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What bootstrapped companies get wrong about positioning and how to fix it

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Yesterday I led a really cool workshop hosted by a VC fund for bootstrapped SaaS companies.

The topic: positioning.

I had the opportunity of asking questions and getting these founders’ thoughts on what their companies do, who they do it for, and how.

But something stuck out like a sore thumb…

What they think of as positioning, is not really positioning.

What they’re worried mostly about, are the “shiny objects”.

Things like:

  • Where to place a button
  • What color the button should be
  • How to showcase their features on the homepage
  • Whether or not to include 2 or just 1 call to action at the top of the page
  • AB testing value propositions
  • And more…

I think there’s a bit of a disconnect there.

And it might be the reason why so many get positioning wrong.

Your positioning – where you stand in the market with what you sell, for your target customer – should be built on strong foundations.

That’s why I use a 20+ point document that I called Positioning Formula™️ to crystallize my clients’.

And guess where it starts from?

The audience, the target personas.

Not from the company, nor from their website design or branding.

There’s a place for those, including their brand’s voice, but it’s not where you should start from.

Want to improve your positioning and make it crystal clear so the right people think of you as the ONLY solution?

Here’s a quick framework:

  1. Start where your prospects start: follow them through their journey from the starting point. Where do they come from when they land on your site? What messages and visuals do they see before getting there? Use this information to match those on your site (or adjust if that doesn’t resonate).
  2. Match and exceed expectations: on your site, use the initial 10% of the page to match those expectations and messaging. Use the remaining 90% of the page to exceed them.
  3. Combine their journey with their identity: with a clear picture of the prospect’s journey to your site, use the demographic and psychographic information you have (if you don’t, time to get some) to build your positioning. On your site it comes down first, to your value proposition. One of the main problems here is that founders don’t inject their value proposition with elements of their customers’ identity. In other words: does your headline tell your audience that they should be here because this is for someone like them?
  4. Make it easy to “consume” your positioning: use your navigation, your crossheads, your eyebrow copy, your CTAs, to help your visitors orient themselves. It’s not only about selling, but also about guidance. You’re helping them make a decision, but also pointing them to the right areas of your site where they can make a better decision. This comes down to understanding UX design.

Get these 4 points right and you’ll be in a much better place to evaluate and improve your positioning.

Finding the right positioning, positioning that converts is not easy and often it’s not as direct of a path as you might think.

You have to get to it sideways, from learning and iterating.

Do you have questions about or challenges with your positioning?

No matter if you run a company or a service business. Just shoot me a reply, I’d love to help you out.

Quote and reflection of the day:

“If there is a key to influencing the future, it’s through bold action.”

– Phil Stutz, The Tools

The level of future you create will equate to the level of risks you will  take. Train your risk-taking muscle by looking for the next calculated but increasingly higher level risk opportunity.

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Every week I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

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