This week, a friend asked to buy me lunch in exchange for some advice.
He had tried to launch an in-person program this summer, but canceled it due to low enrollment.
As he planned to launch again in the fall, he wanted ideas about how to fill his slots more effectively.
- What should he change about his marketing?
- Could I recommend when and where to show up on social media?
- What should his emails say?
These were all good questions. But I wasn’t willing to answer any of them yet.
Instead, we spent most of our time talking about his OFFER.
Meaning: The thing he’s actually selling.
Meaning: What, exactly, is “in the box” when people hand over their money.
(In this case, it was a series of facilitated gatherings on some beautiful land outside of town for 8 Monday afternoons.)
I asked a core question every business owner needs to be ruthless about answering every time they create something new: Are you sure this is something people want?
In this case, the evidence wasn’t very favorable.
So I gave him a hard truth that I hope will save him some time and heartache:
It makes no sense to invest in your marketing until you know you have an offer that converts.
Another week, I’ll talk about some ideas about how to validate your offer.
But for now, I’ll just leave you with a framework for the 3 parts of a good offer. (This comes from my friends and marketing mentors Josh Brammer and Erika Bryant).
A good offer is:
- Tangible: What is it they’re going to actually receive from you? What’s in the box? Even if it’s a service, make it clearly something people can imagine.
- Benefits-oriented: How will it make their life better once they receive what’s in the box?
- Aspirational: Who are they going to become after doing business with you? Why should they care, on a deeper level?
Too many business owners are embarrassed by their websites but don’t have time to do anything about it. I sell a 30-day homepage makeover that helps you get a site you’re proud of by this time next month… Without clearing your calendar.
- Stress-free Brand Messaging
- All the words for a homepage that converts
- Site design & development (using WordPress and Divi or Wix, your choice)
- Stock images
- A year of hosting
- 90 days of tech support
If you’re having trouble selling something, the first place to check is your offer.
If it’s not solid, all the messaging and marketing in the world will be just like lipstick on a pig. And nobody wants to buy that.
PS – I’m serious about the 30-day homepage makeover offer. Hit reply to see if we’re a good fit.
This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.