A common problem that small businesses have when working on their marketing efforts is focusing on the wrong thing. Marketing is directly related to leads and sales and it’s easy for a small business to get distracted by the end results they’re trying to accomplish. You want more leads, so you need to market more, right?
It’s not really as simple as that. One of the reasons why many people struggle to come up with ideas for blog posts and social media posts is that they aren’t focused on their mission. They’re focused on all the other businessy things they have going on.
But if they would take the time to connect their marketing with their mission, everything would change.
Here’s a perfect example of mission-focused marketing
Think for a minute about non-profits. They’re great about knowing their mission. They have to be because it’s the sole reason they are operating. But this can be different when it comes to for-profit businesses, even ones that really care about what they do.
It’s easy to get distracted with the service or product that you’re selling. It’s easy to start thinking about focusing on your product instead of the purpose of your product. And it’s easy to focus on highlighting the benefits of your service instead of focusing on the benefit that your service provides for your clients.
And when that happens, it can be hard to know what to focus your marketing efforts on. This can lead to marketing messages that fall flat.
How your mission and purpose change your marketing
When your marketing communicates why you do what you do, it helps you connect with other people. This is true for any type of business. It’s that connection that puts you above the competition for your specific customer.
This is why many of my clients choose to work with me. It’s because I’m pretty open about sharing my passion for helping people. That’s why I choose to focus on working with helping professionals like therapists and coaches.
By creating digital content for therapy practices and coaches, I’m helping them grow their business. Their busines is helping people, which helps fulfill my mission too.
Honestly, they aren’t all choosing to work with me because I’m better than any other mental health copywriter or content strategist out there. The truth is there are thousands of talented writers and marketers to choose from. But, my clients and I connect over a shared mission and that’s why they choose me.
This is what your content can help you do with your clients.
How to share your mission in your website copy
I think the pandemic, while horrific, has opened the door for an amazing shift to happen in marketing. As so many businesses transitioned to working from home, we started to get a peek into the lives of those we do business with. It became normal to see a pet pop its head into the view of the camera. And it became normal to hear kids playing in the background of a business meeting.
It helped us see that our clients are people. And it helped our clients see that we’re people too.
It sounds so simple, but it’s so important. And now that the door has been opened, I think we need to make sure it doesn’t close again. So, update your website copy to match this new feel of doing business with individuals instead of formal companies.
I’ve found that most people in helping professions chose that line of work because of their own personal experience. It might be a young professional that struggled to get financial help and now wants to help others in that same situation. It might be a woman that grew up with an eating disorder and now wants to help other young girls overcome the same thing. Or it might be a man that grew up in a house full of trauma that now works to help others recover from similar experiences.
While you may want to avoid sharing all of the details of your story, it’s OK to share the heart that you have because of it. It’s OK to let people know that you know what they’re going through because you’ve been there before too. And not only is it OK, it’s important that you do.
How much more do people want to work with a life coach that has walked in their shoes? How much more does someone want to work with a financial coach that used to live in debt and paycheck-to-paycheck until they figured out exactly how to turn their situation around?
The professional side of you may be what qualifies you to help someone, but it’s the personal side of you that your client connects with.
Don’t miss out on helping your target audience because you’re so focused on trying to look “professional” that you forget to be “personal”.
Connecting your mission and marketing leads to an authentic marketing message
Marketing companies are throwing the word “authentic” around ALL THE TIME now. And there’s good reason for it. I believe the intention behind it is good. We’re all starting to see that as people, we have this deep desire for authenticity. We’re too exhausted from the past year and a half to play games right now.
We don’t want people trying to push their salesy gimmicks on us right now. We just want them to shoot us straight and be real and genuine.
The problem with this is any time something becomes trendy there are people who are ready to turn it into a gimmick. And that’s what’s happening with “authentic marketing” right now. There are marketing companies out there who want to put you in their box of a system to help you create “authentic messages” for your business.
Authenticity doesn’t come in a box.
If you’re working with a marketing company that wants to sell you on their solution before really learning about you and your company’s mission, then you’re working with the wrong company.
How to create authentic marketing messages
I don’t think there is one right way to create authentic marketing messages unless the advice is to “be yourself” in your messaging. But marketing isn’t all about you. It’s all about your client. So, here are some things I think are important to remember if you want authentic marketing:
Get in touch with your mission first
You have to start at the foundation of your business. If you don’t have the values and mission of your business clearly established, you won’t be able to create consistent authentic marketing. Your message will constantly change based on your thought, mood, or current trend.
Establishing your foundation helps direct your message. And it helps your target client have something to connect with. This needs to be Step #1 in your marketing efforts.
Be cautious when checking out the competition
It’s helpful to see what your competition is doing, but don’t look too closely. There message and mission shouldn’t be the exact same as yours. It may similar, but it shouldn’t be identical.
If you get caught up in comparing your therapy or coaching practice to the competition, your message isn’t going to be genuine to you. This makes it really hard to feel confident in your marketing because it doesn’t feel right.
Get really clear on who you want to work with
When you know who you want to work with, you can direct your mission and message towards the right person. This helps you to create marketing messages, blog posts, videos, and social media posts that feel authentic to your client too.
Remember that your business isn’t for everyone. If you’re a licensed psychologist, you may be able to help a lot of people with a lot of things, but it helps to narrow your focus a little. Who do you enjoy working with the most? Where is your area of passion?
When you get in touch with this, it helps you to be more clear in your marketing efforts.
Ask yourself why you’re saying the things you are
As you create messages for your website, blog posts, or social media, it’s important to understand why you’re saying the things you are.
If you find that you’re saying things just because it’s trendy—stop! If you’re saying things because you think it’s what people want to hear—stop! Or if you’re saying it because it’s what so-and-so said you need to be saying if you want to grow your business—stop!
If your messaging isn’t coming from your mission, values, and purpose, then it’s not authentic. Don’t say things just because you think it’s what you’re supposed to say. And don’t just say things because someone else told you that it’s what you should say.
If you want to connect with the people that you’ll really enjoy working with, say the things that are genuine and true to you.
Authentic marketing matches the experience you create in person
If your marketing doesn’t match the experience you provide clients in person, then it’s not authentic. Don’t fall into the trap of using bait-and-switch marketing practices.
Have you ever attended a “free webinar” because you really wanted to learn about the topic. But after ten minutes of sitting through the webinar, you figure out it’s really just a long sales pitch.
Don’t be that person.
Say the things that are true for you and your business. And follow through on what you say. If you’re not being genuine in what you say to bring people in, they’re going to figure it out and not want to work with you.
I believe a lot of businesses overlook the fact that their marketing is part of how they serve or don’t serve their clients. It’s where customer service starts. It’s where you create the expectations that your clients have for you and your business. If you’re saying things just because you think it’s what you’re supposed to say, then you’re setting your clients up for disappointment.
Where strategy meets intuition
I don’t want you to think that you shouldn’t follow marketing tactics. Purposeful strategy is important in your marketing efforts. Algorithms aren’t built on feelings, right? Although I’ve watched the Terminator and think we’re scarily close to having some crazy robots that can do more than we imagine!😲 But until we get there, it’s your job to balance strategy with intuition.
I believe that you can follow the best marketing strategy and feel awful about it. It might make sense on paper, but it just doesn’t feel right. And I think there is something to be said for that. If you’re not comfortable with your messaging, it’s not right.
And I know it’s important to step out of your comfort zone to grow your business but that’s not what I’m talking about. If you feel uncomfortable with your marketing messages, it means they aren’t aligned with who you are.
That’s why your marketing always needs to start with your vision. If you want help creating a plan that’s specific to your needs, mission, and audience, schedule a Content Strategy Consultation Call today.