Define the problem you are trying to solve for people — Telling the story (day 2)

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A screen shot from Kevin Roger's website -- Rogers provides the source inspiration for Matt Handal's observations about KLT
A screen shot from Kevin Roger's website -- Rogers provides the source inspiration for Matt Handal's observations about KLT
A screen shot from Kevin Roger’s website — Rogers provides the source inspiration for Matt Handal’s observations about KLT, or “Know, Like and Trust.”

Talk about a quick responses . . .

About two hours after yesterday’s post, where I described the initiative to spend a week on storytelling and my challenges in making it happen, Matt Handal responded by email:

Just saw your post. I’m shocked that people struggle with this KLT hook. I think the problem is people don’t trust the system. They try to deviate. That’s what I found happened to people who posted their KLT Hook in the comments of my article (which you should read because I give a lot of advice).

You, of all people, have a good story. Why don’t you send me what you wrote. I’ll take a look at it.

My response:

Matt, actually I had trouble even getting started — to “match” my story with the message I would like to communicate.  That’s the art of this stuff of course — because it is easy to fall into clichés or standard stuff, or because the story(ies) of which we are most fond don’t necessarily (at least on the surface) correlate with our marketing objectives.

That, however, is why I decided to make this a week-long blog project — your input will helpful in overcoming what appears to be a bit of writers block.

And his answer:

Maybe you should start with defining the problem you are trying to solve for people.

Ahhh — He’s asking for the purpose, the mission, the overriding goal (but from a client not selfish perspective).

Maybe this is why it is so hard because if we frame the question from what we have to sell (advertising), then the answer becomes challenging, because the advertising itself often doesn’t work very well.  Then again, there is the overall package — with editorial publicity, marketing consulting, and industry/community support — and these provide the foundation for the value in doing business with you.

Starting point:

We want your potential  and current clients to know and like you more, so they’ll be far more likely to want to do business with you –and you’ll be able to command better profits and a much more enjoyable business.

But maybe we can do this better:

Sometimes, it seems, people don’t care or know that you really can do your work really well for them. So you struggle with reliably finding and sustaining new clients. There has to be a better way. Maybe if they knew and liked you more, they would be more likely to want to do business with you, and that would result in better profits and a more enjoyable business.

Perhaps this is where we should be going. Maybe not. I’ll invite Matt’s observations, and yours as well, as well as feedback from my organization’s staff and contractors.

When we’re done, we’ll have our story right — and some perspectives on how you can tell yours, as well.

Tomorrow: A look at why getting the story right is so important for your business — and what KLT really means.

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