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Your great product is worthless if you don’t get this right

Welcome to today’s issue of Conversion Alchemy Journal. If you received this from a friend and enjoy it, subscribe here.

Hey Reader,

You’ve got to product-market fit. Your people love what you’ve built. But you can’t seem to grow your initial user base. Why?

I stumbled on this post by Peep Laja and it was a big confirmation for what I’m seeing lots of founders, growth managers and marketers struggling with so much:

  1. they can’t clearly explain what makes them different and why their audience should care
  2. they don’t know who they’re speaking to and can’t reach them
  3. they can’t get their teams aligned on how to say what it is they do

But every time I speak with clients, one thing jumps out: they know their shit!

Problem is, they know it so well and at such a deep level, that it’s hard for someone who’s not familiar with it to understand them. It’s like they’re speaking an entirely different language.

Reason why they end up in the situation Peep described.

It’s the curse of knowledge.

A 1984 experiment explains how that works.

Participants were assigned to one of two roles: ‘tappers’ or ‘listeners.’ Tappers would tap out the rhythm of a well-known song on a table, and the listeners would try to guess the song. While tappers predicted a 50% correct guess rate, only 2.5% of songs were correctly identified by the listeners.

Once we know something, it’s hard to imagine not knowing it.

This is why there’s a huge gap between how B2B SaaS position themselves and how their target customers receive that positioning.

These businesses do almost everything right from the get go:

  • They have a clear vision
  • They put the correct strategy in place
  • They get to product-market fit
  • They even clarify their positioning in their market

But then something breaks…

They can’t get to message-market fit.

What is that, you may ask?

I love Daphne TIdeman’s definition:

“Message-market fit is positioning combined with the right language, for the right audience for the right awareness level”.

Message-market fit = Positioning + Right Language + Right Awareness

In other words, you get to message-market fit when you can clearly say what you do, who you do it for, and how you do it in a unique or better way – to the people who value it the most.

When you nail this, you nail growth and differentiation – on all channels. And you make it easier to communicate inside your company too (= even easier, faster growth).

But it’s not easy.

As a SaaS leader, you have to be able to empty your mind.

The only way to do it is to continuously immerse yourself in your audience’s language.

Yesterday I was speaking with a business owner who’s been in her space for 20+ years and she has the same problem. She’d been speaking to B2B people for ages, and just recently shifted to consumers. She doesn’t know how to speak to them.

And with a lot of companies, when that happens it’s because they don’t have systems in place to get real messaging feedback from their people, or they don’t prioritize it.

Well, they (you) should.

It doesn’t have to be hard.

Start small:

  1. Do you know which buckets your audience is composed of? Who are they? → Segment your list
  2. Do you have a clear idea of their Jobs To Be Done? What are they trying to achieve and how? → Use these to come up with angles for value propositions
  3. Do you know what resonates? → Test your copy (use email, ads, interviews, surveys or simulate with AI).

You have no excuse to get started. And the sooner you start closing that language gap, the more ground you’ll conquer in your market. A little step in the right direction can be a giant leap toward emptying your mind and being able to speak like your audience needs.

Will you take it?

We’ll dive deeper into exactly how, soon.

📚 3 things to get better at copywriting

1. A masterclass in interviewing customers

Here’s Jobs To Be Done co-creator Bob Moesta showing you how to run a customer interview. This is a true hero of mine.

“If I cannot talk about who, when, where and why, I don’t know what I’m doing.”

  • Bob Moesta

2. How to row in the same direction

A big part of speaking the same language inside your company and of “emptying your mind” comes down to good leadership. Here’s why you should start having “Idea coaches” in your team:

“Under the kaizen system, your supervisor is your idea coach. It remains the employee’s idea, but through working with someone who is more experienced with a deeper understanding of the art of the possible, 99 per cent of ideas are accepted and collaboratively developed into something that could work. All employees at Toyota are tasked with coming up with at least one idea per month – making it a central part of everyone’s role. Supervisors are also tasked with making sure each of their team members succeeds in coming up with at least one idea per month.”

  • Steven Bartlett, The Diary of a CEO

3. Can you accurately judge yourself?

twitter profile avatar
Chris SilvestriTwitter Logo
One of the most under appreciated life skills is the ability to be as accurate as possible in judging what you’re average at vs what you’re better than most at.
9:51 AM • Nov 30, 2023

✅ Don’t miss it

🤔 Thought of the week

“You are morally obligated to do remarkable things.”

  • Jordan Peterson

Nobody owes you anything in this life. You might as well do great things if you have to out in all the effort.

Have a great weekend!

Chris Silvestri

Founder, Conversion Alchemy

🙌🏻 Let’s be friends (unless you’re a stalker)

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