Forget Your WHAT–Focus on Your WHY
Forget Your WHAT–Focus on Your WHY
What’s your what?
As seemingly strange as this three-word question seems to be, it raises an issue that is is probably as old as we humans have exercised our power to think.
Essentially, your what refers to the one thing you were born to do. This is a question that most teenagers and young adults struggle to answer. Unfortunately for many people, the issue of identifying their what extends well beyond their formative years.
If you have chosen the self-employment option to earn living, your what refers to the bundle of goods and/or services to offer for sale.
However, from the perspective of marketing professional services, just because you know your what—the services that you provide–it does not automatically follow that anyone will purchase them. To encourage potential clients to buy our services, we promote the benefits that that they will enjoy from our services. Hopefully a compelling reason for choosing us and not the competition will help them the decision in our favor.
In and of itself, your what is seldom enough to attract potentially ideal clients. Prospective clients need to know what benefit they will receive as a result of hiring you. They need to know what’s in it for them if they chose to hire us. They need to know your why.
Your why reflects your vision for the marketplace: … why does your business exist? … what is your ultimate goal? … what’s the dream or cause that you want to share with others?
From the Content Marketing Institute here is a helpful blog post, the title of which is self-explanatory.
Your WHAT Doesn’t Matter if Your WHY Is Lacking
“Which would energize me (or anyone) more as a creative business professional?
- Creating content that has the primary purpose of driving the sales pipeline and a secondary purpose of improving the life of my user.
- Creating content that has the primary purpose of improving the life of my user and a secondary purpose of driving the sales pipeline.
I find this to be a great value proposition for why organizations should use your content marketing approach. Having energized employees is great for productivity. It is touted as the Holy Grail for millennial generation employees. And unlike other management hypes, this one really works.”
I believe most marketers would agree…”
Let’s consider a large enterprise like 3M as an example of what you should be doing. Over the next five years, the majority of 3M sales will come from new products. If 3M focused its mission around specific products and services, it would not only be impossible (3M provides thousands of products), its mission would constantly change because the products change.
In reality, 3M’s mission is all about helping people live a better life through advancements in science. This is a noble mission on which to base the direction of its content – focused on the needs of the audience with a specific content tilt (science).
More than ourselves
Nobody cares about your products or services. If your why is based on selling more shoes or consulting services or routers, your WHAT will have no soul. Your content will be wanting.
Why you exist is not your product. Your why is the problem your product solves.
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