Steve Woodruff is the world's only "clarity therapist." He connects people with their purpose, with their message, and with other people in order to create new business opportunities. He writes at SteveWoodruff.com, and has written for us here at MarketingProfs, as well.
I invited Steve to Marketing Smarts to talk about clarity and how you can break through the noise to make a lasting impression on your target audience.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
To achieve clarity about your brand, find your sweet spot (15:25): "When I work with people, the first thing we want to do is identify the professional sweet spot. This is who you are as an individual or a company, this is what you're good at. Then, we want to move to the market sweet spot. What sector of the market are you in? What vertical? What horizontal? What size company.... What size company, what size project are you able to take on? What does the ideal client look like? What does the ideal offering that you can scale up and do best look like? All of that is defining the market sweet spot.... Once you know those things, you want to come up with a sweet summary...less than 10 words. A phrase. Something you can tell someone before the elevator door closes. Not a pitch for 30 stories up. And this is hard. It's really hard to condense the message of a person or a company into less than 10 words. That's some of the hardest work we do. Finally, some sweet analogy that bridges the understanding."
Use analogies to make your message clear and memorable (15:48): "We best understand it when we can hang it on an existing something else in our mind. So, one of my jobs is I match-make vendors, outsource vendors with my pharmaceutical training clients, and...what I do is I talk to my clients [and say] 'I will help you find the right vendor so you don't have to try and figure [which] out of these dozens and dozens and dozens of providers, who's best for you.' After about 18 months of trying to explain it, because it's a unique business model, I said 'I'm like the eHarmony of pharmaceutical training.' BOOM. Everybody got it immediately, and I'd been fumbling around trying to explain this unique business model I'd come up with, and I just needed was an analogy.... Every company should have a great analogy that can help people quickly get who they are and what they do."
Ditch the "elevator pitch" in favor of a "memory dart" (19:21): "A memory dart is typically the combination of the summary and the analogy. So, if you get on the elevator with someone and they say 'what do you do' and you say 'well I'm the Wonder Woman of Content Marketing...' The door hasn't even closed yet! It's a very, very quick way to stick in a memorable way, because this is all about memorable—in people's minds. They can't remember 16 bullet points, they can't remember a book that you might tell. They can't remember your entire work history.... People have about one pixel of space for us, and what we have to do is find a way to occupy that one pixel of space in their minds and get through all the noise. The way to do that is really short, really sweet, really sharp, and really memorable. It's coming up with a beautiful image that sums it up, that we can just toss right at somebody and within a few seconds, they've got it."
Steve and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
This episode brought to you by the MarketingProfs Professional Development Program.
Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Steve Woodruff, the world's only clarity therapist.