My friend Bob has a sign on the wall of his screen printing shop just to the right of the desk where he sits with customers to take their orders. It says: You can have it fast. You can have it cheap. You can have it be good. But you can’t have all three. For Bob, it’s a constant reminder that he can’t be all things to all people. For his customers, it’s a subtle reminder of what they should expect. In business, we have to choose our focus or we’ll exhaust ourselves trying to be all things to all people. What sets you apart? What do you value? Ultimately, you should choose based on a combination of your preferences and what you think is important to the customers you want to attract. What you want to end up with is a direction that is authentic and easier to follow because it fits you. There’s something else. They are conduits to connect with your readers. They help you generate all sorts of fabulous ideas for content. Sometimes you will be obvious and whomp your reader with your message about identifying your values – it’s a way to obliterate a major roadblock to writing great copy. When you have those values in mind, you have cleared a path to write copy that attracts and engages your audience. These values set the tone for everything you write: “No one beats our prices.” “You won’t find a higher quality.” “When you need it done fast and right.” More often, however, you will be subtler and find ways to weave your message throughout your copy creating a beacon that calls to your best customers. Let’s take a look at what that looks like in real life. Suppose you sell cars. Not just any cars, however. These are expensive, luxury cars. As you write about your business, you are going to focus on the aspects of these vehicles that are most important to your customers. Maybe it’s how quiet the engine runs or how shiny the metal detailing is. What you are not talking about is price and how cheap these cars are. “Give her the present that will keep giving all year long.”...Read More
It’s important in business to understand what your customer wants, but it’s even more important to understand why. What are the underlying needs, issues, concerns or problems that are driving people to seek out a particular product or service? Knowing the answers will help you create better content for your blog and social media.Read More
The sun finally came out on Sunday bringing a welcome warm breeze. I know because I glanced at it longingly from my desk in between furtive bursts of working to catch up on a year’s worth of bookkeeping. I would love to have been outside, but instead, I was at my desk going through my calendar and crunching numbers.
At some point in the afternoon, a little piece of advice I was once given floated into my brain: Systems will set you free.Read More
Would you call you? One of the best bits of wisdom I picked up in the early stages of my business is that people want to do business with people they know, like and trust. I have found this to be true and a little frustrating. Afterall, you can only meet so many people in a day. If you can’t meet them, how are they ever going to like and trust you? Fortunately, there is the internet, which gives us the capacity to meet people from all over the world with whom we could potentially do business.Read More
My 14-year-old daughter came home appalled the other day because a friend had declared she was not a feminist and not interested in the concept of fighting for women’s rights. My daughter couldn’t understand her friend’s indifference. Her ire wasn’t surprising – like her mother, this one is inclined toward strong opinions and voicing them.Read More
I was under the impression that the drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon was just about 2.5 hours. There were plenty of tour buses that would pick you up early in the morning from your hotel, bring you there and return you just in time for dinner, so a day trip seemed feasible.
I was in Vegas to organize a conference. It was three days of intensive activities following several weeks of intensive planning and preparation.Read More