September '22

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8 2 G R A P H I C S P R O • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M B U S I N E S S S T R A T E G I E S CLARITY IS KEY THE IMPORTANCE OF AN UNDERSTANDABLE MESSAGE R I S I N G T I D E O F B U S I N E S S | A A R O N M O N T G O M E R Y C larity is such an interesting concept. Clarity is "the quality or state of being clear." But what does being clear mean, especially regarding the message we are trying to convey as a small business? Clarity of message is an essential element of small business success because if we are not clear with what we are communicating, there are thousands of other options on Google. But we get too close to it, and all we see are the features we offer, like the in-stock products, number of heads of embroidery, speed of your direct-to-garment, or perma- nence of your sublimation transfer. And that is the disconnect. e features don't mean anything to people not reading this magazine. e people you care about connecting with are the ones coming to your website. ose people read the features and get no clarity. en it goes beyond that too. I can't tell you how many times in my 22+ year career I have asked people who their market is, and the reply is "Anyone with money." is is due to a sense of scarcity and the no's people told us as we were growing up. We think we have to be all things to everyone. ose who know me know what happens when we try to be all things to everyone … We end up being nothing to no one. To get above the noise of everyone, we need unlimited marketing budgets and the loudest bullhorn known to man. We can't when try- ing to talk to everyone, sharing specifically what our small business will do to help people. Our desire to help everyone clouds the message and no one gets it because they are unsure if it will suit them. STORIES SELL So how do we get lost in all of this? We lose sight of the fact that business is simply an exchange of value between two people, even if there is social media, websites, and technology between the transactions. It is still people talking to people, and people like a good story. Since the first telling of a good story that stuck, there has been a formula all good books, mov- ies, or other stories follow that gets people interested. I have heard it called the Monomyth or, more commonly, "e Hero's Journey." It starts with a hero who doesn't know he is a hero, who faces adversity and must set out on a journey. On the jour- ney, they learn valuable lessons, and often, a guide or mentor is introduced. And then, finally, the hero overcomes adversity and returns home victorious. Let me prove it! I bet you will be able to name this movie just by seeing the hero's journey. A humble farm boy is intro- duced to some droids and is called to come to a faraway land. He ini- tially refuses to leave but discov- ers his aunt and uncle killed by the group he was called to arms against. e mentor teaches the farm boy his ways and then is killed as they save the princess and find the plans they need. e hero saves the princess, deliv- ers the death blow, and finally returns and receives medals as there is peace due to his heroics. Yes, it is the original Star Wars movie, and lucky for us, this sto- rytelling method also works to talk about our business and what we do. We have to become sto- rytellers, not just pushers of the features. When you share your

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