Marketing your business is multi-faceted and can be overwhelming to stay on top of. This 10 week program will walk you through different areas of marketing your business and help you focus on the areas that matter most: ones that create sales opportunities. This is geared for DIY marketing with tips on how to implement low cost strategies into your business.
Starts Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, 8 pm – 10 sessions
Program fee: $149 + GST
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What kind of language do you use to talk about your business? Do you know what is the difference between features and benefits in your communication?
What are features?
Many business owners try to promote their business by talking about features. Features describe the function of what a product or service does. For example, if you were selling a car, a feature approach is that it has 222 horsepower, all wheel drive, power steering and side impact beams. The thing about features is that they don’t connect the dots between what you do and what it does for your customer. And most potential customers don’t make the connection on their own.
What are benefits?
Benefits, on the other hand, speak about what is in it for the customer. Going back to the car analogy, it would be talking about feeling because your children are protected by the safety features or being confident driving in bad weather because of the differential steering.
Test your own marketing materials
I find myself falling into the pattern of talking about features or the “here is what I do” so I make a point of taking a step back and analyze the way I describe my business. Here is a quick exercise that will show you in a visual way whether you used feature based communication or benefits based communication.
Take a look at your website, brochures, business card and other marketing material either as you create them or when they are done. In fact, I encourage you to take one copy of each communication piece and 2 colored pens. Circle with one color all the times that you use features to talk about your business and then use the other color for when you use benefits language in your marketing communications.
Studies have shown that people tend to make decisions based on emotion (the connection with what’s in it for them – or benefits) and then justify their decisions with facts (the features).
I’d love to hear what you discover as you work on and review how you talk about your business in networking and marketing communications.
A couple years ago, I went to an Argentinian Tango workshop with my good friend Zanna. The instructor was direct from Argentina and had a wonderful sense of humor. He must have – because he picked me to help demonstrate some basics. I was a very beginning beginner and don’t know what I was thinking. I managed to make it through the basic and then it happened— he lead a move I didn’t know. He stopped and said, “The invitation was forward.” The group chuckled. Take 2 – he lead the same move and obviously I didn’t get it because he stopped and said again, “The invitation was forward.” I felt frustrated and foolish and said that I was confused. He told me to stop thinking and to close my eyes and feel the lead. He lead the move again and this time, my leg did a fancy little flick behind the other one. I’m still not quite sure how that happened but I remember that feeling of letting go and listening with my heart and body without overthinking.
This little story is fitting for my inaugural blog post because I have thought and thought about blogging. At first I decided that I wasn’t one of *them* who live their lives on everyone else’s monitors. That wouldn’t fitwith my value of decreasing the amount of noise in our environments and reducing drama. I thought that an electronic monthly brochure would be the best solution to provide value to my readers, credibility for my business and marketing of my services. I asked around and was discouraged by how many people said that they either do not open enewsletters or autofile them to the trash. I looked at blogging again (and actually registered with WordPress) but decided that blogging didn’t align with my coaching business – after all, how could I authentically build relationships online? The idea that I would have to constantly update something and really be accountable since the date of my posts would be, well, posted scared off the perfectionist in me for quite a while. The choices of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et.al. made my head spin a little.
So I did what any good coach would do and got some coaching around it. The outcome was a challenge to jump on Twitter and just post a Quote of the Day. I gingerly felt my way around Twitter for a while (you can see my attempts at twitter.com/divafish) until I felt a little more confident. I read a couple articles, talked with my networking group about their experiences and started to connect with a couple people that I met by tweeting. I revisited the idea of newsletter vs. blog and decided that I would give blogging a go.
I am sure that other people are wrestling with the same issue – trying to figure out what medium is best to reach your audience. It seems to me that it really is more of a cocktail – a little instant, a little french pressed and some long steeped for strength. Hmmm… sounds like some good topics for upcoming posts. What is most important is that I’ve called out what was stopping me (perfectionism and overwhelm) and gotten going.
The invitation is forward. Stop thinking so hard. Close your eyes and feel the lead.