The why statement should be your company's top priority, and an important part of your marketing material.
And if you don't have one already, or you're not happy with it, you need to take the time to make it true to your brand and engaging for your audience.
Because people are a lot more likely to read and convert on your content if the subject is relevant to them at that exact moment.
But the heck is the why statement anyway?
The why statement is essentially about purpose.
I.E: why you do what you do, and what your work achieves.
Why is that something your business should care about?
I totally get it.
You're likely so wrapped up in the act of your business's everyday routine that you not want to sit down and think about why you're in business in the first place.
- You feel overwhelmed about sticking out among the competition
- Or you've ever felt like giving up on your business and doing something else
Then defining your why statement is what can help you spend more time attracting like-minded people, and less time worrying about competing with companies that offer something similar.
So...how do you write your own why statement? Here are a few tips on how to do that.
1) See things from your customer's perspective
No matter how long you've been in business, chances are you've had satisfied customers.
If not, unfortunately, you've got a lot bigger problems to sort out!
So... first things first, I want you to think carefully about the patterns you've noticed about your customer interactions.
What impact did your work make on them? Did you notice any patterns in terms of what people said?
And...did they openly mention anything that influenced what made them choose you, instead of someone else?
- Read your past emails, to remind yourself of past customer interactions.
- Talk to other people on your team about their customer interactions.
- And think back to any conversation you might have had with customers over the phone and in person, where they shared their impressions of your product or service.
What patterns have you noticed in terms of what people said about the impact of your work?
Write your answers, and hold on to your responses.
2) Think back to when you started
Now...I want you to think back to that very first time you felt really, truly happy doing what you do.
What made it worthwhile?
What made you feel like you could proudly share with your friends, family, and maybe even people you want to impress, what you managed to accomplish at work?
And then think carefully about the impact that you're making on others when your work feels satisfying.
Now...write that down on the same piece of paper where you recorded customer impressions.
What do you notice about the responses? And... how are these two responses similar or different?
3) Consider what gives you the most strength
Last week, I attended the Feminist Entrepreneur Forum, at the Ontario College of Art and Design.
And one of the most memorable takeaways was an exercise where we helped each other define our value statements.
Question one in the exercise was about what gives us the most strength when things get rough.
I loved that question the most because I started to notice that my client needs, my answer to question one, and overall values were the same.
I want you to consider that question as well.
Because I'm sure it will help you uncover things that you've never noticed before about your customers and your values.
Now that you've got an answer, put it on the same piece of paper as your observations about your customers, and the section where you reflected on what things were like when you started.
Have you noticed any additional overlaps between your answers? Make sure you write those down as well.
4) What aspect of your work excites you now?
Chances are what interests you the most about your work has changed over time.
Because...you know, people are people.
So... they shift, change, and grow a lot, as the experience new people and meet new things in their lives.
Regardless of whether you realize that or not, that likely applies to you as well.
Compare and contrast what aspects of your work excited you when you started vs now.
What has changed and what hasn't changed?
Anything you noticed can be used in your origin story when you write the why statement.
You can answer that question by filling in the blanks in the following way: "When I started, my work was about doing — for my customers, but now it's about doing— for my customers."
Now put it all together!
Use what you learned in the previous sections, to create a why statement based on the following template:
I'm (insert your name here), and I'm a (insert job title) that helps (inserts info about who you serve here) (insert info about how you help them here).
On a daily basis, my goal is to (insert info about the aspects of your work's impact that excite you) through (insert info about the specific duties of your work that you'd mention when describing it to people who are unfamiliar with what you do).
Once you've filled in the blanks, update all your marketing material to reflect your why statement, and make it as consistent as possible.
By the way... I'd love to hear what you came up with! Feel free to share the why statement you came up with in the comments section below.