Did you know that the owners of B2B businesses almost always have the same objective?
To do more of the work they love by attracting great clients to their businesses.
Equally, the problems they face achieving this goal are also identical:
- Finding ideal prospects is a struggle
- When you do find them, it’s tough getting their attention
- Those that do, often find it difficult to position themselves as a priority purchase and see their sales cycles spiral into many months of delay
This ultimately leads to what, in my opinion, is one of the great injustices of the entrepreneurial world:
Too many great businesses don’t achieve their potential because they don’t position themselves in a compelling way to their market.
Which is the reason I started my business over a decade ago.
Let me explain.
My Lightbulb Moment
When I began my career in PR, I was partnered with the CEOs and senior execs of my clients’ businesses and charged with raising their personal media profiles.
Don’t tell anyone but working as I did with some of the biggest tech companies in the world, my job was relatively easy.
Typically, it involved sitting down with my clients, identifying the topics they wanted to cover, and teasing out the hot takes they wanted to share.
I’d then contact the editors of the national press and offer a lunch. The fact that my clients were market leaders, meant getting a yes, was pretty straightforward.
The real job was ensuring the issues were relevant to the editor’s readers and the insights were juicy. I got good at it and enjoyed a lot of nice lunches in swanky London restaurants, thank you very much.
However, working for smaller brands was much harder.
Not having the same brand power, it was tough to entice the media to meet with or write about them – even though many had superior propositions, provided a better service, and achieved greater results.
It was difficult and frustrating. That is until a lightbulb moment changed my thinking forever.
It occurred to me that there were two key elements to grabbing journalists’ attention. The first was the value of the insight shared. The second was the credibility of the person providing the insight.
Just because my clients weren’t from big brands didn’t mean they didn’t have something of value to say, nor that they weren’t credible.
It was quite the opposite in fact.
As passionate proprietors of disruptive businesses that sought to break the monopolies of their much larger corporate competitors, their insights were often more incisive.
When devising their approach and offerings, they’d thought about what was working (and more importantly not working) in their industry and had developed propositions that created efficiencies, boosted momentum, and delivered better results.
And because many had distinguished careers both during and prior to setting up on their own, they also had that much-needed credibility.
My Most Important Discovery
It dawned on me that the job was the same, no matter how big the brand was.
To succeed, I needed to:
- Identify and package their insight to make it compelling
- Pinpoint key accolades that would make them a credible spokesperson
The process worked like a dream, and soon I was helping companies of all shapes and sizes to punch well above their weight, and achieve media coverage that matched and, in many cases, surpassed that of their much larger competition.
It also became clear that this process wasn’t just a great way of achieving press coverage. When applied to sales and marketing, it proved enormously effective for engaging and attracting perfect prospects.
The proof was in the pudding. One of our clients saw some remarkable results after a recent campaign:
- 15+ qualified leads from target companies achieved over a period of 5 months
- Constant spikes in web and LinkedIn traffic when sharing the coverage achieved through the campaigning
- Potential reach that totaled in the millions
Three Key Learnings
This kind of success comes from the knowledge that ultimately, the job for both sales and marketing is to design copy and content that:
- Makes your market sit up and listen
- Exerts an emotionally charged magnetic pull that brings ideal prospects to your business
- Demonstrates why you are the perfect partner to help solve your prospect’s problems
But to do all of that, you’ve got to change your perspective. If your copy is all about you and your products and services, you have already lost.
If you want to grab your market’s attention, you’ve got to get personal.
Now, by personal, I don’t mean offensive. I mean that you’ve got to make your market care. And to do that, you’ve got to talk about them first and your products and services second.
We are hardwired to think of ourselves first and are always on the hunt for that which will serve our purpose.
That means you’ve got to get focused, think like your customer (the person, not the market), and align yourself with their needs, wants, and, critically, the specific challenges they are facing today.
The good news is that doing so isn’t difficult, but it does require a new approach.
I want to help brilliant business people to leverage that brilliance, so they can achieve the recognition and success they deserve.
My team and I have worked hard to create tools, tactics, and processes that enable our clients to overcome each of the 3 problems outlined above and as a result enjoy a higher profile, fatter pipelines, and closed contracts.
This happens by enabling them to leverage their most valuable assets: their experience, expertise, and the impact they achieve for their clients.
When you do that, you can answer a critical question that underpins all value transfer in marketing – what do you know, that your market needs to know?
By doing so, you focus on the things that really matter to your market, empowering you to devise campaigns that pull people in, not push them away.
I now want to share those secrets with you.
Practicing what I Preach
I’ve created a series of articles to help you to tap into your experience, expertise, and impact, showing you just how you can leverage them to enjoy the recognition and success you and your business deserves.
Along the way, there will be free tools to download – and, later this year, I’ll be beta-testing a brand-new course that will take you through the exact process we use to build our content campaigns.
As part of the beta test, I’ll be inviting 10 business owners to try the course for free. To keep things fair, the first 10 responses will be the ones that receive the course, so keep your eyes open and stay tuned.
For now, I’ll leave you with the most important lesson I’ve learned over the 20 years I’ve been working in B2B marketing and corporate communications.
To be persuasive, you’ve got to stop telling people what you do.
Instead, you should tell them what you’ve done for people like them and clearly demonstrate how your experience and expertise have enabled you to do it.
It’s a game-changer.