You’ve probably heard the marketing analogy of “Pain Island, Pleasure Island and the Boat” – or some versions of it, if you’ve been around the programs & trainings block a few times.
I’ve had quite a few conversations with folks about this, and they got really confused about how to tell potential clients what they do without “talking about the boat.”
They felt they had to bottle up about what they love doing most, and instead of sharing their passion, they’re forced to regurgitate canned “benefits and results” marketing copy.
What you (and those biz coaches) haven’t heard is…
… there’s an UNTOLD part of the story…
I wanted to get from Pain Island to Pleasure Island.
A captain of a boat came up to me and told me how awesome Pleasure Island was. And he could get me there.
His description of Pleasure Island was tantalizing. He twisted the knife and poured some salt to make me say out loud how unbearable Pain Island was.
He didn’t talk much about his boat (as all “marketing savvy” captains were taught)… but now I got my eyes trained on Pleasure Island so I didn’t think it was of much of a concern, until…
… he took my money and brought his dinghy to the dock.
“HOW MUCH DID YOU CHARGE ME FOR A RIDE IN A FREAKIN’ DINGHY?” I thought.
No matter. If he can get me there, as promised, I’d suck it up.
(Plus, I didn’t want to be called a “loser” because if I didn’t stick with it, it means I wasn’t committed enough.)
Me, prone to seasick, holding onto dear life in a freakin’ dinghy bobbing up and down the rough sea wasn’t a pretty scene.
But I still try to convince myself that after paying all that money, I might as well gut it out and get my bum over to Pleasure Island before I strangle the “captain” (not much of a captain if it’s a dinghy… right?)
Pleasure Island did not happen. The dinghy got blown off course and the damned rudder snapped!
Captain jumped ship. I got washed up onto the Island of “Neither Here Nor There.”
While sitting on the beach and roasting marshmallow to make s’mores for brunch (yeah, I’m resourceful like that), another captain-looking dude approached me about Pleasure Island.
Yes, I still want to get to Pleasure Island. But…
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
You can be damn sure this time around I’ll grill the captain about the boat…. how big is it? Is it safe? Do you serve 3 meals a day plus cocktail? Shower and plumbing? A decent mattress and a room with a view? Hey I don’t want to get seasick!
For my clients and many of my clients’ market, they’ve been around the block a few times trying to get to “Pleasure Island.”
They’ve tried many things, and they’re skeptical about empty promises of “benefits and results” unless they know for sure that your approach is not something they’ve already tried and didn’t work.
To make them see why you’re different and that you can create results for them with your special sauce, you’ve to talk about the boat.
Don’t insult your clients’ intelligence.
It’s not their first rodeo.
They know enough about your area of expertise to discern empty promises vs. processes and methods from someone who knows what she’s talking about.
Not only that, if you deliberately make yourself not talk about what you are truly passionate about, your marketing communication will sound empty and contrived.
Your competitors are all talking to the same market that wants the same results… if you just talk about the results you deliver (even if “in their own words” like most biz coaches tell you to,) you’ll sound just like everyone else.
To make YOU and your communication unique, you need to have a POV. You need to have a process that embodies that POV and be able to articulate why your process is different from everyone else’s.
I wrote a pretty darn good post about why you need to MAKE YOUR PROCESS YOUR MESSAGE so “marketing” can no longer kill the FIRE that inspired you to get into business in the first place.
Read it, so I don’t have to rehash myself here… I’ll wait.
Here’s the caveat – you can’t just go on and on about your process by breaking down the tools and methods in your tool belt and cross your fingers hoping your potential clients will connect the dots and figure out why your stuff is RELEVANT to them.
At best you’d bored the fruitcake out of your audience. At worst, you’d look like a jack-of-all-trades; you’d make it sound like a whole lotta work and scare people away.
You can’t be navel-gazing about it.
The key is to TURN YOUR PROCESS INTO MARKETING COMMUNICATION
by positioning it as a body of work with every single step and component geared toward helping your clients achieve results…
… through designing your signature system.
With a well-crafted signature system, you’ll be confident and convincing when talking about “what you do and how you do it.”
Not only can you articulate how your process creates results for your clients, but you’ll also be able to talk about it with passion and conviction because, for 99% of my peeps, the love for their craft is what got them into business in the first place.
Your PROCESS is the expression of your signature system, representing your BODY OF WORK that stems directly from your values and convictions.
If you can talk about what fires you up, in a way that highlights your RELEVANCE to those you want to serve… how can you not be confident and convincing?
A disciplined approach to designing a signature program connects your value and conviction with its expression (i.e., how it’s delivered to your clients) and articulates why your clients need to work with you, instead of anyone else.
Because YOU are YOU. When your POV and personality are fully reflected in your communication, you automatically attract those who resonate with YOU.
This expression is most effective when what you’re selling is connected to your value and conviction – without being diluted. No fears, no compromise.
When you present a coherent narrative tying who you are and what you believe to what you provide to your clients, your marketing is powered by clean fuel.
Don’t dismiss what’s unique about you. HONEST MARKETING is the secret sauce to CONNECT, RESONATE & CONVERT.
We’ve arrived at the point at which marketing needs to be HONEST to be effective. Broad stroke communication that’s all sugarcoating and no Truth trips off the BS alarm and you’re in the doghouse for good.
Transparency builds TRUST, which is essential for CONVERSION.
That includes not hiding behind canned “results and benefits.” Put your boat out – if it’s good stuff, people will gladly hop on board without you pulling any weird selling tactics.
Hey, what if the PARTY is ON THE BOAT 😉
Ready to craft your communication to reflect YOUR BODY OF WORK so you can talk about it boldly and unapologetically in a way that SELLS? Check this out.
This article is originally published on business-soulwork.com
Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, she helps the multi-talented and multi-passionate maverick solo-entrepreneurs distill ALL their big ideas into ONE cohesive Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to cut the busywork and do what matters, through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.
Ling helps her clients optimize the space between individuality + originality vs. “tried-and-true” marketing so they can express their WHY unapologetically and profitably without reinventing the wheel.
Find Ling and grab her free “How to Find YOUR Winning Formula” Training Series here.