Brands do it. Celebrities do it. And yes, even marketing consultants MUST do it. What is it? Reinvention.To kick off my first blog post, I’m sharing my recent insights about reinvention as it relates to my consulting business. Here’s my story.
I began my technology marketing consulting business in 2004. My husband and I had moved from fast-paced Silicon Valley to a sleepy beach community in Southern California. For nine months, I telecommuted from home to my San Jose marketing job. But quite frankly it wasn’t a good fit anymore. Time to do something new. Without any hesitation, I leaped into the first of many marketing gigs, which have kept me crazy busy without much time to come up for air. Whew…
Fast forward to 2012 and I got that same antsy feeling I had in 2004. Was it time to ditch the consulting business and return to a full-time corporate position? Or, how about go back to school and find another career altogether? For two months, I internalized those big life career questions. And to make it worse, I was in-between consulting projects so I had even more time to think, which is dangerous for my type A personality. But somewhere along the way, I assumed the role of life coach and refocused the direction of my consulting business. It culminated with the task of relaunching my web site, which also goes live today.
Interestingly enough, I applied some of the same messaging best practices that I use with my clients who are wanting to reinvent their businesses in one way or another, such as updating the company story, introducing a new product to the marketplace, or launching (or relaunching) a web site which always includes a messaging exercise or two. Here’s a simplified version that you can adapt for your own reinvention.
5 quick tips to jump-start the reinvention machine!
- Summarize what you do (or your business does) in 2-3 short sentences.
This is your elevator speech that even grandma can easily understand. Avoid technical lingo, confusing acronyms, and “I” centric phrases. Remember, your customers want to know what you can do for them, not how great you are. After all, they are paying the bill!
- Identify your top capabilities or areas of expertise.
You may be able to do 20 different things, but do you really want to focus on all 20? Probably not. I struggled with this item the most. When I first started my business, I accepted each and every marketing consulting opportunity since I was trying to build my clientele and didn’t want to say no. However, I quickly learned that I didn’t want to write a white paper or manage a direct mail campaign list purchase. Instead, focus on the projects where you can leverage your best skill set to make a meaningful business impact for your clients.
- Gather a handful of recent success stories to help build credibility with prospects.
These real-life examples highlight your experience and prove you are trust worthy. Find ways to weave these successes into your web site, blog, marketing content, sales-enablement tools, etc.
- Remove the excess fluff.
Too many marketing words muddle a well-crafted message. Enough said.
- Tweak, re-tweak, and then set a firm date to go “live.”
The editing part is often tedious, but it’s important to get your message right before you make your public debut. This step should involve sharing your thoughts with a select group of individuals who will provide encouraging, yet honest, feedback. And finally, don’t forget to establish a reasonable go-life date. It will hold you accountable and ensure that you don’t over-think your message. Remember, it’s an evolving process that will be refined.