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What's Your Hook?

Every business has one. That unique characteristic that sets your business apart. Identifying that hook is tremendously important to a business. It’s what you use to draw your customers or clients in to try out your product or service. Sometimes you’re too close to your business to clearly identify that hook – get some more people involved whom you trust. They may point out something that seems obvious or not important to you, but really resonates with clients or customers. For example, early in my career, I worked at a company that decided to rebrand. Working with a consultant, many client interviews were conducted, and clients were asked which words described the company. Internal staff were asked the same question, then the results were compiled. Missing from the internal staff list were words like ethical and trustworthy. To the internal staff, these were givens. To clients, these were traits that were held higher than technical expertise. So bear that concept in mind as you figure out your differentiators – stay simple and don’t overlook obvious, but important, characteristics of your business.

Once you’d figured out that hook, use it! Mention it in all of your marketing and networking activities. Highlight it on your web site, in social media, in email marketing, in direct meetings with potential clients. Mention it to existing clients and see if it resonates with them. Periodically, it’s worth revisiting as your market and your business grow and change. But not too often! Identify that hook early, reinforce it in all of your interactions with potential clients, and grow your business!

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