We've all seen enough law firm promotion to know that it is easy to fall into the trap of describing ourselves in terms of what we do, rather than what "what we do" does for our clients. We tend to use the same stale, dry nouns that our competitors use.
Here’s a game to help you break out of the stale-message box, and also test what you know about your clients' businesses.
Describe your clients' businesses without using a key word or phrase. For example:
Describe Disney World without using "theme park."
Describe Amtrak without using "rail" or "train."
Describe your own practice without using "litigation," "corporate," "M&A," "employment," or any other traditional practice-description nouns, or weak verbs such as "make," "provide," or "handle."
By forcing yourself to focus outside the old message box, you’ll learn to express your practice in terms of outcome, impact, solutions, benefits and evocative emotional images. Who knows, you might even redefine your mission or find new opportunities in the process.
How did you do with Disney and Amtrak? Unless you're an experienced advertising copywriter, accustomed to speaking in verbal images, it took some thought and effort, didn't it, and maybe even multiple attempts? That's because you're not accustomed to thinking this way. Stick with it, though, and it won't be long before it gets easy.
To help you re-orient your thinking, here are my attempts:
Disney: The world's most-visited entertainment resort, a world of magic and fantasy where families create lifetime memories.
Amtrak: A low-cost, green, critical transportation artery connecting 50 million people in the Northeast Corridor alone.
Where did these come from? The underlined words that begin each are direct quotes from those companies' websites; the Amtrak statistics were calculated from a Wikipedia entry. To help you get started, use search info to see how your clients describe themselves.
These businesses -- and your clients -- have already adopted the more descriptive language I'm encouraging you to embrace.
For help with the “how” part of this, rent this RainmakerVT lesson for only $35.