Buyers Seek Solutions to Meaningful Problems

Buyers Seek Solutions to Meaningful Problems

If your business is not enjoying the growth it deserves, then your buyers may not fully understand the meaning of the problems for which your products and services are the solution.

I know, because my business recently made breakthroughs in this area.

Action is the Result of Understanding

Relationships between buyers and sellers develop when there is a mutual understanding. Many sellers assume the buyer understands his or her problem, and they therefore focus on the solution.

It is vital to help people understand their current condition, and what happens if they do nothing. This can be accomplished with traditional selling practices, as well as content marketing.

Assuming buyers are searching the web for SEO services for small to medium business solutions to their meaningful problems as they know them, they will be attracted to those businesses that demonstrate an understanding of their situation.

This can be accomplished when you identify specifics that would only be known to someone familiar with the problem. Cases studies are valuable for communicating an understanding of these meaningful problems, especially those where your business solutions have proved effective.

Buyers take action only when they fully understand both the problem and your solution. Give them reasons to take action.

It’s Your Responsibility to Tell The Truth

My recent business breakthrough was the result of responding to a prominent business that requested help with their blogging. They recognized they needed help, but did not fully understand the depth of what was involved for solving the problem.

After providing me with a compilation of their previously published stories, the CEO asked me to write a representative blog post. Having completed this it occurred to me I needed to explain the “why” behind my work.

Nearly 1,000 words later I came to one realization: This is crazy! I had barely scratched the surface of why I had selected the headline, subheadings, keywords, and links, not to mention the structure and so much more.

Blogging and other writing for the web requires not only writing skills, but a solid understanding of SEO, the industry, and business in general. This accumulated experience seldom runs concurrently, and it’s the reason why a freelance writer or SEO expert may be missing important pieces of the puzzle.

It’s takes time to learn content marketing and one has to accept that the learning is endless. This truth needed to be communicated to my prospective buyer for them to grasp the true meaning of why their current blog was not working.

How can your business use its marketing to communicate the truth about the meaningful problems its solutions fix?

We live in a world that wants easy and inexpensive solutions. That is the problem you and I need to address before we can engage buyers with our solutions.

Use your marketing to tell the truth. Make the problems real and meaningful. That accomplished, your solutions become meaningful and viable too.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

Business Storytelling: How to Overcome Your Writing Demons

This Old New Business Podcast with Jeff Korhan

This is Episode 15 of This Old New Business weekly business podcast with Jeff Korhan.

In this 15th episode of This Old New Business we are taking a departure from our traditional interview format. This gives you the opportunity to learn from my journey as I share business storytelling tips and better practices for improving your content marketing messaging.

If you aren’t telling stories then your content isn’t going to get consumed. It’s that simple. If you are a human being you are a storyteller, the challenge is getting better

Our Featured Guest: Jeff Korhan

Business Storytelling: How to Overcome Your Writing DemonsJeff Korhan, MBA is the author of Built-In Social and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps businesses adapt their traditional sales and marketing practices to a digital, social, and global world. Jeff is a trainer and coach for small businesses, and a keynote speaker for the associations and member organizations that support them.

9 Tips for Better Business Storytelling

My journey with business storytelling started several decades ago as young salesperson. I quickly learned that buyers are hungry for information, especially stories that make the information relatable, and therefore, memorable.

After a decade in that corporate environment I founded a landscape business that we grew into an award-winning enterprise before selling it 20 years later. It turns about that from the beginning storytelling was the foundation of our sales and marketing efforts.

This was before digital, so we shared our stories with white papers and in face-to-face selling situations. Now every business is a publisher, and consequently should be teaching its sales and marketing teams how to tell better stories.

Here are 9 business storytelling tips that have worked for me and many others. Naturally, you’ll get the full details by listening to the audio.

#1 – Write to Remember

Small business in particular have abundant experience working directly with customers. This is your greatest source of stories. If you simply commit to a regular practice of writing to remember them you will discover unlimited stories that when shared will help buyers to know, like, and trust your business.

#2 – Write Without a View

Many successful authors insist on writing in a small space without that confines their energies and focuses attention. Writing comes from within, so eliminate every distraction that interrupts its free flow.

#3 – Write to a Theme or Purpose

The reason people experience writers block because they are unclear about what they are writing about. When you know where you are going with your writing, you only have to take your reader with you along that journey.

#4 – Develop a Repeatable Writing Process

Writers are creatures of habit. Once they find what works for them they stick with it. For me personally, I write for the opportunity to rewrite. So, my process is writing quickly to capture ideas and then vigorously rewriting and editing until its just write. This is how I managed to write Built-In Social in just a few weeks.

#5 – Find Your Inspiration

To inspire others with your writing, it helps to find your own inspirations. In short, reading the works of great writers in your space will help you find your way. Sometimes just a memorable quote is enough to inspire your writing, so I keep a notebook handy at all times to capture it all. You can also write inspiring thoughts on index cards and tape them to the walls of your writing space.

#6 – Ask for Feedback Last

Stephen King is well-known for the axiom: Write with the door closed; rewrite with the door open. To solicit feedback on your writing before it is complete is to compromise the creative process. Only when you have given it your best is are you ready for the contribution of an editor or confidant.

#7 – Tell Your Own Stories

Actually, rather than telling your stories, relive them so they come alive for your readers.

Your audience gathers around your content because they value your authentic perspective that comes from direct experience. Real stories are honest, often personal, and therefore, a powerful means for engaging with your business audience.

#8 – Trust Yourself to Make Breakthroughs

In the audio I share the true story of my epic meltsdown during the process of writing my first book. I was evidently close to some sort of breakdown, and that’s when you either quit or break through.

The only way for breakthroughs to happen is to persevere. We all have our writing demons – fears and doubts that holding us back from our best work. The only way to slay them is simply to keep writing.

#9 – Write to CompletionBuilt-In Social

The most valuable tip of all is to write to completion, whatever that means for the project you are working on. I’m often asked how long a blog post should be. The answer is as long as it needs to be to get the job done.

I’ve learned it’s much easier to rewrite or edit a completed draft than to pick up an article or chapter midstream. Once inspired you have to go the distance.

As a runner I learned at a young age that every time you quit it’s that much easier to do it again. Whether you are drafting an article or a chapter, once you start, commit to writing to completion.

This much I know. When I worked through the night to finish the final draft of my book before the 7:00 a.m. deadline, I experienced an amazing sense of peace and accomplishment.

At least for that moment, those writing demons were slayed! I hope the same for you.

Lighting Round Tips and Advice

Jeff’s Top Sales or Marketing Advice – Lead with content. Stories sell because they are relatable and memorable. Inventory, categorize, and practice your stories to enhance sales, marketing, and customer service.

His Favorite Productivity Tip – Write! Write to remember, plan, and organize your thoughts. Make checklists. Write out talking points in advance of meetings and events. In our media saturated world, the future belongs to writers.

A Quote that has Inspired Jeff’s Success – “If you advance confidently in the direction of your own dreams and endeavor to live the life you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

Key Take-Aways

How is your business using story to make its sales and markeating more effective?

How to subscribe to This Old New Business podcast

Click here to subscribe via iTunes.
You can also subscribe via Stitcher.

Help us Spread the Word

Let your Twitter followers know about this podcast with this ready-made tweet.

If you enjoyed this episode of This Old New Marketing podcast, please head over to iTunes or Stitcher to leave a rating, write a review, or subscribe.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

Everybody Writes: How to Tell Your Business Story

This is Episode 09 of This Old New Business weekly business podcast with Jeff Korhan. Ann Handley is a household name in the world of business marketing, especially with respect to creating valuable content that engages customers with a business or brand. Using her new book as the foundation of our conversation, we bring writing down to a […]

Read the full article

27 Writing Productivity Tools, Techniques, and Resources

When it comes to tools and techniques, writers are much like golfers: Some of our trusted tools are practical, while others are pure superstition. It doesn’t matter. Even when you master the fundamentals, it’s comforting to know you have a few tricks in your bag for creating content that helps your communities. While this list is […]

Read the full article

How to Tell Better Stories

One of the foundational skills of social media and content marketing is storytelling. Like writing, this is one of those skills that takes a lifetime to master. So, let’s not waste any time getting started with learning to tell better stories. I recently visited the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan state of […]

Read the full article

Planning Paradox: How to Create Higher Value Content in Less Time

If you have struggled with planning your content marketing you are not alone. However, once you get your plan in place, you will be astounded at how you can deliver more impactful content for your community, and in less time. I’ve been there too; and that is why I’m excited to share how this is […]

Read the full article

5 Writing Tips for Finishing Your Book on Time

The process of writing  is uniquely personal. Therefore, there are many idiosyncratic habits that many authors cling to. That’s not what this article is about. These are breakthrough tips that will challenge what you have believed about the writing process. I learned these tips on the way to writing my first traditionally published book, which […]

Read the full article

How Consistent Content Marketing Builds Your Community

Does the media always deliver? Maybe not always, but they do tend to show up as scheduled. That’s one of the keys to building your community with content marketing. A business chooses when it is available for serving customers. Since content marketing is designed to provide value for prospective buyers with the intent of encouraging profitable customer actions, […]

Read the full article

Writing for The Web: 3 Important Tips

Before the web, writing a letter, an article, or even a book was straightforward. It was all about the content. These days your writing is likely to be published on the web, at least a portion of it, and that changes everything. Why Writing for the Web is Different In addition to building your audience, […]

Read the full article

What’s Your Writing Process?

If you don’t have a writing process that you regularly practice, you will be challenged with consistently turning out quality content. Do you start with an outline? Do you rewrite? How many times will you edit? These and many other considerations, such as your writing environment, will greatly enhance your writing productivity. Whether you work […]

Read the full article