Many people put off marketing their companies because they don’t feel authentic when they are in “sales mode, " or they believe that marketing is inherently untruthful. Without marketing, their companies fail to realize the full success that is possible, and potential clients go unserved.
How would you feel about doing marketing for your business if it felt completely authentic and truthful? Would you be able to overcome any childhood instructions not to “blow your own horn" or boast if the words seemed natural, honest and comfortable?
I’ve found that when my clients discover what I call their “True Voice, " many of their objections to marketing melt away. That’s because using your True Voice to market your firm feels natural, sounds authentic and just seems to flow. The True Voice of your business is in the words that seem to show up again and again in the way you describe your company, the way others introduce you and your company and the way clients express their appreciation for what your company did for them. Many companies never recognize or harness their True Voice, so their marketing materials sound contrived, generic or insincere.
Here are five tips to find and use the True Voice of your business:
Listen to yourself. The next time someone asks you to describe what you do or to tell them about your company, listen to yourself as you talk. If you have developed an “elevator speech, " write it down and take a good look. What verbs are you using? What adjectives? What nouns? Make a list—you’ll come back to it as you work through the tips.
Listen to your clients. Take some of your best clients to lunch and ask them to tell you what it is they like about your company. Explain that you are rethinking your marketing and want to make sure you are on target. Or, pull out the comment cards and emails sent by happy customers and look at the words they use. Once again, jot down the nouns, verbs, adjectives and phrases that show up. Do some appear more than once? Underline the words and phrases that are used frequently.
Listen to your employees. Ask your best employees what they like most about what they do. Ask them to tell you about how they help customers. Ask them to describe the business and its products—and the solutions you provide. What problem or need do they think they are solving? Add the key words and phrases to your list.
Listen to your friends. If you are introduced at a business function by one of your colleagues, what words do they use to describe your business and your service? What problem to they say you solve? Read over your own marketing materials. Do the same solutions or phrases pop up frequently? Write them down.
You now have a list of key words and phrases that seem to naturally describe what you do, who you serve and what benefit you provide. Think about the words as you read them. Often when clients work through this exercise, they discover that they are solving much more important problems for their customers than they first thought. They also discover powerful words that show their uniqueness and capture their full benefit. To use your True Voice, take the most powerful words from your list and look for ways to use those words and phrases intentionally throughout your spoken and written communications.
When you use these True Voice words and phrases, you will feel honest and comfortable, because the words spring from who you really are and from the mission of your company. You’ll find that the words make it easy to differentiate your services, because they come from your strengths and from the tangible benefits you have provided to your customers.
Intentionally using the True Voice of your business will make your marketing materials unique, compelling and natural, and you’ll feel more comfortable and confident speaking on your own behalf.
Gail Z. Martin owns DreamSpinner Communications and helps companies in the U. S. and Canada tell the Real Story of their business through exceptional writing and marketing. Gail has an MBA in marketing and over 20 years of corporate and non-profit experience at senior executive levels. She is also the author of The Summoner, a fantasy adventure novel.
Sign up for a FREE email mini course, FREE marketing conference call and FREE teleseminars at http://www.DreamSpinnerCommunications.com Find out more about Gail’s books at http://www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com Contact Gail at gail at dreamspinnercommunications dot com to start telling the Real Story of your business.