As a business owner, you have the responsibility of solving some problem that your client has. It may have even been a problem you’ve had at some point in your life — leading you to start your business. So you likely know it well.
I became a developer because I was a blogger, who didn’t know where to turn and decided to teach myself about coding, so I could get my blog exactly the way I wanted it to be. It was easy for me because I already had a foundation in code thanks to my degree in Physics, but I realized for other people, code could be rather confusing. So I started helping friends who wanted little tweaks done on their websites. I build a theme here and adjusted some code there. I knew how frustrating it could be wanting to make changes but not knowing how. But here I was able to help and solve problems for my friends.
The difficulty with problem solving as a business owner is typically businesses only go one level deep when talking about a problem. They reduce it to a formula like “You need a website. We build websites.”
True. But dull. Obvious. And also the truth for hundreds of other business out there.
So how do show people that you’re the right person to help them? You dig deeper.
Let’s talk about the levels:
LEVEL 1. The obvious problem.
This is superficially what people come to you for. For us, it’s usually a website. For some of our clients, it may be makeup or a rug or program that helps them get healthy. This makes the initial connection.
LEVEL 2. The emotional problem.
Let’s face it, while the obvious problem gets us googling, what really drives us is how we feel about the problem. You don’t want to be frustrated with your website anymore, so you hire a developer you can trust. You want to feel beautiful so you buy a new moisturizer. You want to feel at ease and comfortable in your home so you buy a new sofa.
Our emotions drive us to make purchases. We’re not just buying a product or program or class to get that thing — what we really want is the transformation. We want to change how we feel, we want to become a new version of ourselves.
LEVEL 3. The philosophical problem.
This level of a problem can be a little harder to access. It’s the “should” (or “should not”) of the issue, that bigger picture piece where our message lies. For Alchemy+Aim, we believe that every person should be doing their genius work, not sitting at a computer frustrated that they can’t get their website to be what they want it to be — we can help you get the website and business of your dreams without all the frustration. That’s the philosophical problem we solve. For a company that sells beauty products, their message may be that every person should know what it means to be beautiful, in a way that’s self-defined rather than dictated by society.
Your business is making a statement about this world, about what’s possible for an individual, and about what change can happen when we as individuals step into the power we have when we’re able to address what holds us back.
But in order to help people (and bring in revenue so you can grow and help even more people), you need to be clear on the obvious, emotional, and philosophical problems your business solves.
It’s work figuring this out, yes. But when you can appeal to potential customers on all three levels, they engage and buy and transform.
(And if you need guidance defining each level for your business, that’s what we do. Just reach out to us and we can chat about the support you need.)
Photo by Justin Roy