Captain’s log, stardate 20230330


Reader question from Constantin re “Can you evaluate my positioning statement?”

Fellow list member Constantin wrote in to ask for feedback on his positioning statement (shared with permission):

Hi Jonathan,

Soggy or not soggy? :)

I help decision-makers in small and medium-sized enterprises to achieve clarity on success-critical questions.

Kind regards


This is a good start, but I’d call it “medium soggy” ;-)

Let’s start here:

This positioning statement is in the form of what I call an XY Positioning Statement (aka XYPS).

And XYPS looks like this:

“I help X with Y.”

In an XY Positioning Statement, the X is your ideal buyer (i.e., your WHO), and the Y is your ideal buyer’s desired outcome (i.e., WHAT you help them with).

The more specific your X is, the more likely the reader is going to have a Rolodex Moment.

In other words, “decision-makers in small and medium-sized enterprises” doesn’t make me think of anyone I know who fits that description because it’s too abstract.

For example...

Compare “decision-makers in small and medium-sized enterprises” to:

Does anything on this list trigger a Rolodex Moment for you? I’d guess yes.

Heck, one time, I asked my list if anybody knew someone who owned thoroughbred horses, and I got back more than forty affirmative replies!

Once you know who your X is, you can start to solve for Y (i.e., what you help them with) using the specific words that they would use to describe their problem.




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