One of the biggest issues I see that affect an entrepreneurs’ success is when they’re making an offer, they end up making what I call a “mushy” offer.
What is a mushy offer? It’s an offer that really doesn’t mean anything. It’s vague or too broad or sounds like every other offer out there … which means it doesn’t stand out and and speak to your ideal prospects.
My favorite example of a mushy offer is the “I help X with their purpose and passion.”
What does that even mean?
Yes, it’s true that there are people, especially as they hit middle age, who may start to wonder what their purpose is in life while feeling lost and alone and adrift.
And, yes, it’s true that some of them will absolutely pay to solve that problem. (There’s a reason the book “The Purpose-Driven Life” has been such a huge bestselling book after all.)
All that said, it still doesn’t sound like anything noteworthy. It’s vague. And therefore, it sounds like what a lot of coaches say.
Another one is “I help X make more money.”
Again, while it’s very true that money troubles keep many, many people awake at night, this is just soooo vague and big, it doesn’t actually speak to people.
So, how do we avoid making an offer that’s mushy?
We get specific.
We drill down and get very specific as to who precisely we’re talking to and what precisely they’re saying to themselves in the middle of the night.
For example, let’s look at the purpose and passion one.
There are life coaches who want to work with middle-aged women, maybe empty nesters or just retired or just divorced, to either find or reconnect to their purpose.
Okay, so while that’s a good start, it’s still a little too broad. Trying to talk to all middle-aged women who are having some sort of mid-life crisis is too big. A stay-at-home mom whose children have all left the house is going to be saying very different things to herself than a woman whose husband left her for a younger woman, or a woman who is contemplating retiring from a very successful career.
The stay-at-home mom may have LOST her purpose. Maybe her purpose WAS taking care of kids, and now that’s gone. She may be feeling depressed and doesn’t know what to do with herself.
The divorced wife may be feeling a huge sense of betrayal—perhaps in her case, she feels like she spent her life sacrificing for her family and this is how she’s being repaid. Maybe she needs to come to terms with her anger and resentment first before she can move forward toward something more fulfilling.
And maybe the soon-to-be retired career woman is excited for this next chapter of her life and looking forward to exploring her options with a coach.
Do you see how different these three woman are? And how different the things are that are keeping them up at night?
That’s why getting SUPER clear on who precisely you want to serve and what precisely is keeping them up at night is so important.
For all three of these groups, I would argue that finding their purpose or passion isn’t the main thing keeping them up at night. It may be one of the things, but I suspect what’s more urgent for them is moving past the grief, anger, resentment, fear, shame, depression, or whatever emotion is keeping them stuck, as well as finding a path forward.
That’s what you want to speak into. Yes, finding their purpose and passion will come, but what they’re really looking for is an answer to specifically what’s keeping them up at night.
It’s the same with the money group. Yes, having more money is a pretty universal desire, but depending on who you are, it’s going to look differently.
Entrepreneurs may be looking for more clients.
Career people may be looking to get a promotion.
A stay-at-home mom may be looking at budgets or ways to save.
Retirees may be looking at how to improve their investments.
But, I would say those are STILL too general. Each one of those groups could be drilled down into even more specifics. (Like, if you look at the entrepreneurial group, beginning coaches looking for their first clients are saying very different things to themselves than an established, multiple seven-figure entrepreneur looking to move to eight figures.)
Once you get clear on your offers, it’s going to be soooo much easier to attract your ideal clients and get them on your subscriber list.
And, if you want to dig into this topic more deeply, my love-based copywriting books are a great place to start.
It can be helpful for buyers to make their offer stand out, especially in competitive markets. One way to set yourself apart is to include a letter to the seller with your offer. It can make the buying process feel a little more personal and a little less transactional for the seller.