This week, I got to help a coach upgrade his messaging — specifically his profile in a directory hosted by a certification he holds.
When we started, the first thing I noticed was that his profile was too generic.
I didn’t differentiate him from the other coaches there — it just reiterated things they were all qualified to offer.
So we started digging in.
“Who are you people?” I asked, and he told me.
“And what are they struggling with when they come to you?”
This is where I understood why his previous marketing efforts had gone off the rails.
Because he started telling me what HE knew about their problems.
“They need to stabilize and systematize the business,” he said. “They’re doing too much themselves, they’re not delegating enough.”
His diagnosis was accurate, of course.
But it wasn’t helpful in speaking to his ideal clients.
Because his ideal clients wouldn’t think about their problems that way.
They didn’t KNOW yet that they needed better systems.
That’s what he would teach them.
I said exactly that, and then asked again. “What do THEY know they’re struggling with when they come to you?”
He gave me a pretty similar answer.
This is surprisingly common — it can be hard to switch out of our own point of view when talking about our services.
So I switched tactics.
“Ok, before they work with you, what would the camera show about what they’re struggling with?”
This unlocked something.
He paused to think.
“They’re tipping into bed exhausted at night, thinking ‘Well, I gave it my best shot,’” he said.
Suddenly we were getting copywriting gold, coming straight out of his mouth.
“What else?” I prompted.
“They’re doing everything themselves — including scrubbing the toilets.”
We continued like this and quickly had plenty of images to work with.
“Ok, and after you work with them and get great results — what would the camera show then?” I asked.
More great copy came pouring out.
With this one little question, this former engineer was able to get out of his own head and start giving me scenes to work with.
These insights had been in there all along, he just didn’t know how to access it.
So: Next time you’re working on articulating the problems and transformations you offer people, make sure to pause and ask, “What would the camera show?”
PS – Got a directory profile that could use improvement? Let’s get you standing out from the crowd with a 1-hour Marketing Advisory Session ($400).
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.