In 2016, I worked with Valerie Queyrel, a counsellor and hypnotherapist, to refine her messaging, create a tagline and a new brand identity. She was delighted and got to work marketing her business.
However, two years later her business had changed. She no longer worked with as many men, felt further removed from the corporate world she had left behind, and she wanted to drop some of her services. The previous two years had shown her what services people wanted and what she most enjoyed doing. Her business was growing and she wanted to be more choosy about who to work with.
It was time for a website and brand refresh.
She asked me to help her refine her messages to reflect these changes. The back end of her website wasn't working well for her either. For example, people booking onto her 6-week weight loss programmes couldn't access the materials online and Valerie had to manually email every person. She wanted her site to look and feel more professional, while really appealing to her ideal clients.
I took Valerie through the Campfire Clarity process to get super clear on who her ideal clients were and what journey they will go on when they work with her. Using this as the base for her new web copy, I set about refining her website structure so that it was easier for people to navigate to what they needed.
Next I wrote the web copy for the multiple website pages, refining the structure so that it was obvious what action the visitor should take next. I also wrote the client emails that would become automated going forward instead of Valerie having to manually cut and paste information and helped her source a website developer who could build the site, creating the back end functionality and online members area.
However, when the new copy was put into the website (see the image above), it wasn't enough of a change to reflect what Valerie was all about. The old look had a more masculine, corporate feel. Valerie in contrast is French, supportive and nurturing. Her logo and colours needed to change to something softer and more ....well, Valerie.
I created mock ups of what each page of the site should look like to ensure the words and images all came together. Every page was mocked up with suggested colours and flow for the website developer to follow.
You can see screen shots of it below or click here to see the real thing.
This is what Valerie had to say (loosely transcribed from a lovely 6 minute video message she sent me - you can watch the video below if you prefer):
"Melissa’s mind has the ability to map out in a very short time, the essence of your business. What I couldn’t see clearly, she was able to summarise in the space of a one hour session.
She also has a talent for words. She is able to articulate what I was offering to perfectly match my audience. The cherry on the cake is that she also has an artistic flair. The combination of these three – the map out, the wording and the artistic flair - gives you the perfect combination to bring your vision to life. Sometimes we don’t even know ourselves what that vision is. But somehow her mind can see it, explore it and exploit it. For me, my website is my shop window so I had to make it as perfect as possible.
If you look at my first website that I worked with Melissa on – it was created when I was just leaving the corporate world. I still had a very structured way of working and I had initially been told when I trained, that there was no money in counselling. So in my first website, I was targeting male and female audience, trying to get as many clients as I could.
As the years went by I became more confident and the business became more and more successful. This allowed me to be choosy with my clientele. I have a very nurturing side but my first website didn’t show it. I didn’t even realise that I wanted my nurturing side to show. After just a few minutes of consultation with Melissa, this is what was needed to happen. Melissa suggested more pastel colours like duck egg blue. Just look at the website – it’s warm, friendly, approachable, clear and very concise. It’s a pleasure to look at.
This has been the perfect approach for me. Melissa has definitely been an important factor in the way my practice is doing. She has been a turning point in my daughter and my life. As a single mum, I had to make it work. I invested and surrounded myself with people who could help me do so. It allowed me to focus on my clients and business and what I’m good at.
I did not just use Melissa for the website. As a business owner, it can be a little bit lonely. I used Melissa for one hour here and there. It could have been fixing my Christmas post, it could be my newsletters, she has helped me with so many things I can’t even recall now. Whenever I needed to bounce back ideas or feel unsure, I turn to her.
I love my new website. It feels professional and it looks cracking good."
If you could do with my help - whether it's a full CampfireClarity package or just bits and pieces of support to take things off your plate, get in touch.
We've all been there. You try to get new clients or bigger clients or recurring clients or just any clients! You burn yourself out trying to market yourself, attend networking events, manage multiple social media platforms, figure out SEO or email marketing. And yet you are still stuck.
You start to feel in your gut that perhaps it's not your marketing that's the problem but what you're offering. You begin to question it. Change it. Add in new things. Take things out. Before you know it, your offering and your marketing messages are just as confused as you are feeling. Nothing is clear. Not to you. Not to your customers.
And so you get even fewer clients. You make less money. And most importantly of all, it starts to impact how you feel about your business. Your self-confidence takes a dive and you second guess everything you do. Frankly, you feel your passion for what you do start to die. Those job ads start to look appealing.
Talking to someone else about your business can be all the help you need. They can present back to you what you are saying, question you or pull out the truth of what you are really all about. The answers are invariably inside you, you just can't see them. This is what I do.
I'm somewhere in between a coach, business and marketing consultant. But I don't just tell you what you need to do and leave you to it. I take it a step further and put it all into words for you so that you can start sharing it rather than have to figure out how to say it. And I advise on what to do next.
I know how needed this is, because I didn't have anyone to help me with this and I wasted four years trying to figure it out on my own. Please don't stay stuck. Don't give up. Whether it's me or someone else, find someone to talk to about your business. Not a family member or friend who will give you platitudes and tell you you're doing a great job. Someone who will put themselves into the shoes of your customer and help you see your business anew through their eyes.
All you need it a little bit of clarity to find yourself flying again. Go find it.
Find out about my CampfireClarity package or book at spot on my CampfireClarity Workshop.
Tell me in the comments where you lack clarity or how your business is stuck.
This week it was 20 years since Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets book was published. Most people have read the Harry Potter series, but just in case you haven't, here's a quick summary (and bear with me because I promise there is a business point to this blog post):
A young boy who happens to be a wizard is faced with a big problem. The evil villain who killed his parents wants to kill him. What he wants is to find out the truth of who he really is.
But he has a few problems:
Luckily he has Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts school to guide him. Dumbledore has the authority to do this – he’s one of the all time great wizards. At the same time, he is fond of Harry and can really empathise with what the kid is going through.
He sets him a plan. Collect 7 Horcruxes (bits of Voldemort’s soul stashed in magical objects) and to destroy them. Sadly, he doesn’t give Harry all of the plan, forcing him to have to figure it out for himself. But he does leave him some pointers.
By the end of it (and without wanting to spoil the story for you), Harry can either fail and the world is plunged into doom, or Harry can succeed and save the world from evil while at the same time realising the truth about himself that he has been searching for.
It's a story that has made J.K Rowling a household name and a very wealthy woman. But the storytelling process used in this book - and most others - is the exact same process you can use for your business. Here's how it works:
Hero wants something. There’s a villain. He has several external, internal and philosophical problems. A guide comes along to give him a plan. He takes action. And the conclusion ends in success or failure. Ultimately the character is transformed.
So how does this relate to your marketing messages or brand story?
Harry is the hero. Your client is the hero.
Dumbledore is the guide. You are the guide.
Voldemort is the villain. Whatever your client’s problem is, that’s the villain.
Most companies make the story about themselves, not about their customer. If the Harry Potter books were told from the same perspective most businesses tell their stories, it would look like this:
A famous, very talented wizard is available to teach young wizards how to rid the world of evil villains. Dumbledore can rattle out a million spells and has a very fine wizard hat, cape and wand. He even has a pet phoenix. He has reams of testimonials from the Wizarding Council saying just what a stellar wizard he is. He recently helped a young wizard called Harry by teaching him how to track down and destroy an evil wizard. You should send him an owl if you’d like his evil villain slaying services.
If you were a boy wizard in need of this service, you might be compelled to get in touch with Dumbledore and enquire about his services. But isn't the story much more interesting when you put the character at the heart of the it?
Relook at your website. Is it written from a Dumbledore or a Harry perspective? If it's all about you and what makes you brilliant, you're making yourself the hero. You're being too Dumbledore. You need to be more Harry.
Customers want to be the hero. They are the one with a problem. They are on a journey to transform themselves and to do that they need a guide. That's you. Position yourself as such. Show them how you can help them but keep the story focus on them.
I'd love to claim this method as my own. But it actually comes from Donald Miller, whose book Storybrand, I read. I now help my clients tell their stories this way. I help them create a simple story that puts their customer at the heart of it, with clear messages about how they can help them, while taking your own back story, vision, misson, values and brand archetype into account.
It's not an easy thing to do. You really have to put yourself in the shoes of your clients. At the same time you have to cut out the noise that can make messages hazy and you need to keep checking that you're not making yourself the hero again. It's tough getting this right and may take several rewrites to perfect. But then again, most good stories do.
If you could do with this kind of help, get in touch or take a look at my CampfireClarity™ package. Let's make magic together.
You are ready to throw in the towel on marketing. You've tried just about everything but nothing seems to work. You aren't attracting your ideal clients, you aren't making money and you aren't growing as a business.
Or perhaps you have a brilliantly successful business, but now you want to pivot or add in something new and it's muddying the waters a bit. All of a sudden you feel a bit confused about what you want people to know about your business. You are starting to second guess whether this change was a good plan after all.
Confusion is the villain that stands between you and your customers.
The way to attract more customers is to create crystal clear messages that make potential clients take action. So how can you tell if your current messages are confusing both you and your customers?
Here are some signs that you don't have clear marketing messages:
If you found yourself nodding along to many of these, it might be time to get some clarity. It can be incredibly difficult to get to the heart of what your customers REALLY want and how you are best placed to help them get that. I know from first hand experience how hard it is trying to do this for yourself. We are too close to our own businesses. No-one will challenge our thinking or suggest and alternate point of view.
I work with business owners to create clear messages that transform their marketing and grow their business. Do you have any idea how many years it took me to get to that sentence?
Why? Because I did it on my own. You don't have to. My CampfireClarity™ package will help you get this sorted out in 48 hours. If you look at it and think, well that would be great but I can't afford it, read this and see what a lack of clarity could be costing you.
Any time you are ready to book your Clarity Session with me, just click here and we'll get this party started.
Some people start up a business and they know exactly what they are offering, to whom and what problem they are solving. They've spotted a gap in the market, a real need. They typically do well and grow fast. But these people are the exception rather than the rule.
Most people start up their own business because they want to work for themselves, leave the 9 to 5 behind and follow their passion. They look at their skills and try to shoehorn them onto a market. They change their offering as they try to figure out what people will buy or not buy and then spend a good chunk of their time and money trying to find those ideal customers.
When things don't go according to plan, they think there is something wrong with their marketing tactics - like perhaps they should spend more on Facebook advertising, or they should create a more aggressive sales funnel, or they need to be on Instagram and Pinterest and Twitter and do direct marketing and a billion other possible things.
But it still doesn't work. And the reason? They do not have clarity. They aren't 100% sure how they are specifically helping their ideal clients. Their messages are confusing. They can be doing great 'marketing', but when people get to their website, they have no idea what they should do next, so they leave.
Confusion is the villain standing between you and your clients.
How do I know this?
Because I have just described myself. It is quite something to admit that you have battled to find clarity when you're in the business of helping other people find clarity. But the thing is, it is exceptionally difficult to figure this out on your own. And even with help, you may still have to tweak and refine things as you find your sweet spot.
I recently went through a process to really, really clarify what I do (the same process I now do with clients). I rebuilt my website three times in two months. I chucked out most of my previous copy. I created entirely new services. I know that I will still need to clarify further as I get feedback from people. That's normal.
But I know now that I am 100% in the market of helping people clarify their message. I am a Message Clarifier. I create clear messages so that businesses can market themselves better and grow faster.
Many people are confused by what that is. They think: I need fresh web copy. OR I need a better social media strategy. OR I need a new brand identity. Those are the end results of the clarity process. If you jump straight to those bits without doing the message clarity up front, your chances of failure are a whole lot higher.
So what does a lack of clarity potentially cost you?
If any of these sound familiar, please take a look at my CampfireClarity™ package. In 48 hours you can go from confused to clear. You can reignite your passion, rebuild your confidence, feel better physically and mentally, grow and earn what you're worth. What would that be worth to you?