In the winter of 2007 I was 85 pounds over weight. I had a colicky newborn, a failing marriage, and a career in tatters. I had just been spectacularly fired and I had to fix my life. I knew for sure, in the depths of my being, that if I could just lose the extra weight everything would fix itself. I could show up at job interviews without looking unprofessional and frumpy and get a great job, my colicky baby would be able to breast feed without being suffocated by my rolls of fat and he’d stop crying, my husband would be attracted me and our marriage would be saved; and, most importantly, I would be happy.
I was a smart girl. How was it I could not solve this problem when clearly it was the answer to everything that was wrong in my life???
When I stumbled on Brooke Castillo’s book “If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Lose Weight?” (which you should immediately go buy if you don’t have it), I was relieved. Finally, someone was going to help me lick this problem. Even the subtitle was perfect “Tools to Get it Done!” – that’s exactly what I needed!
The truth was my extra weight was not the problem. The cause of my weight was a lack of self-love and an inability to manage my own mind, but I didn’t KNOW that and I wouldn’t have believed it. I believed I was smart, highly successful, loved and loving, and I just had this one stupid, pesky, impenetrable problem – my weight.
Had Brooke called her book “Why Self-Love and Managing Your Thoughts is The Solution to all Your Problems” I would never have laid eyes on it, or her work. She wouldn’t have made a difference (to me) with her book.
What Brooke did that was brilliant is she spoke MY language. What if she called her book: “Your Weight Isn’t Really the Problem”? Would I have believed that? Nope! Not for a minute. I KNEW losing weight would solve all my problems and she didn’t try to convince me otherwise – at least not on the cover!
What do you think your biggest problem is? Do you think you don’t have the right branding? That you aren’t skilled enough as a coach or in whatever service you offer? That you aren’t disciplined or focused enough? That you aren’t clear enough what you want to do or who you want to help? What problems have you googled looking for a solution?
Notice how what you are searching for is based on what your thoughts are now and not what the actual solutions are. That’s what you need to identify for your prospective readers and clients!
When I thought being fat was my problem I was looking for anything that would help me fix that problem.
Your ideal reader has a problem you can solve too. The solution might look different than they expect. I thought Brooke’s book would teach me about unique food combinations, the glycemic index, or times during the day when extra calories did not convert to extra weight. Instead, her book taught me how to separate my thoughts from my circumstances, how to find and feel my feelings, and how to take accountability for my life. This was not what I expected the solution to be. [Spoiler Alert: She was right.]
So whether you are writing a book, a blog post, or a Facebook status update; take a minute to think like an ideal reader. How are they identifying their problems? How can you speak in their language?
This is the absolute, positive, secret to making a difference with your message. It’s a learned skill and a different way of thinking but when you get it, everything will change.
Lemme know if you need any help.