One of the biggest issues creative freelancers or entrepreneurs face is that our services are often confusing. Way too confusing.
Think about it: when you buy a sandwich, you know what you get. It’s meat (hopefully tasty meat) between two buns with some other stuff added in.
But what about when you hire a designer? Or an illustrator? Or a branding agency? Or an animator?
Creative goods and services can be confusing…but they shouldn’t be.
As storytelling and marketing guru Donald Miller says:
“If you confuse, you’ll lose.”
On other words, if what you’re selling is confusing to buyers, you lose those buyers. They’ll go with a product or service that is easier to understand.
Clarity sells. People buy things they understand. Creatives need to learn this.
There’s three easy ways to immediately add clarity to branding, promotional and marketing messaging. I call this “The Three W’s of Promotional Clarity”.
- Clearly define WHAT you’re offering.
This is your “product”. Think about what your product is and try to pin it down with absolute clarity:
- Be specific and concise, yet thorough and complete. Don’t leave anything important out, but edit out anything that is unnecessary or confusing.
- Consider creating “packages”—this is a great way to “box in” an intangible creative service.
- Design a process to create and deliver the product. Make this process part of the product. Talk about it a lot. By giving your product a series of “steps”, it will make it more understandable to potential customers
- Clearly define WHO you’re offering it to.
This is your “target market.” You might think you’re selling to everyone, but you aren’t. You have an ideal buyer…the person who is yearning to throw cash at you for your work. So, define who they are:
- Do they fit a certain demographic profile? Age, gender, life stage, etc.?
- Are they individuals or businesses?
- Where do they live and where will you find them?
The better you understand who your target buyer is, the better you’ll be able to craft marketing messages and deliver sales content that is relevant to them.
Which brings us to the third W…
- Clearly define WHY it makes their lives better.
This is your “value proposition”. For a quick primer on value props, check out my earlier blog post. To summarize, you need to define why your product or service makes your customers lives better. How it helps them win. How it helps them achieve their wildest hopes and dreams…just kidding, but seriously. How does your product:
- Address a pain point or meet a need?
- Increase their status among their peers? Or among their coworkers? Or to their potential customers?
- Help them achieve their goals?
As Donald Miller says, “If you confuse, you’ll lose.” So, if you’re clear, you’ll win.
Creatives—especially creatives—need to put forth the hard work to clarify their goods and services. Although it’s hard work, it’ll pay off in a big way.
Don’t sabotage your amazing creative work by hiding it under a shroud of confusion.
Take your clearly defined product to your clearly defined customers and tell them, clearly, why it’ll make their lives better.