Archive for July 29th, 2009

Be Unique, Not Cryptic

I read an article recently by C. J. Hayden. In it, she was talking about the idea that marketing that is too unique can hurt you.

In one anecdote, she related how she had met a fellow who had a “unique process” for helping companies resolve conflicts between employee groups.

When asked, he couldn’t explain his process. All he would say is that it had to be experienced to be understood.

When she asked him how it compared to solutions like mediation or team building, he told her it was a totally different approach that defied comparison.

She said she would have liked to have referred him, but couldn’t picture herself calling a company and saying “Hi, I know someone who says he can fix your problem, but he can’t explain how. You’ll just have to hire him and see.”

This reminded me exactly of a prospective client who once contacted me.

He couldn’t give me any clear idea about what he did or who he did it for.

He abjectly refused to categorize himself (and was quite pleased with himself about that), much less give me any kind of term for what he did, say only, “I don’t believe in labeling myself. What I do is too unique.”

Needless to say, that conversation went nowhere real quick.

I can’t help someone who makes what they do so completely inscrutable, for both me and their would-be clients.

When you are marketing your administrative support business, the idea isn’t to be mysterious or so all-encompassing that no one can figure out exactly what you are.

It’s about creating clarity and understanding — clearly categorizing the business (Administrative Consultant), what you do (administrative support), who you do it for (your target market) and how you help improve things for them (what they gain from working with you, how their circumstances are improved, what results and benefits your clients typically receive through working with you).

The more you focus your message on a specifically defined audience, the more attractive, resonate, compelling — and unique — it will be, and the less you will be parroting the same tired, outdated, ineffective message that clients see on every single other site out there in our industry.