So what are you about?

by | Feb 23, 2018 | Copywriting, Aikido, Strategy

You think about it every time you need a tagline. Or an About page. It’s always about distilling who you are into a snippet and posting it like a precious something on your website front door. You bump into it every time you’re asked what you do or when you’re pitching to investors, editors or what have you. Whoever is out there looking for what you’ve got needs to see a good enough version of it to say “Keep talking.” That’s all you’re after.

The good part is you know what you’re looking for. A few words. A sentence tops.

What do I mean? You may have noticed pics of me in a funky Japanese kimono on the website. That’s because I do aikido. (Most of my clients think it’s karate, but that’s fine.) Here’s the street talk about aikido: it uses the energy or ki of the attacker to deviate the attack, leaving everyone unharmed. It’s a mouthful. So how else can you say it with less? I had a small epiphany last weekend in Paris, as I heard a great master boil it into a haiku line: Your ki is mine. I was starstruck.

Before we go any further, please beware your tagline speaks of your cure to the clients’ pain and your high concept pitch is, as you will learn from the excellent Piching Hacks, “a perfect meme for fans and investors who are spreading the word about your company.” You need both. 

Get those done, and you graduate to level two: the Home page and the elevator speech. Again, they will be great conversation starters to get people to want to know more about you and your idea, product, company. An elevator speech should take no more than 1 minute. That’s about 150 words, by the way. Your home page should get broken into blocks like that or less. Because you can always say more if they’re listening.

And if they are, congratulations, you’re at level three: now you need an About page and a deck. The About page is your (company’s or idea’s) bio deconstructed (you deliver the chunks your clients actually care for; they’re not your mom and don’t really want to know everything), nicely packged. The deck is your presentation. They both tell your compelling story about your team, idea or your product. People get to know, like and trust you in the process. It’s why they do business with you in the first place.

There’s a level four, too, by the way. The Sales page and your sales pitch (which may have something to do with but is not your business plan). Your signature talk is also nearby. The kind you would give at TEDx, for instance.

But they all start with what you and your idea are about, with those few, neatly stacked words. Once that is handled, crisply I might add, everything else is a bit like a game of puzzle. The question is, how do you get that?

Whatever you and your idea are about, where to start is always your own thoughts. Record yourself as you would pitch, however clumsily. Ideally, have a devil’s advocate provoke you. You might just get it out of you when under a bit of pressure. Then look at the data and see what gets repeated. You may need to flip a bit, get out of the attacker’s way (remember, their ki is yours anyway!). The words will emerge. You might just have some fun. Or just book here for a ride. We’ll do it together.

PS. Paris was great, by the way. I’m not much of a pic person, but these have a story: a shy guy worked to courage to ask me out for coffee at the Concorde (somewhere at the lion’s feet). I barely got it and said no without thinking much. He vanished into the Rue Rivoli arcades. The next day I found this chic writing school on the way from St. Germain to Notre Dame. When in Paris.

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If you’re serious about standing out from the competition, you should download my guide for your next great product here.

Go through the motions even for a product you’re offering now. Lots of a-has and how-tos will pop up.

For 1-on-1 help click here.

Thank you for reading this.

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