When taking a class on creative writing, you’re almost guaranteed to hear the following: “Show, don’t tell.” It’s true; effective stories use specific descriptions and details to engage the reader, not just plain statements. For example, describing a character in a story by saying, “She was pretty,” is nowhere near as effective as writing, “Her blond hair, big eyes, and slender waist had her fighting off the men.” Do you see the difference? The first statement makes a simple, broad claim, but the second rewards the reader with specific details that create a solid impression.
The exact same principle applies when building your business and profits, but there are certain steps you’ll want to follow.
Isolate your focus
The very first step towards establishing your brand is to isolate your focus. Take time to determine your company’s strengths, and be honest with yourself. Just as no individual is good at everything, no company can honestly claim to excel in all areas. But again, just as everyone is good at something, there is at least one aspect of your company that makes it unique. Evaluate what makes your company stand out, and designate this as your specific focus.
Perfect your focus
After you’ve designated your focus, it’s time to perfect it. Your focus probably doesn’t sound very unique right now; in fact, it probably sounds downright generic. Chances are, you’ve chosen something like customer service or quality, and, while these are legitimate focuses, presenting them as-is to your customers will not leave much of an impression.
If you stopped here, at the “telling” part of your mission, you wouldn’t have much success at diversifying your brand. Telling your customers about your strengths would entail just stating your focus. You’d say, “We have great customer service,” or “We have a high quality product.” Well, as much as you might hate to admit it, EVERY business claims to have great customer service and a quality product. Therefore, outlined on its own, your focus simply isn’t good enough.
This is where the “showing” part of your mission begins. Now is the time for you to employ those skills you learned from your English teacher in an effort to diversify your business. This is the step where you highlight for your customers what makes your business special, and you’re going to do it by showing, not telling.
You need to take your bland focus, and add specific, enticing details to make it stand out. To help you get started, ask yourself this question: “How does my company act on its focus?” That is, what do you do as a company to make your focus a reality?
If your focus is customer service, talk about what makes your customer service stand out. Do you have 24 hour a day availability? Tell us about it! Are your employees trained specifically in making customers happy? That makes you stand out, so we want to know about it.
Similarly, if your focus is quality, you need to give your customers a reason to believe that your product is better than your competitors’. Is your product inspected by an independent third party for quality? That makes you unique, and uniqueness is valuable! Do you have a special quality guarantee, such as a double-your-money-back promise? If so -you guessed it -we want to hear about it.
Diversifying your business is a concrete step you can take towards improving it, thereby increasing your profits. In today’s competitive market, simply telling customers about your business is not a big enough step towards that goal. Instead, by using specifics to show your customer what makes your business unique, you can create a memorable, positive reputation for your company.