Please don’t tell me what you do!


A few years ago I learned about the concept of ‘be, do, have’.  Like most of the really important lessons in business (and life!) it can sometimes be a few weeks, months or even years before you really understand their true value.

In my work helping businesses, organisations and people to promote their products and services, I naturally start by looking at the individuals themselves.  After all, people buy from people, right?!  Perhaps as a result of this I’ve carved out a successful reputation for helping people to create strong personal profiles and focus on personal branding.

So I often find people, and especially those starting out, who tend to want to tell the world about what they actually do.  The fact is that there are lots of people who are really good at their specialist subject; they know their craft and could be described as experts or specialists in their field.  The thing is, it’s not what you do that people are really interested in, they want to know how it could affect or benefit them.  I’m sure you’ve heard of the need to articulate benefits over features.  Your customers and clients don’t buy what you do, they buy the end result – the how is much less important.  This is all good marketing sense and something that every smart business owner needs to embrace if they want to get powerful results from marketing and promotion.

So you’ve helped the (would-be) customer or client understand what the benefit is, or the ‘WIIFM’… What’s In It For Me, now you need to help them understand why they should buy it from you, and not just anyone else.  You see, there are always TWO elements to every sales message and so many people either forget, or are completely unaware of this.

  1. Tell them why they need to buy your product or service, and
  2. Tell them why they should buy it from you!

It’s with this second element that WHO you are becomes so important.  Factors such as trust, confidence, credibility and my favourite (and possibly the most powerful) ‘Social Proof’ are all centred on who you are, not what you do or sell.

So here’s my question for you; how do you describe yourself to others?  Are you making the most of the personal brand assets you have as a person and are you really articulating these to the audience?

If you want to significantly dial up your profile and ‘position yourself’ effectively you need to BECOME that expert, you need to BECOME the person other people will trust and value. This creates a powerful effect; when you BECOME that person, you will start to DO the things that reflect this and, as a result, you’ll start to HAVE the outcome you’re looking for.

This concept may appear very simple and perhaps you already follow a similar ethos but my challenge is “how are you getting this message out to your audience and what could you do more to dial this up?”

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