Wow, what a day for our team! It started early this morning by working with 45 local professionals who were eager to learn how to better market the “why” of what they do. Thisworkshop was arranged and graciously sponsored by the South Main Merchant’s Association of Blacksburg—with Paula Bolte and Carol Beliveau as the masterminds behind pulling it all together.
Amanda and Caitlyn were on site and eager to get going, bright and early. Caitlyn led this workshop centered around the idea of WHY. For many businesses, it is much easier and familiar to talk about what they do—rather than why they do it. In conversation people regularly also ask each other, “so what do you do for a living?” Very rarely—if ever—do we spend time asking, “why do you do what you do?” or “why do you love your job?” Focusing on your why within business and marketing requires a paradigm shift.
The benefit of acknowledging, honoring, and affirming your WHY is that you will live a life fueled by passion and purpose with the byproduct of joy. Corporately, when you share your why you pull away from the competition and become a well-developed brand, rather than a commodity.
This concept of WHY is largely attributable to Simon Sinek and his landmark TED talk—if you haven’t watched it you really should. This workshop was inspired by his ideas and took them into consideration in the context of marketing. Key points from this workshop included translating your WHY visually, verbally, and in writing.
One way to translate your WHY visually is by selecting images that show your audience what you want them to feel—not just your end product. One attendee, who works within the construction industry, commented that she realized their website has gorgeous product pictures but there is no element of humanity. Ultimately, they are in business to give people spaces they love—yet people aren’t in any of their pictures. It sounds like this will soon change, as she was struck by the realization that the organizational WHY must be reflected in imagery.
Verbally we discussed the “grocery store gut check”. Some people call this your “elevator speech” but we have a slightly different take on it. Imagine yourself in the checkout aisle trying to pay for all your groceries while simultaneously making small talk with the clerk. If he or she said, “so what do you do?” would you be prepared to answer that question in a way that speaks to what you do but also WHY you do it? If not, this is a great next step for you. Be ready the next time you buy groceries—so that you are ready the next time you run into a client or prospect at a networking event. Train yourself to always speak to your why!
In terms of a written WHY this gets at the heart of what we do each and every day with our clients. We help them craft stories, blog articles, and copy for their websites that talk about their heart for their organization in a way the audience can see, taste, touch, feel, smell and therefore—remember. This type of copywriting is fueled by passion and purpose, which is also contagious to clients and prospects. Not only is having a strong content strategy smart from a branding perspective, content marketing is incredibly important in today’s highly digital marketing landscape.
The content of today’s workshop resulted in great questions like:
- Can Facebook be used as my blog instead of actually blogging on my website?
- How much information should you put on print handouts? What should the message be?
- Describe the value of pictures. What makes a good photo?
Each of those questions will be answered in follow up blogs in the days to come—we love a bit of suspense! Stay tuned if you missed the workshop and don’t yet know the answers. Also, go ahead and save the date for the next workshop happening February 7, 2018 (it’ll be here before we know it!).
If you want to make sure to always keep in touch with us we suggest signing up for our newsletter. We distribute it monthly to make sure you know what we are up to and also to share marketing ideas and guides with you. Part of our WHY is our love for creativity, marketing, and people—we use our newsletter to facilitate this aspect of our WHY.