The amazing two-sentence answer to “what do you do?”
Have you ever noticed that the companies we love the most are usually rooted in rebellion?
Apple started in the garage after Jobs and Wozniak left college, fed up by the slow pace of technology.
Virgin Airlines was born out of Richard Branson’s frustration with crappy airline travel.
Dollar Shave Club started when Mike Dubin got annoyed with overpaying for razors, created a solution and made a really funny video about it.
If you’re reading this post right now, chances are you’re a rebel, too.
Most of us who are drawn to marketing online have the maverick DNA.
Go to any marketing conference and you’ll meet all kinds of rebels. Some already rich, some merely restless, but all bonded by the belief that there has GOT to be more to life than office drama and working for the weekend.
But having non-conformist fire in your veins isn’t enough to succeed online.
No. The ones that make the leap from dreaming of “some day” to real life “successful entrepreneur” are the ones who manage to organize the chaos running wild in their minds.
It never happens by accident. And it sure as hell doesn’t happen overnight. But it does happen – every day – to people who wake up a little shocked that they found it…
… this thing that they can put their own energy and ideas into and have it send back real cash money.
It truly is amazing.
I still pinch myself daily over the fact that the same restless rebellion that led me to drop out of high school and kept me un-hirable for so long, now fuels a thriving business.
And that I get to work here in my home office, doing something I love, while looking out a window that faces a lake and my kids playing in the backyard.
(And in those times when they’re having too much fun, nothing stops me from walking out there to join them.)
That’s a long way from the scrappy, directionless road comic I was in my twenties.
I HATED business back then. Thought it was for evil people. I never dreamed I could run my own or that anyone would ever pay me to help them sell their stuff. Outrageous idea.
But we all start somewhere, work our tails off and learn as we go. Rebels aren’t quitters.
Hard work is only half the battle, though. You can work really hard all day taking low dollar freelance jobs, but that won’t deliver the dream.
The second half of the equation, if you really want to take your place at the feast and call your own shots as a business owner, is….
Clarity about WHAT you do, WHY you do it and why it’s WORTH top dollar to the people you provide it to.
If you know just one thing about selling, you know that – at the core – it comes down to problems and solutions.
Your prospect has a problem and you have the solution. Pretty simple.
But here’s the magic ingredient that makes your solution the better choice than other people’s solutions…
A reason why.
Not just a logical reason why your solution is better, cheaper or faster. Those things are standard – and pretty ignorable. You need to include them, but they aren’t the message.
What makes you and your solution stand out from the crowd is telling the reason WHY you created the solution. You do that by simply describing the frustration that drove you to find a better way.
Here’s where that “magic” happens…
When you express a frustration to someone who has the same frustration, you’ve made a deeper connection.
(That’s why all those late-night infomercials show the black and white shot of a person struggling terribly with “kitchen drudgery.”)
And when you announce that you took that frustration and used it as passion to create a solution….
POW! You’ve just won the trust of a new customer.
You don’t even need to mention that you have anything for sale at this point, but they will hope you do… and be eager to buy when you announce it.
Now, I know this all sounds great in theory, but if I ended this article right here, you’d nod and move about your day, no closer to living the dream then when you came.
We can’t have that.
So I’m going to share something really cool with you. A powerful little exercise that will take only about 2 minutes to complete but will give you that elusive clarity you need to take your business to the next level.
This is the thing that got me out of the basement just dreaming and onto the main stage, actually DOING. Without this, I’d still be hating life and hoping for “some day.”
I call it the “Rebel Yell” statement because it sounds even better when you say it wearing leather chaps.
That and because most “mission statements” are dreadful, lofty-sounding snoozers that nobody reads. The Rebel Yell statement expresses indendence and (secret bonus!) makes you more interesting to your prospects. Because what we, as buyers, are really after, is not just a good product but…
… a great experience.
So, in order to stand out, you’ve got to share your experiences. And it’s that shared experience that creates the bonds that build a business — especially online.
So, take a second to think about the problem that your product or service solves for your customers (or potential customers) and the frustration that led you to create something better.
Then fill out the simple, fill-in-the-blank statement I’ve written out for you below.
If you do, I think you’ll be really surprised at how much you gain from it.
This little exercise is responsible for untold fortunes… so I really hope you’ll take a couple minutes and do this for yourself. And if you’re comfortable sharing, then please post your Rebel Yell in the comments section.
OK, here is the Rebel Yell statement:
My name is ___________, I love ____________ but was fed up with ____________. So I created _____________ that _________________.
I told you it was simple. But that really is all you need to get clarity on what you sell, why you sell it and to express it passionately.
Let’s see it in action. Here are a few examples you might recognize…
My name is Steve, I love computers but was fed up with the snails pace of commercial technology. So I created a user-friendly computer that processes information faster than anything else out there today.
Now, if it’s 1976, don’t you want to own that computer?
My name is Richard, I love to travel but was fed up with lousy, expensive and unreliable airline travel. So I created an airline with competitive fairs that arrives on time and treats every passenger with first class service.
How do you not check for a Virgin flight when you travel?
My name is Mike, I love a clean shave but was fed up with paying through the nose for razors. So I created a simple subscription service that delivers quality razors right to your door for one dollar a month.
I’m a raving fan customer of Dollar Shave Club.
Here’s one more you might recognize…
My name is Kevin, I love copywriting but was fed up with serving only with one client at a time. So I created a community that allows me to help a lot of business owners at the same time so everyone can grow together.
That simple statement is why we’re all here today.
OK, get going on yours. Only one rule, DO NOT OVERTHINK this. If it feels frustrating, you’re doing it wrong.
I can’t wait to see what you come up with…