“Point of view is you explaining what you do and why you do it the way you do it. It’s you explaining what your approach is and why you think it will work.”
~ Tad Hargrave
Hopefully you know what you do and who you help, but can you clearly articulate why you do what you do the way you do it? Can you clearly articulate what your approach is?
If, for example, you’re a relationship coach who helps people to have healthier relationships, are you able to say how exactly you help them to achieve this? Can you clearly state what your methodology is? Do you have clarity on your particular angle on what it takes to have a healthy relationship?
This is what it means to have a point of view. Put another way it’s your unique business perspective. It’s why people would choose you over someone else offering the same service. It’s what makes you different. It’s the particular steps you have your clients take, to achieve the result they desire, based on what you think the solution to their problem is.
Most people don’t start out being fully aware of their point of view, it’s something that evolves over time as we work with clients and deepen our understanding of our industry and area of expertise. It grows and expands as we do, so don’t despair if right now you’re not sure what your business point of view is.
Knowing your point of view and expressing it are two different things.
Many online business owners struggle to have any voice at all when it comes to their business. Sharing what we believe online can feel daunting and leave us feeling vulnerable to attack or criticism. What if people don’t like what I have to say? Who cares what I think? Who am I to talk about these things anyway? I’m sure you know how it goes.
To avoid putting ourselves in the firing line of judgement, we stay small, say as little as possible and make sure that what we do say doesn’t have the potential to upset or offend anyone. We think the worst-case scenario is saying the wrong thing, but what so often happens is that we say barely anything at all (which is far worse) or at best what we do say is bland, mediocre and ineffectual.
Not ideal, if we are to have any hope of being noticed amongst the gazillion other businesses out there. And I get it, it can feel scary to put something out there that could have people shaking their heads in disagreement or that could turn them off so instantly that they want nothing more to do with you.
But here’s the thing, we absolutely want to polarize people with our opinion. We want people to hear our message and to either resonate with it so strongly that they become our fans for life or not resonate it with, so much so, that they can’t reach for the unsubscribe button fast enough.
Having a strong point of view is how we stand out. It’s how we get noticed. It’s how we get referred on to other people. It’s how we have an impact. It’s what we become known for. It’s how we get a true and deep sense of fulfilment from our work. When we fail to express a strong point of view about our work or the problem it solves, we become invisible, we fail to get clients and, not only that, we fail to be true to ourselves. Trying to please everybody sucks just as much in business as it does in our personal lives.
Perhaps you’ve been burned for expressing strong opinions in the past. I know that the opinionated young woman of my twenties definitely got the message that being too opinionated was not welcome. But we’re not talking about being controversial for the sake of it or being inflammatory just to get a response. There’s far enough of that on the internet already.
What we are talking about is sharing what you stand for and what you stand against. We’re talking about your point of view about what you do, which is rooted in your personal and professional experiences of the service or solution you provide.
There are a several things you can do to start to uncover and refine your point of view and below are a few strategies I’ve collected over the years.
In her Female Business Academy class, Selling with Soul, Business Coach, Heidi Taylor invites us to write out 2 lists (with a minimum of 12 things on each). What do I stand for? and what do I stand against? Think about these questions in the context of your work, your industry and the wider world. What do you hear other practitioners in your industry saying that you completely disagree with? What do you hate hearing about your modality or service.
To give you an example from my business, I stand for marketing with integrity and putting the person before the sale. I stand against “6 figures in 6 weeks” promises and manipulating people to buy by playing on their fear of missing out. How about you? What would you put on your lists?
Rebecca Tracey of The Uncaged Life recommends writing out a rant and gives these instructions: “Imagine you’re sitting down with your best friend over a tea. You’re talking about your industry and your clients and all the ways that they are struggling. Why, in your opinion, are they still struggling? How has the industry let them down? What do they need to know to help them move past this? How is your way different than what they have tried before? What do they need to hear to give them hope?”
I recommend using content creation as a tool to begin uncovering and articulating your point of view. Rather than creating content you think people want to read or creating similar content to what others in your industry are sharing, instead consider what makes you different, consider your particular approach to the problem and share content relating to that. Have the purpose of your content be to share your perspective rather than get the sale. Have it be a conversation with your right-fit people rather than trying to appeal to the masses. To see an example of a blog post that clearly shares my point of view head here.
And if you’re not yet convinced of the importance of having a strong point of view, I leave you with these words from Tad Hargrave, author of the e-book, Point of View Marketing:
“When you put out a clear point of view, your approach will attract people who are already aligned with what you believe; people who are open to what you have to say and ready to work with you.
It’s like a clear homing beacon, a bright lighthouse that cuts through the rain and the fog indicating where safe harbour is. They see the lighthouse and think, “Aha! Finally. We’ve arrived.”
So what’s your point of view? I’d love to hear from you, so if you feel called to please share something in the comments about your business point of view. And if the idea of using content creation as a means to articulate and refine your point of view, then you might be interested in my personal challenge for April detailed below.
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