Telling is not selling. If you have more than 10,000 followers on your Instagram page, you can stop reading here. For everyone else, your word is not enough.
Show your work
Remember this from grade school? My eight-year-old struggles with this because he knows the answer, but he can’t or won’t show how he got it. He did the math in his head. He gets very annoyed by this request. But if you look at it from the teacher’s perspective, how does she know he did the work? Third-grade teachers are not in the business of taking 8- and 9-year-olds at their word. According to Elizabeth Berger, child psychologist and author of “Raising Kids with Character”:
“The regulations and responsibilities of this age are often too much for children…as a result, children will often lie to appease the forces that seem to demand more performance than they can muster.”
If we can’t trust a child to be truthful with the answer to ‘What’s 8 X 12?’, do we expect to hand over our hard-earned dollars to an adult just because they say, “I’ve been in business for 12 years, and my service is the best!”?
We want a little more proof than that.
Why are you an expert?
If you have been in business for 12 years and have the best service in town, you should be able to prove it. This is where your ability to show your work comes in:
- Gallery pages on your website are great for this
- Customer testimonials are always a strong option
- Showing any certifications you’ve won, such as “Best in 2020” from your local Chamber of Commerce or newspaper
Do you know what really sets you apart? Your knowledge and experience. Time to show what 12 years of experience has taught you. The best way to promote yourself to new prospects is through the Conversion Equation.
In Part 3 of the Conversion Equation series, we focus on The Educate.
This is where you offer up some insider information or useful third-party data to support your conclusions on the business, industry, and applications. This is where you show you are the expert your client needs. Give the prospect something specific, timely, and easy to understand to give them an idea of what to look for when making their purchase. This is where you show you are the winner your client needs to follow. Preferably, something your competition can’t do.
Provide your prospects with significant information about how your business delivers solutions to their problems. You got their attention, and you promised you could solve their problem. Now give them a taste of why you are the one to solve it. This is the longest part of any ad, promotion, social media post, radio spot, or landing page. It requires the most time and possibly the most energy. You must back up your claims with solid, objective evidence of your professionalism and capability. In short, you must prove it!
In Part 1 and 2, we discussed the interrupt and engage for personal and professional examples:
Personal: “Worried that your kid won’t be able to enjoy their birthday because of the pandemic?”
Professional: “Are you absolutely positive you could do more business if more people knew about you?”
Personal: “There are at least three trusted methods to celebrate a birthday – that follow CDC guidelines and practice social distancing. Kids can still have a special day that’s just for them and a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a safe environment!”
Professional: “There are dozens of great ways to generate more awareness of your brand in just one week!”
Now, where does The Educate portion come in for the above? Here might be some examples:
Personal: 3 birthday celebrations during COVID
- Drive-by: If you can’t have a birthday party at a location, have one on the move. Car decals, banners, T-shirts, and signs are a great way for everyone at the party to show some love from a safe distance. A drive-by party package can provide the joy and togetherness of the occasion without the danger of transmission.
- Outdoor obstacle course: Kids love to play. Let them play safe with floor graphics that keep them apart and custom apparel masks for the birthday party. Wall graphics and banner stands can show the game rules and provide physical barriers that maintain safety while letting kids be kids.
- Indoor PPE customer party: The party absolutely must be inside, and your child needs to have their friends around? Do it right, pull PPE converted to costumes. Let every child be a Jaeger from Pacific Rim, a Storm Trooper from Star Wars, or have fun with a Pokémon/Bakugan battle. Custom apparel, face shields, face masks, and window graphics.
Professional: 12 omnichannel methods for brand exposure
- Vehicle Wraps: Get noticed out on the road
- Business Cards: Full-color logos with scannable QR codes
- Decals: Business cards with pressure-sensitive adhesive
- Window Graphics: Best place to put a graphic for maximum viewability
- Floor Graphics: Largest available area for advertising that grabs attention
- Banners: Portable and durable advertising
- Flags: Eco-conscious and eye-catching
- Shirts: Take your company everywhere you are
- Brochures: Full-color informational reference for your products and services
- Posters: Simple and cheap for easy distribution all over town
- Rigid Displays: Fixed info for a storefront or pop-up kiosks
- Promotional Items: Functional advertising that creates multiple touchpoints
Pro tip: Focus on innovation and info that is not easily found elsewhere. Resist the temptation to throw in every bit of expertise you have. Only focus on one hot button at a time. In the above case, the hot buttons are birthday parties and small business exposure. You may need to test how much info is necessary for your market to set yourself apart.
This keeps your competition on its toes. It’s not an attack; you are simply proving you can bring value they cannot. If they can’t prove their value, they have to cut their price. Price-conscious consumers will go wherever the best price is; they do not form relationships. Long-term customers pay for a great deal, and they always come back. The best part: they tell others about their experience.
The Educate is the third part of a four-part Conversion Equation. Next time we’ll cover the final piece, The Offer.