The biggest hurdle I’ve overcome is my own mind. From things I’ve read, heard, & seen related to business, I now have ideas and stories floating between my two ears.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know what they’re talking about. Which means those ideas floating around aren’t ideas at all… they’re obstacles.
The more I can pick them apart and release them from my brain, the more I can free myself to grow and learn.
That’s what today’s article is all about – tearing myths apart to leave room for growth. And I’ve got 4 juicy ones ready for you. Sounds good? Then let’s dive in:
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Myth 1. “No one reads all that copy, keep it short”
In 2010, I wrote one of the longest sales pages of my life. It contained thousands of words on a single page.
“Who will read all that? Keep it short!” a voice probed from the back of my mind.
But I wrote on anyway, because there was more to be said.
Today, without as much as a single word being changed in the last 6.5 years, this copy is still the top performer in its entire industry…
Because if your copy speaks to people’s interests, problems, and desires – they will read every word.
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Gary Halbert, a famous copywriter, used to say that people will get out a magnifying glass to read tiny text crammed into a newspaper ad if it’s relevant enough.
Say everything you need to say.
Just make sure it’s what your prospects need to hear.
And don’t leave things out because you’re scared that your word count is getting too high. Write the full sales pitch, and not a word less.
Myth 2. “Design sells itself”
Results sell themselves.
9 out of 10 business owners will pick a designer whose work looks like kindergarten drawings, but brings in incredible results, over one whose work looks like it came from the messiah but doesn’t generate a penny.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show off how beautiful your work is.
But tell the story of your work – and make the star of that story the results it generated, or the goals it helped your client reach, or the problems it took away.
Break down your individual design decisions and tie them into your client’s problems and goals.
This also applies to delivering your work to clients:
If you just send them an image with no explanation, breakdown of elements, etc., you’re essentially saying:
“Hey, what do you think about this? Does it look nice?”
That leads to a meaningless, infuriating discussion full of, “Well, I don’t think I like how that looks… I prefer blue… Can we make the logo bigger?” instead of a substantial discussion about what the piece is trying to achieve.
Keep the conversation focused on the goals of your work and the problems it’s aiming to solve. Make the case for how your work is solving those problems. Present it like a well-formed argument that counters all rebuttals.
Discuss the colors, the typography, the photography – share why you chose them, and how they connect to what your client is looking for.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard clients say:
“You know, when I first saw it, I didn’t think about it like that – but now that I read your explanation I see what you mean. Great job!”
The cool part?
Now that you’ve created this great, rock-solid argument, you can add it to your portfolio when you display the piece 🙂
Myth 3. “I’m not a big talker, so I’m bad at selling”
I hate talking. In fact, the most anxious moments of my life these days are when I run into someone I know and they ask me, “What’s new?”
My inner-world is a complex swirl of images, flashbacks, intangible feelings, ideas, and things I don’t even know how to define.
Talking means I have to somehow make visible the invisible.
I usually can’t do that, and have no answer, and then I swell up with anxiety at the fact that I’m standing there, answer-less, to a meaningless superficial question they didn’t even really want a real answer to.
Am I getting off topic? Anyways…
Good news: Selling is more about listening than talking. That’s why I do a pretty good job at it.
The questions you ask will get you more sales than the savvy words you speak. Questions like:
- What’s going on in your business that prompted you to find someone like me?
- What are your goals for this project? What would you like to see happen in your business as a result of it?
- Why do you do what you do? There are millions of ways you could spend your time – what inspired you to open a cafe that sells imaginary coffee for real money?
Clients will be more impressed by your questions and your desire to learn more about them than anything else.
Myth 4. “Everyone just wants ‘cheap’ and ‘fast’ “
The vast majority of the people who come to our agencies don’t want either.
I’m not saying that to brag, I’m saying it because if you’re finding that everyone does want that, it really means everyone you’re attracting right now wants that.
It’s time to analyze your marketing, self-presentation, demeanor, portfolio, and anything else prospects come in contact with, and ask yourself:
“What about this is giving people the ‘fast and cheap’ message?”
This goes for every kind of problem client. If the majority, or even a good chunk, of your clients have other problems, like:
- Endless revisions
- Demand constant attention, even at 2 in the morning
- Love your work one day, hate it the next
… it all starts and stops with you.
For every problem in your business, you have to ask yourself:
“What am I doing that’s creating it, and what can I do to make it stop?”
How about you? Are there any myths you’ve busted on your path to growth and success?
I’d love to hear all about them. Leave me a comment and let me know.
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