There is a nuclear-strength secret weapon that 90% of self-employed professionals are missing out on as they try to build their businesses. It’s amazingly simple, amazingly powerful and amazingly overlooked!
It is called Situational Marketing, and it can revolutionize your business.
As professionals in service industries, we live, eat, and breathe ideas. We live flying in the stratosphere, soaring with angels, shooting with stars. We think in terms of big ideas and processes. When we talk about what we do, we love to describe how things work in our field and theoretical explanations of how to fix problems.
The trouble is that the vast majority of our potential clients don t live in the world of ideas. They live on the ground. They think about getting their kids to school. They worry about being laid off from work. They struggle with getting their own businesses to work better.
People have very short attention spans. Most people are aware of a very small number of acute, practical problems that are driving them crazy. They want solutions, they want them to be quick, and they want them now. They don t have the bandwidth for a lot of exposition.
Self-employed professionals like coaches who try to sell realizing your potential, getting where you want to go, or creating the life you want to live really have a problem. Most people might think those are nice ideas, but they have to think so hard to figure out what that means for them that they d rather go home and balance their checkbook. Even if they might be intrigued, they are thinking something like, It would be nice to work on that right after I deal with my employee turnover problem.
Other professionals who try to sell accurate accounting services or high-quality graphic design face a different but related problem. Those are commodities in the minds of their potential clients. Such language goes in one ear (or eye) and out the other. Ten minutes after finding out about you they have forgotten all about it.
It’s a well-known fact that people buy what they want rather than what they need. Your marketing needs to be about the client: the client s situation, the client s feelings, the client s problem, and – finally the solution you will provide for the client.
I was talking with a struggling self-employed woman the other day. She asked me what kind of coaching I do. I said, I work with business owners who are tired of having their marketing efforts fall flat. She said, Oh my God, that s me! I asked her, Do people s eyes glaze over when you tell them what you do? She said, Yes! They do! I need you!
She was excited when she heard my marketing statement! She instantly heard herself in the description. It indicated to her that I know her situation and probably have the perfect solution. This is what situational marketing does for you.
Good situational marketing has several important qualities. It is:
- Clear and specific the listener hears themselves exactly in the message
- Emotional it elicits a response in the gut or the heart
- Communicated in the words your clients actually use themselves
- Easy to remember
- Unusual in a way that really makes it stand out.
Start with a careful examination of your unique talents and strengths. Then examine the situations your ideal clients face and listen to the words they use to describe them. Ask yourself what they say to themselves as they re driving to the office or brushing their teeth at night. When you find a match between the work you are passionate about doing and a problem your clients are aware that they have, you have struck gold. You know what to say, and you know what products and services you need to develop in order to help them. You know you can help them because their problem is really rooted in an area of personal growth in which you are an expert. And your ideal clients actually become excited to talk to you!
Here are some more examples of situational marketing:
- People who secretly wish they’d get laid off so they can go do what they REALLY want to do
- Single working moms sharing custody with a jerk
- Contractors who are tired of worrying where their next job is coming from
- Business owners who wish their employees would stop bickering and do their jobs
- Full time moms whose children are growing up and who wonder, Now what do I do?