Having watched Simon Sinek’s TED talks and read his Start With Why book, I decided to apply his principle on my businesses and mentorship strategies.
Below are the three takeaways I got from the concept of Start With Why:
1. Step Back and Use “Why” to Think About Your Own Business
Do you know your company’s “why”? (Hint: It’s not to make money). Think about the core purpose of your business, and then think about how you market your products or services. Are they aligned?
Having loyal customers is all about attracting the people who share your fundamental beliefs. Remember:
People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
Yes, this might seem obvious, but it’s a critical step that is often overlooked. If you were (or are) the founder of your business, would you not want the people marketing it to know why you started it in the first place? Understanding “why” is essential to knowing how to communicate “how” and “what” you do.
2. Include “Why” in Your Marketing Material
The idea of starting with “why” is also a copy writing best practice. The next time you are writing an email, a blog post, or a landing page, start your writing with “why.”
“Why” explains the underlying value of what you are promoting. Consider these two opening sentences to a hypothetical email:
“Check out our new ebook, 7 Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media. We will show you the seven most effective ways to use social media to generate leads for your business.”
“In the past decade, social media has become a very powerful tool for businesses. More and more businesses are adopting social media strategies to fuel their lead generation. In our new ebook, we will show you the seven most effective ways to use social media for your business. Check out 7 Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media.”
What I have observed is that the second type of email copy leads to a significantly higher click-through rate. Communicating the value (aka the “why”) right from the beginning sparks the reader’s interest, at which point all you need to do is close the deal with the details (how and what).
3. Redefine your Buyer Personas
Again: People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
With that mind, think about your buyer personas or DNA for a moment. Are they based purely on target location and assumed characteristics? Are they the kinds of people who might share your core beliefs and values? What is it that drives your customers to buy your products and remain loyal over a long period of time?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s ok. You don’t necessarily have to scrap your buyer personas and start over. Just add more context to who they are and how they identify with your “why.” Doing so will get you to start thinking about the internal motivation that goes behind their purchase decisions.
Perhaps you are a small business with large competitors and your customers are loyal to you because they like to support the little guy. Maybe you are making the world a better place, and your customers love you because they believe in your cause. Whatever the reason, redefining your buyer personas to match your “why” is critical in creating marketing that inspires them to continue advocating for you.
When someone believes in your “why,” they are more than a sales lead or customer; they are an evangelist, an ambassador of your business.
Start with Why.