We think every woman out there will agree that today should be the day most celebrated every year. National Chocolate Chip Day is probably the second busiest day at the gym or the busiest day in your local grocers baking aisle.
To take our minds off of all that web design and development work we’ve got cookin’, we thought we’d share a recipe that our very own baking extraordinaire (and web developer extraordinaire), Stephanie Raumschuh uses as her fall back all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Enjoy!
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You’ve heard it before. You may even believe it. But you’re probably still not doing it when it comes to your business’s messaging.
For whatever reason, it is far more difficult to distill a concept or idea into something clear and concise than it is to fill it full of business speak and big words. Counter-intuitive, but true.
Yet another example of this came yesterday in an article from Tom Searcy on Time.com. What a 9-Year-Old Can Teach You About Selling starts with a reference to a recent study confirming what those of us who work on the web have long known: people don’t remember most of what is presented to them. This mega-short attention span and low retention rate is perhaps even more true on the web.
The obvious solution to this problem for marketers and business owners is to create a short, simple “elevator pitch” that can convey exactly who you are, what you do and why people should want your product or service in a sentence or two. Searcy’s advice on how to actually do this successfully is to think about how you would communicate this to someone with zero context, someone like a 9-year-old.
Daddy, What Do You Do?
- Right answer: ”I help companies to grow really fast by teaching them how to sell bigger companies much larger orders.”
- Wrong answer: ”Our company helps develop inside of our clients a replicable and scalable process for them to land large accounts.”
Why Do People Decide to Hire You?
- Right answer: “We have helped lots of companies do this before, so we are really good at it as long as they are the right type of companies.”
- Wrong answer: ”We have a proven process for implementation that allows organizations to tailor the model to their market, business offering and company’s growth goals.”
Why Don’t They Do It Themselves?
- Right answer: “Just like when you learned to play the piano: Mommy and I could teach a little, but we don’t know as much as your teacher, and teaching you ourselves would take a long time and be very frustrating. Daddy is a really good teacher of how to make bigger sales, and people want to learn how to do this as fast as they can.”
- Wrong answer: “We are the foremost expert in this field with over $5 billion in business that our clients have closed using this system. Usually our clients have tried a number of things on their own before we work together and have wanted outside help to get better results.”
As his example shows, both answers are accurate, but one is clearly wrong and one is clearly right.
Now, of course, there’s a big difference between simple and condescending and it’s important to consider your audience (and their true level of sophistication) to strike the right balance here, but, in general, Searcy’s direction is right on.
Given all that, does your messaging pass the “9-year-old” test? (Hint: if you aren’t sure, ask a 9-year-old).