Let’s start this blog post with something profound.
Something that will be the foundation of everything else you do with your marketing and copywriting.
Let’s start with the most important question in the universe.
I don’t mean, why start with that. I mean that the most important question of all is “WHY?”
That’s not just true in your marketing, by the way. It’s also the reason we understand so much about our universe. If people hadn’t asked ‘why?’, we wouldn’t have the Hubble Space Telescope, or antibiotics, or clean water.
Let me ask you a question.
Why do you do what you do? What drives you to run this business of yours?
This is really important. So important, that understanding it will make the difference between ticking along and real success.
If you’re not quite sure why, may I respectfully suggest that you spend some time thinking about it?
And if your answer is: “To make money/become rich/buy an island”, you’re looking at things all wrong and I suspect we’re not going to be a match made in heaven.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not some frickin’ hippy who thinks capitalism is a terrible thing and success is a dirty word. I’m not. I want the freedom to live the lifestyle I choose, a big house in the country, to be able to travel wherever I want and not to worry about money any more, just like you.
All that stuff – the money – is the silent reward for a job well done. So my mentor Peter Thomson says, and he’s dead right.
There’s nothing wrong with being rightfully rewarded for your skills, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise (some probably will, too).
But that’s not why I do what I do.
I do what I do because I want to help small business owners like you achieve your dreams, in a world where it’s bloody difficult to succeed. I want to show you that you don’t need megabucks and a massive team of marketers and ‘experts’ to grow your business and make it a success, whatever that success looks like to you.
I want to show you that – yes – it takes hard work and relentless focus, but the payoff is totally worth it. You’ll be putting your energy and resources where they’ll do the most good. You’ll be getting your product or service in front of people who really need and want it, and you’ll be helping them.
And, of course, I do what I do because I really love doing it. I love the art of persuasion, the psychology of influence. I believe that words are incredibly powerful: they can help or hurt, obfuscate or enlighten. They are the keys to understanding our world. They can change our world.
It’s a little circle of help and love. (Okay, maybe I’m a bit of a frickin’ hippy.)
Simon Sinek, author and leadership expert, believes that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. He’s right, really. I mean, think about it: we surround ourselves with people who are like us (or whom we want to be like). Similarly, we tend to do business with people who believe what we believe. People we like.
Apple is a great example. I mean, they’re certainly not the only people who make computers, tablets, smartphones and MP3 players, but they’re the best known and the best loved. Apple doesn’t make boxes for people to get jobs done. Apple believes people with passion can change the world for the better, and that shines through (or it did when Steve Jobs was at the helm). Think different.
The Wright Brothers are another great example. They succeeded where somebody much better placed to take flight first failed.
You’ve heard of the Wright Brothers, of course. But have you heard of Samuel Pierpont-Langley? Most people haven’t.
Samuel Pierpont-Langley was an astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and pioneer of aviation. He had $50,000 in funding from the US government to achieve powered flight (a staggering amount back then). The market conditions were perfect for him to achieve his goal. He had a team of the best people around. But he failed to win the race into the skies.
The Wright Brothers, on the other hand, had next to no funding. They had an enthusiastic but less qualified team. They had no backing or interest from the media. And yet they were the first to achieve powered flight.
So what was the difference?
Samuel Pierpont-Langley wanted to be the first. He wanted the fame and the glory. He wanted the cash.
The Wright Brothers, though… they had belief. They believed that if mankind could fly, it would change the world. Their team believed in that too.
That’s what made the difference. Their reason why.
So, why do you do what you do? Knowing this will help you market your business as well as you possibly can. And you might learn something about yourself, too. Maybe if you’re stuck you should take a look at my book Business For Superheroes, if you haven’t already ordered it.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.