Do you communicate your WHY clearly?

Your WHY is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your fingertips 

Marketing - Why

About this time of the year, some of us feel like our WHY has been snuffed out.  It has disappeared, vanished, left the room.

That burning desire and internal mojo is just a flicker.

It has been replaced with fuzzy benchmarks like more Facebook Likes, more Twitter followers, more LinkedIn connections, more email subscribers, more traffic, more, more, more.

We’ve forgotten WHY we are doing what we do. Our focus has shifted to the dogged doing.

You may be scratching your head saying to yourself “My WHY”? “

“What In blue blazes is Sheila talking about?

My WHY is to make money, put food on the table.  Maybe if I’m really lucky, I’ll get stinking rich and run for Congress where I can become richer. Isn’t that why everyone is in business?”

No! That’s not WHY everyone is in business!

For some, their WHY burns red hot.  They spend every waking moment obsessively thinking about how they can do what they do better, quicker, smarter.  They ignore dire predictions and stay focused on their WHY. And they eagerly share their WHY with their customers.

I was reminded of this the other day while visiting a local clothing store that recently added TOMS shoes to its inventory.

In addition to supporting a truly phenomenal cause like TOMS, I also noticed this store carried some local area clothing and jewelry vendors.

Prior to visiting, I knew nothing about this store’s WHY.  It has been a fixture in the community for decades and, yet, I didn’t know this store carried TOMS or supported local artisans.

I don’t know if the store owners are using this as a marketing ploy or if they genuinely – from their heart – support TOMS and local area vendors.

All I’ve ever seen are advertisements for seasonal sidewalk sales.

No mention of TOMS shoes or the personal gratification one receives when they buy a pair for themselves knowing another pair is sent to someone without shoes.

No mention of supporting creative local area artisans in my community, which I love to do.

Why didn’t I know?

Simple. They never told me.

They never bothered to communicate their WHY.

Why is communicating your WHY necessary?

Your WHY defines YOU.

It also defines your audience – others who care about your WHY.

Once they become aware of your WHY, it pulls them toward you.  Not everyone, just those who also care about your WHY.

It is how people identify, connect and learn to trust you because you and they share a common WHY.

Your WHY is what gets you as a stressed out business owner through the tough times.

It is your burning ember.  It makes it all worthwhile.

Don’t think your WHY has to be something grand or charity oriented.   It doesn’t. Your WHY just has to be genuine.

  • You’re the struggling entrepreneur who wants to become stinking rich and in the process you want to help others to become stinking rich.
  • You’re the real estate agent that gets great joy in knowing exactly how to market a home so it gets top dollar.
  • You’re a beautician that feels so good when her clients look in the mirror and smiles at how you’ve enhanced their looks.
  • You’re the vacation planner that wants to create truly memorable vacations and to give a portion of your profits to these luxurious, yet underdeveloped countries to educate children.
  • You’re the retailer that not only wants to sell shoes, but wants your efforts to be magnified through a selfless organization like TOMS.

Tell them WHY you do what you do.

Shout it from the roof tops.

Put your WHY in your ads.

Include it in your email signatures.

Tell them on your website.

Make a really big deal about your WHY.

As Simon Sinek says:

And, as Seth Godin remarked in a recent post on Digital is slippery:



And the quickest way to instill trust is to communicate your WHY so your customers know you and they have something more in common  than just commerce. There are other benefits to WHY, but start there and see just how far it will take you.

Your Turn

What is your WHY?

Why do you do what you’re doing?

Are your sharing your WHY with your customers?

Why not?

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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