My dear friend Lori Brausen brought an excellent business tip to our local meeting last month, and I knew right away I wanted to share it with you all. The main concept comes from Kim Roach through Zentreprenuer.
Kim shared how your customers' biggest problems can become a goldmine of opportunities and ideas. She believes that problems can be your best friend, especially when it comes to ideas for generating content.
Kim Roach's sure-fire copy-writing formula is called PAS: Problem, Agitate, Solve. Let's look at each one of those steps.
- Problem: describe the problem your customer is experiencing. In our industry, this could be anything from trouble getting stamps to stick to the block, to difficulties with storage space, or even just the main annoyance most crafters feel cranky about--not having enough time.
- Agitate: talk about the problem. "Rub salt in the wound," Kim says. Does this problem lead to other problems? Does it crop up over and over? It's even more effective if you've had that same issue as well and can talk about it from personal experience and real emotion.
- Solve: give them the solution. Talk about the answers. Share how your product fixes the issue, frees up time, or eliminates annoyances. Share specifics about how your approach works efficiently and economically. And then tell them where to get the product or service.
What I appreciate most about this approach is how truthful it is. The problem is true. The emotions and frustrations attached to it are true. And you know, from personal experience and trial and error, that the solution is also true. That honesty resonates with people. And they appreciate what you've shared, and they'll be back for more.
Take a moment to sit down and make a list of 10 problems the average customer faces. Here's a few examples:
- how to manage scraps
- basic measurements
- knowing what adhesive to use
- crafting on a budget
- organizing ribbon
- finding the time
Every one of those issues could be not just a blog post, but a whole blog series. Each issue would be a great video concept. They would make fantastic, interesting, helpful newsletter articles.
I bet you can think of way more than 10 problems your stampers face. We'll never run out of problems, actually... so we'll never run out of content to cover.
Sometimes it can feel a little manipulative to talk about "formulas" or try to keep an outline in mind when writing blog posts and newsletter articles. But actually, the PAS concept just really good customer service. You're solving people's problems--meeting their needs--sometimes even before they have articulated that need to themselves. When you are meeting people's needs, you do not ever need to feel like you're doing anything wrong.
You may even have realized, reading this article, that you already naturally use a PAS outline when you're writing to your audience. It's a natural progression when you identify a problem, after all, to talk it over and eventually wind up at the solution.
And while customer friends may not be ready to tackle the particular problem you've focused on right at that moment, it will be in the back of their heads that you have answers for similar situations. Anything that sets you up as an expert in your field, that makes you the go-to-girl for advice, is going to add value to your business that will keep paying off for years down the road.
Dream Big! And try implementing the PAS concept this week.