Ah good ole’ sexy positioning. Wait… is it just me getting excited about it? Well, you’ll have to bare with me today, because we’re diving into it. It starts with a story about my hair…
My hair is one of those things that I still have to get control of.
It’s wild, literally.
I’m having bad hair days in perpetuity.
I don’t know what kind of messed up hair-gene I’ve got. Everyone seems to be fine in my family (except my twin brother, you know, we’re the same). But me?
So lately I got interested in understanding how to fix this unbearable problem myself.
I studied face shapes.
In this quick video you’ll learn everything you need to know about matching your face shape with the best hairstyle.
This visual might help too:
This was one of those realizations that unlocked the matrix for me.
From now on, I know what hairstyles fit me and which ones make me look like an even uglier version of IT.
But, what does this have to do with positioning at all?
You see, just like your face shape should match your hairstyle, your positioning should match a lot of the conditions that make or break your success in business and conversion.
For example, for a typical SaaS company:
- Custom fit: Just like certain hairstyles complement specific face shapes, SaaS solutions must be tailored to meet the unique needs of a particular audience or industry.
- Accentuate strengths, mitigate weaknesses: Hairstyles can highlight certain facial features while downplaying others. Similarly, strong SaaS positioning focuses on a product’s strengths and benefits, while also solving or lessening the impact of customer pain points.
- First impressions: Hairstyles contribute significantly to first impressions, which can be hard to shake. In the same way, a SaaS company’s branding and positioning are often the first interaction a potential customer has with the product, shaping their perception moving forward.
- Trend awareness vs. timelessness: Mohawks are cool but not forever. Same with SaaS trends. Positioning should be flexible enough to incorporate trends without losing sight of the core value proposition that makes it enduring.
- Balance & harmony: Ever seen a mullet on a round face? Disaster. In SaaS positioning, there should be a balance between technical features and user experience, between innovation and reliability, and between cost and value.
- Understanding your ‘shape’: Face shapes dictate haircuts. For SaaS, your market landscape (i.e. customer needs, competition) is your “shape.” Get to know it or get lost.
But once you know it how do you stand out?
You need to have a “point of view”.
It’s what I’ve been working on lately as I’m revamping my own positioning, but also what I try to always consider when working with clients.
I love how Louis Grenier even has a point of view on points of view:
“Everyone tells you you need one, but they never tell you why. They dance around the issue because they are just repeating what others are saying. Having a point-of-view gives a structured narrative to the people you seek to serve and a strong signal that you’re willing to take a short-term ‘hit’ in favor of a long-term relationship with your segment.”
And that’s not all, April Dunford in her new book “Sales Pitch” sasys that a good “insight” or point of view:
“Immediately establishes your credibility as experienced and knowledgeable about the space.
Frames the customer’s situation in a way that orients the discussion toward your differentiated value (and nobody else’s), right from the beginning.
Sets up a discussion with the prospect about the overall market. Starting with market insight makes it easy to transition to talking about the other approaches to solving the problem and space to do discovery.”
When you work on building a solid point of view, that’s when people pay attention. It’s like you emanate a magnetic aura. It attracts the right ones and repels the others.
I find it very useful to think in terms of having a strong, even polarizing point of view.
For me it’s that good copy is not just words. It’s user journeys, flow, UX, visual hierarchy and context, too. It’s that writing effective copy comes from a deep understanding of your customers.
You could say that my approach is like a custom haircut for SaaS brands – designed to highlight their best features, attract the right attention, and set them apart in a crowded market.
When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see?
If not, know that you can change it.
You just need to dig deep and find what works for you.
📚 3 things to get better at copywriting
1. The power of culture
I’m reading the book “For the culture“. I always thought about the idea of culture as something high up in the clouds, a hairy fairy concept. But this read is changing my mind about its power. Knowing your audience’s culture in and out can literally transform the way you communicate with them. Again, your point of view matters!
2. Linguistic killshots
When it comes to having a strong point of view, it helps if you can build an image in the minds of your audience of who you’re competing against. Otherwise they’ll make up one on their own. Scott Adams has a great term for this “Linguistic killshots”. It’s the terminology that Donald Trump used in his campaign to discredit his adversaries (i.e. Low-energy Jeb, Lyin’ Ted Crooked Hillary…).
Linguistic killshots are effective because they’re memorable, visually apt, anticipate confirmation bias, offer strategic contrast, and shift focus to higher conceptual ground.
3. What’s your personal positioning?
A great way to understand how positioning works at a deep human level is to ask your friends. Seriously, ask friends and family one simple question: “What’s my unique ability?”. You’ll be amazed by the eye-opening responses.
I did that as part of my positioning project and apparently everyone sees me as this uber disciplined, Rambo-like problem-solver. It’s pretty cool 😄
✅ Don’t miss it
- A new video is going live today! It’s the ultimate guide on how to learn conversion copywriting. If you’re curious about where to figure this stuff out, what the best resources are, or you just want to find out how I learned everything I know, check it out.
- I picked up my personal newsletter Negative Capability a few weeks ago. It’s where I write about literally anything running through my mind and where I explore ideas. For example my 12 favorite problems.
🤔 Thought of the week
“Luck and risk are siblings. They are both the reality that every outcome in life is guided by forces other than individual effort.”– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
Chaos is part of life. Don’t aim for more control, aim for more clarity. The better you see things the better you can navigate chaos.