talk about outcomes through the following media:
Your blog and/or ezine. Don’t just explain your concepts and processes. Instead, tell stories of real-live clients who came to you with certain issues and challenges. Tell a little about how you helped them and what things are like for them now. This simple story format is powerful and it never gets old.
Client Interviews. Interviews are also powerful because you’re simply talking to your clients about what brought them to you, what they were struggling with, how you helped them and how things are different today. This kind of simple and honest communication has persuaded me sign up for very some expensive programs!
Webinars teleclasses or video conferences. Introduce your work, not by talking about why or how your services or programs work, but the difference they’ve made and the results they’ve produced. No hype is needed, just authentic stories. Explain clearly that your services are for people who have certain challenges, what they need to succeed with your work, and what they can expect if they work with you.
Social Media. Perhaps you worked with a client recently and had a big breakthrough or exceptional result of some kind. Then just tell that story, as above, on Facebook, LInkedIn, whatever. Readers don’t need to know much about your process or how you work – they just want to know you produced a great result and that you’re happy and excited about the difference you made.
The thing to remember in all of this is that marketing is not about YOU. Readers don’t need to understand you. They don’t even need to understand how your process works. But they do need to understand how your work has made a difference with your clients.
No more excuses about how people don’t understand you!
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