I was on my Sales Letters and Proposals call today, and as we talked about the mindset and techniques for writing a great sales letter, we veered into this really interesting discussion.
One of my clients said that someone had told her that her personal story was her message, and she was confused because I kept encouraging her to say less about herself at the top of her letter (or web copy) and wait until she had established how she could be of service to the person reading the letter.
And, liking complexity, I said something like: “Well, there are times to be strategic in your business and times to be expressive. And in business, you’re always going to be balancing those two energies.”
So, your strategic energy is the energy that thinks about who you are talking to, and what they care about. Your strategic energy structures the content of your free teleclass to create desire for the thing you’re using the free class to sell. Your strategic self asks “Why am I saying or doing this thing? What do I want to get? What’s the best way to get it?” Your strategic self is concerned that other people can follow you, it wants to connect the dots so everything you do is clear and makes sense.
On the other hand, your expressive energy is the part of you that says “This is what I want to say, I need to say it, and I don’t know what saying it will do for me, but I am going to say it anyway!” The expressive part of you wants to come forward, regardless of the consequences.
If you’re all strategy, you’ll struggle to create connection. You risk being dull and flat in your communication because it’s all calculated. If you’re like me, you’ll get bored.
This fall, when I was promoting my “Put the Mojo in Your Message” event, I had just come off of a carefully designed call series and many emails to my list. My coach suggested I do one more call, and something in me realized I was done being strategic. So, I went ahead and did a call, but instead of focusing on all the cool info and knowledge I had to impart, instead of crafting my pitch for my program, I talked about my journey this year in my business, invited others to share what it sparked for them, and threw in a few quick lessons at the end. I felt raw, messy, unpolished. But I felt good.
I don’t think anyone signed up for my event from that call, but I heard from person after person that it had touched their hearts in a deep place.
If you’re all expression in your business, you put making money and making sales in jeopardy. You may touch and move people but not inspire them to buy from you. People may witness your passion, but not connect your passion to their needs and desires. (That said, if you chose to just express yourself fully, passionately, from a place of deep inner connection, I think you would get business. You would draw to you the people who resonate most with your message. You’d create connection that would still be there if you decided to get strategic and actually create a product or service that met your audience’s needs. But, there’d be a certain element of risking that your efforts might not create the desired results.)
So, the game, to me, is to feel out in any given moment where you want to be on the spectrum between strategic and expressive.
In general, the less time and space you have the more strategic you’ll want to be. A good elevator speech is mostly about delivering the right information to your audience so you can start the conversation. The more time and space you have (say on a web sales page), the more you can wax poetic or go on a rant. The more you’re investing time and money in one thing, the more you want to ensure your efforts with clear thinking (at least I do).
But always, come back to that place of sharing your insights, your excitement, and your joy.
I think a good barometer as you move through all the activities of bringing your business into the world, is to notice how alive you feel. When marketing and promoting your business gets dull and flat, it’s a good sign you’ve left the expressive energies too far behind.