Positioning yourself as the ideal choice for your customers is a must-do for any business – whether you sell handbags, cleaning products, $10 million homes, or graphic design packages.
The reason it is so important is because your customers are looking for you: they want and need help to overcome their problems and to achieve their desires.
But the only way they are going to discover you and find out that you really are the best person to help them in this journey is if you take the time to think about how you can best position yourself as this person. Make it clear to them and they won’t hesitate to work with you or buy from you.
I’ve spoken before about your customer’s ‘problem canyon’ that is created when we identify their desire(s) and how in crafting their story, we want to set the scene for you being THE person to help them.
So, how can you draw this problem canyon?
The cliff edge
Imagine this: Your customer is a botany enthusiast and decides to go for a hike in the hopes of finding a particular flower for their collection. They hike up hills and hike down ridges and finally they reach a cliff edge above a canyon. They stand for a minute to catch their breath (that last hill really took it out of them) and suddenly, across the canyon, they see the exact flower they have been looking for. A whole clump of them! This is what they want! This is what they need. They are thrilled! Maybe they even do a little dance.
At this point your customer is standing on their metaphorical cliff edge: they can know (or can see) the thing they are searching for. It might not be flowers; it could be the exact pair of shoes they’ve been looking for, an app that will allow them to track their running like they’ve been wanting to do, a website designer whose designs are exactly the sort of thing they want for their own website. They have been looking for this thing for a while and now they’ve found it! Cue joyful relief and desire to immediately get their hands on it. But this is a real life, remember? There is always going to be something in the way.
Your customer is staring at the thing they desire. They are so excited they have finally found it. And then they start to realise: they have no way of getting across this canyon. It must be at least a mile wide, and the edges of it are so sheer that it would be dangerous to attempt a crossing by going down. It would take them days to go around it. They realise it is impossible.
Around about now your customer is going to be running through all of the BAD things that will happen if they can’t get the thing they’ve been searching for. “If I don’t get my website redone, no-one will hire me and my business will fail”, “If I don’t get those shoes, I’ll have nothing nice to wear to the party and I’ll feel self-conscious”, “If I can’t track my running, I won’t be able to see if I’m improving and I won’t reach my fitness goals”. Basically, this is the point at which your customer starts catastrophising; they start to directly relate not being able to get the thing they are looking for with real failure.
Your customer hangs their head in defeat and turns to go home. But, wait a minute. Who is that on the other side of the canyon? A friendly looking hiker…who seems to be shouting something and motioning to the bundle at their feet. Oh! They have a rope bridge!? And they can throw it across!?
You are the friendly hiker (the guide). Your solution is the rope bridge. You are the person who can help your customer overcome their problem and get to the thing they’ve been searching for.
This botanist/hiker analogy is just that: an analogy. But it should allow you to see how you can swap out the characters in the story and the desire being sought with your own customers and their desire. This way, you can then try to think what your customer’s problem canyon is: what is standing in their way? Once you’ve figured this out, you can really start positioning yourself as the ideal choice for your customers.
Think about their emotional and tangible desires; this will allow you to really discover why they are searching out this desire – why is it so important to them? What do they think it will help them achieve? If you can figure this out, you will be well on your way to identifying the internal and external problems they are facing as they relate to this desire. Remember that, inherently, your customers do not want to fail. They want to survive and thrive. They don’t want their fears to come true. You, with your ‘rope bridge’, will be the guide that steps in and stops this from happening.
Showing your customers that you understand their journey, who they are, where they are coming from and what they are seeking, are vitally important stepping stones that you need to have in order to create copy that is going to directly resonate with them, stand you out from your competition (who are not doing this, btw) and ensure that they pick you.
And of course, the more of your customers that choose you, the bigger the increase in your revenue and the impact you can have on the world.
Positioning yourself as the ideal choice for your customers is not an impossible task. Take some time to do this little ‘problem canyon’ creation exercise for your own business, and I promise it will really help you identify what you need to be saying to your customers to stand out.
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