To find what motivates your clients, look for their baggage.

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If you’ve read even one popular psych book, you know every relationship comes with baggage.

Your last one ended with everybody crying.

You felt betrayed because you’d trusted that person so much.

Or you had a great experience and mutually agreed to part ways on a positive, loving note.

When you someone new, you come with all those memories, buried emotions and, traumas. It takes a while to put all that in the past…and you’re wary at first. Or maybe you think, “I know what I’m doing now. I’ve learned from my experience. This one’s going to be great.”

You’ll discover the contents of their baggage truck when you dig into their backstory.

“Last time I hired a web designer, he charged me a bundle and then disappeared when the job was half done.”

“The last lawyer I hired was rude and sarcastic, and he never returned my calls.”

“I’ve been looking for a way to get my team to work together and get the project done on time. I’ve tried everything the management gurus recommend.”

Some companies build a business around their client backstories.

“I want a professional website but I can’t bear to deal with another difficult webmaster.” That backstory fueled the success of a website development training program.

“I want someone who will talk to me about my money, without jargon, without being patronizing.” A money coach targets that story.

Or you can build on a customer’s backstory to create a compelling lead magnet:
“I’ve been trying to make money from my blog. I just get headaches.”

When you dig deeper, you get the full backstory. These lines tell you the problem. But what obstacles are holding them back from finding their own solution? What have they tried already? Why didn’t that work?

When you’re a small business, you aren’t pulling a segment from millions of people who viewed an ad. You’re turning a laser beam on a small number of people.

You’ve probably been told to write your copy to one person. You can do that.

But before you focus on what they look like and what they’re wearing, listen to their story. Imagine that individual sitting across from you at a coffee shop or next to you on a barstool. What are they saying? What are they not saying? And what’s their baggage?

And now you’re ready to write some copy.

Want to know more? Check out this 30-minute training: “The Surprising Way To Recognize What REALLY Motivates Your Ideal Target Market”

Originally published at on August 30, 2020.

Helping entrepreneurs and independent professionals grow their businesses one story at a time.

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