Clarity seems to be something that everyone longs for, yet few know how to obtain. In the billboard world, there’s a general understanding that the text on the billboard should be 7 words or less. Think of how little time the reader has when she’s whizzing by at 7 MPH over the speed limit. Not much, maybe a couple seconds. Now, your task as the marketer is to convey a message that’s easy enough to read in 2 seconds and powerful enough to cause action. That’s not easy. This task, though, is a great way to help you discover the message of your business. This is the message that we call an “elevator pitch.” You’re in an elevator and someone asks you, “So, what do you do?” You need to know how to answer that before the ding and the doors open.
Here’s what you can’t do…
- Make it very generic. “We help you!”
- Make it too wordy. “We help you with [insert list of 37 specific services].”
- Think about yourself. Remember you’re solving your customer’s issues, not selling a service or product.
Here’s what you can do…
- Simplify. “We help you discover your clear business message.”
- Group products or services. “We offer Managed Marketing and Creative Services.”
- Clarity. “We make podcasts and websites for churches and non-profits.”
I recently sat down with a couple guys who are looking to start a business consulting group. The words “business consulting” are extremely vague and generic. We worked with them for a while to boil down the exact services that would be offered (areas of consulting). Then we group those services and write a compelling one-liner that could fit on a billboard, in an elevator, and more practically, on the landing page of their website. I took the liberty to record a bit of our conversation and place it here for you to listen in. After you’re done listening, take some time to write out your business message in seven, clear, powerful words.