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Is Your Marketing Message Holding You Back?
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By Charlie Cook

Your marketing message is like a key. If you've got the right one, it will help you unlock doors to new business and start the process of converting them to clients. If you've got one that is the wrong size or poorly crafted you'll be locked out in the cold, wondering why your business isn't growing faster.

Unfortunately too many independent professionals and small business owners market with messages that just don't work. They may be too long, too short, too common, too dull, or too self laudatory. The result is they don't open enough doors to new business.

Your marketing message, elevator speech, unique selling proposition, value positioning statement or whatever you call it needs to describe what you do and the problems you solve in one or two sentences. This may seem like a small part of your marketing effort, but in fact it is one of the most important elements and costs the least to fix.

If your marketing message helps prospects understand how you can help them, you are in business. If it doesn't then you'll never reach your revenue potential.

Too Long or Too Short
When asked what they do, most people either come up with a short label, or a long-winded description. You may tell people you are a lawyer, a therapist, in sales, a management consultant or a systems analyst. The problem with labels is that they don't really tell your prospects anything about what you do or how you can help them.

Regardless of your specific capabilities, when you use a label to describe yourself, people tend to assign a stereotype, based on opinions and assumptions. Say lawyer and people may shy away,
say banker and people think boring, say therapist and people think of shrinks, say management consultant and people have no clue what you do.

Your marketing message should help you distinguish yourself and your unique capabilities. Use a label and you'll be assigned to a category which may or may not be favorable to you, and won't help your prospects understand the value of your services.


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