What Kind Would You Be?
Each morning I’m in Tucson I go on a purpose driven walk. I have to wake by 6 am if I am to achieve my purpose: to meet as many dogs as possible. My morning walk masquerades as an exercise routine. It is not.
If I jog rather than walk it is much more difficult to stop to meet each new four legged acquaintance. The purpose of each walk is actually two fold: to pet and meet by name as many dogs as possible before they retire indoors for the day.
It dawned on me during one of these walks that we not only identify the differences between breeds, we celebrate them. Each breed is easily branded with a different purpose. Breeds are branded in ways that are not always true, but they are truly branded!
The “bagel”, part Beagle and part Basset has a very different purpose than the Rottweiler. A Cocker Spaniel has a different purpose than the adopted Greyhound. We see a Guide Dog and immediately
identify its purpose.
Right or wrong we are clear in each breed’s purpose.
Often however, we are unclear about our own professional purpose.
If we don’t know or can’t articulate what it is we do, how can the marketplace value what we do? How can prospects and clients know our value to them if we don’t know our own purpose?
Eight questions to help you identify and communicate your purpose?
1. What type of value do you deliver?
How is someone better off after having used your product, service, or idea? Last year I had two clients who looked like opposites: one a 6’4 former NFL player, one a 5’2 graduate of Yale Law School. They shared the same challenge: why someone should choose them. The football player could not articulate why ESPN should hire him over other former players. The Yale graduate could not articulate why a constituent should vote for her for judge.
Why should someone select you?
2. How wide or narrow is your market geographically?
Have you made this decision? Do you want to work with remote
clients? How wide a market do you want or need? Do you want to
go deep in a small market or shallow in a deep market?
3. Who will be your ideal client?
If you could have all the A clients you wanted, who would they be? Some people prefer corporate, some prefer family owned. Some businesses are better suited for smaller companies, some for sole proprietors.
4. How will your ideal client find you or you find them?
There’s a great radio commercial about two people sitting seats away from each other at a basketball game. Each needs the other’s services, but they don’t know that each other exists. How would your ideal life changing client find you? Word of mouth marketing may work, but you will probably die first: literally or figuratively. So look at this question again, and be honest with that reflection in the mirror.
5. What technologies will you be utilizing?
What do you need to do business in this century? What do you need to learn? Will blogging help your business or hurt your time management? Is your website to add credibility or to sell product, services, or you?
6. How much of your week will be devoted to work and how much to marketing?
Whatever your position, your first weekly goal needs to be marketing, marketing, and marketing. You are not in the legal, medical, or real estate business. You are in the marketing business.
7. What will your brand be?
I recently stayed at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Their staff, from gardeners to health club personnel to valets, was incredibly well versed in delighting guests with their degree of service.
They are trained in the Four Seasons mindset: what makes a hotel different is not brick and mortar. The staff is what gives a hotel their competitive edge. That’s their brand.
8. What do you do poorly?
You need to look in the mirror and answer this question with honesty. Either learn what you need to know, or find people that can do those parts well. You need to know all you need to know: to either do it or evaluate the caliber of work of those you hire.
Can your mornings begin with this single specific purpose? Identify and communicate the value in your product, service, or idea to accelerate your career or your business.
And a kiss from any four legged friend is pretty good too.