In Hamilton, as Alexander sings “I am not throwing away my shot / Hey yo, I’m just like my country / I’m young scrappy and hungry / And I’m not throwing away my shot” we know exactly who he is, and we feel his conviction in our bones. He tells us that as a character why he’s always going to make the most of the moment – no matter what the cost – and we believe him.
You already know that when someone plants their flag in the ground and tells us what they stand for, it’s powerful.
So when was the last time you took a stand and shared exactly what your business is here to accomplish?
If your answer is never, or two years ago, you’re not alone. Most of us are so deep into our daily to-do lists that we forget to share a powerful, big picture vision of how we help our readers and customers.
Thankfully, musicals and Disney movies are overachievers in this department and are familiar teachers that can help us share our big vision in a helpful, profitable way.
Early in any musical or Disney movie, the main character will sing a song that packs an emotional punch, while clearly and loudly telling us exactly what their big dream is. Meet the musical plot device known as the “I wish” song.
An “I wish” song shares what our hero wants more than anything else:
- In the Little Mermaid, it’s Arial singing how much she wants to be part of the human world.
- In Frozen, Anna won’t be alone for the first time in forever and is longing to meet people (And if the guy of her dreams was hanging out by the cheese plate, that be fine.)
- And – one of my favourites – in Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington is sad because he’s tired of being mayor of Halloween. After celebrating the holiday every day for years, he wants a change from the same old scares.
All of these heroes do exactly what anyone with a brand should do: Share the big dream we have for our customers early and often.
The stories we tell in our website content, headlines, social media posts and email sequences can all be powerful ways to share our big vision for our customers if we use them properly.
Owning and sharing what you want to help your customers accomplish is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Doing this well is how all the brands, creatives and businesses you love caught your attention, so sit’s time for you to step up to the challenge and join them.
Write your “I wish” song
Step one: If you could help potential customers accomplish one thing, what would it be?
Your big vision is different than the dream of the heroes above for one big reason: your customer is the hero, not you.
Your big vision is about the distant land your customer wants to travel to. It’s the story of the world they want to join, and the reason the word “aspirational” is used so heavily in marketing.
Marie Masse from Fearless & Framed does an amazing job at this. Her Dare to Photographers is a great example of her ‘I wish song’. Marie shares a strong vision of where she leads her audience and clients, and that vision is so clear that it has a magnetic pull. Her best customers and ideal readers can’t help but draw around her and feel inspired to step up and become who they want to be.
Step two: Find different ways to sing it out!
Many new business owners and bloggers assume that once we write a post on a specific topic, we’ve checked it off our list forever. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
To market like a professional, you need to give yourself permission to act like one. And professionals stay on message. They circle back to themes, core ideas and their mission all the time – in blog posts, on social media, and in their email marketing. Talk about it with passion in every way you can.
“Go an inch wide and a mile deep.”
– Michael Port
Consistency in your message is how you sing your song, and how your message finds its way to new audiences. Keep singing, keep honing it, polish it and make yourself stand out!
It can be tempting to worry about choosing the wrong “big vision” and hang back instead of sharing. I’d urge you to try this experiment. Even just for the next few months, choose a central theme or story, and plan your social media and content around this theme.
You can even expand this further by building your marketing plan around this message. By focusing on your ‘song,’ your voice will be stronger, your difference will shine, and you’re more likely to jump out to your ideal clients.
They won’t believe they didn’t find you sooner.