October 24, 2016

Laser-focused positioning statement review #1

Yesterday’s message was about how to write a laser-focused positioning statement (LFPS).

(i.e., I’m a DISCIPLINE who helps TARGET MARKET with EXPENSIVE PROBLEM. Unlike my competitors, UNIQUE DIFFERENCE.)

Much to my delight, several readers accepted the challenge and replied to my message with their first attempt.

For the next couple of days, I’ll offer some constructive advice on the positioning statements I’ve received.

Let’s start with this one:

I build websites for independent consultants that help them break free of the feast or famine cycle. Unlike my competitors, I use the web as a tool to help independent consultants instill credibility, grow their network, and get them more clients.

This LFPS is better than most first attempts, so kudos to the author!

Here are a couple of thoughts in no particular order:

  1. I love that the author picked a fairly specific target market (i.e., independent consultants).
  2. The author doesn’t specify a discipline. I’m guessing “web developer” but it isn’t explicitly stated. This isn’t a huge deal, but since it breaks from the form I wanted to call it out.
  3. The author includes a bit more HOW in the LFPS than I’d like (i.e., “I use the web as a tool”). This is a no-no because one of the goals of a LFPS is to inspire marketing materials that get the prospect to ask “But how does he achieve these results?”
  4. There are actually two partial LFPSs in the author’s statement. The giveaway is that he uses the word “help” twice. This will lead to the client wondering, “Which is it? Does he help me to break the feast famine cycle? Or instill credibility, grow my network, and get me more clients?”
  5. Conjunctions in an LFPS make me nervous (e.g., “instill credibility, grow their network, and get them more clients”). They usually indicate an unwillingness to pick something. Whenever you have a conjunction in your LFPS, ask yourself, “which of these is most valuable to my ideal client?” and then just use that one.

I don’t know if this is viable for the author but here’s a suggested rewrite for comparison:

“I’m a web developer who helps independent consultants get more clients. Unlike my competitors, I focus on actual sales growth, rather than vanity metrics like anonymous page views.”

Have you tried to write an LFPS? Please send it in if so :)