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Why You Need a Solid Customer Value Proposition Before You Publish Any More Content

customer-value-propositionConsultants love to tell you what they think is wrong with your business. There’s always a theory on why you’re not attracting the customers you want.

I’m sure you’ve heard some of these statements along the way:

  • “You don’t have enough presence on social media. You need to engage more.”
  • “Your site isn’t well optimized for Google and your backlink profile is not the best.”
  • “You’re not publishing enough content! And you need to promote the content you do have.”
  • “You don’t have any lead-generating material on your website. You’re wasting all your traffic.”

In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve said these phrases in some form or another multiple times.

But there’s something more important… more vital… and way more powerful that may be missing from your business that’s holding you back from being successful: A big idea, in the form of a rock-solid customer value proposition.

A Big Idea: The Key to Attracting Your Online Audience

The main mistake I see content marketers making is producing content related solely to their products and services. There’s no real engagement or interest in painting a picture of something bigger that could draw the attention of a large group of people. Product and service-oriented content in itself doesn’t excite people.

What DOES excite people is something big: an ideal, a possibility or a goal that they could achieve that could make some significant impact on their life. The businesses who build responsive audiences get this right from the beginning.

You can see this here at Mirasee – the big idea is that if you build relationships based on a genuine desire to help – you will succeed in your business.

Like most big ideas – it’s simple on its face – but hugely impactful in practice.

With a Big Idea in tow, content creation is effortless. Write posts, create videos or interview guests on a podcast that all point to the customer value proposition. Then, skillfully show how your products and services can make the it a reality. After all, you’re not in the content marketing game just to produce content or build an audience – your content marketing plan is meant to add value to the marketplace and be rewarded for it.

But to even get the chance to show how your products and services fit, you have to figure out how to attract customers by capturing the attention and imaginations of your prospects.

Your Why Isn’t Enough

One of the most common hypotheses I’ve heard that separates one company from another is that the more successful company has a strong grasp on their Why.

But I have to disagree here.

Asking why you do something is inherently focused on you. And, though we’d like to think we’re above it, our human nature sinks in and many of our Whys come down to very practical reasons like “I need to provide for my family” or “I see lots of potential in this market.”

The real question you should ask is:

“Why should anyone – including the stranger I meet in a coffee shop or the person next to me in line at the grocery store – feel compelled to learn more from me?”

You see you already know why you’re doing something – you want to build a business, create an income, live the kind of lifestyle you want – and there’s no good reason anyone else should really care about that!

When you flip the question on its head, and instead force yourself to answer why other people should be interested, is when you start to make business breakthroughs.

This is something that, like the big idea concept in general, sounds easier than it is – mostly because you really want customers to get your valueproposition. You crave it – and you can’t always see why they don’t. It’s tempting to manufacture an answer to the question: “why would someone care” when you should be researching and actually asking people! This way lies true value.

A Big Idea in Action – Looking at Lomography

Have you ever heard of Lomography?

Maybe you have and maybe you haven’t – but once you know about them – they’re pretty hard to forget!

Imagine having only a few seconds to tell someone why they should be interested in old cameras and expired film, for example. Sounds difficult in a world defined by millions of pixels, phones with built-in cameras and high-definition, huh?

Not if you’re telling people your Big Idea that “Photography should be about having fun, not overthinking or perfect results.”

That’s the secret behind Lomography – a company that keeps on growing even though their cameras are far from the latest technology. Their Big Idea came out of the belief that we are too inhibited with the pictures we take and that’s why we fail to take memorable photos.

To help make their Big Idea a reality, Lomography even defined Golden Rules their audience could follow. One of these rules, Shoot From the Hip, has become almost a secret handshake among Lomographers.

Lomography has not only built an impressive online community with the help of a Big Idea, they have also sparked a whole movement defined by irreverence and enjoying the process of photography more than the result. In addition, Lomography can be credited with keeping film photography alive and well even in a time when there are children being born today who will never lay hands on a roll of film or a camera that uses it.

In short, they’re a company that sells the Big Idea first and then the supplies next.

Your Big Idea Takeaway

If you’re spending all your time using your website and your blog to sell your products, you need to stop publishing and start building a community around a Big Idea.

I want you to ask yourself the following questions and seriously reflect on them before you let another blog post, podcast or video out into the world.

Customer Value Proposition / Big Idea Defining Questions:

  • Is my Big Idea more than an intellectual statement? Does it have an emotional impact?
  • Does my Big Idea stand on its own, separate from my products and services?
  • Does my Big Idea point to an idea or a possibility that people desire to reach?
  • Is the goal of my Big Idea big enough that people need help to achieve it?
  • Would people feel compelled to engage in conversations related to my Big Idea?

Your goal is to answer yes to each of these questions. When you get there, you’ll not only have a catalyst for reigniting your enthusiasm for creating content, you will also get a lot more attention for your business – the type of attention that can then be converted into leads and sales.

So, I have a simple question for you to answer in the comments: What’s your Big Idea? How do you plan on using your Customer Value Proposition to change the way you write content and build an audience online?

About Jeff Machado

Jeff Machado is a content marketing strategist for Fiore Communications, a Tallahassee marketing firm that helps businesses attract new customers, engage their audiences and build relationships.

58 comments

  1. Jo Foster says:

    Really interesting post and comment thread too! I have enjoyed the re-frame here. We are currently rebranding and building a new website to more clearly speak to our target audience and have spent a lot of time thinking about USP’s and the pains and solutions etc….. but this is a slightly different take on it.

    So – our Big Idea is this:

    “Success as a Mumpreneur can be simple and guilt free (It IS possible for Mumpreneurs to be successful in business without compromising on your family or your health and balance to get there).

    Love to hear any thoughts!

    1. Terence Verma says:

      The Mum bit will join and balance beautifully with the ‘preneur’ suffix, when you have found the ‘Big Idea’ for your enterprise.

  2. I received a little shock when I saw who you work for. I’m well-acquainted with your employer (Dave) as I also live in Tallahassee and his daughter and my son were in the homeschool band here together. Tallahassee’s a pretty small place – fun to see someone from Tally writing on this site.

    I liked your message as well. In fact, I copied and pasted this sentence into a Word document:

    “The real question you should ask is:

    ‘Why should anyone – including the stranger I meet in a coffee shop or the person next to me in line at the grocery store – feel compelled to learn more from me?'”

    That’s something I will be coming back to repeatedly, as it’s a critical question to ask, yet one I have to admit I never thought of before.

  3. Bobbie Cole says:

    Hi Georgina – I think Dove soap has taken this stance – they promote real women’s bodies. I think you’re onto something. Can you summarize it in a sentence?

  4. georgina says:

    I would love to share my thoughts on the big idea and my answers to the questions in the blog post:
    My big idea is: fashion made accessible to women with a “normal” figure meaning curvy and not the same size on top as the bottom. In addition to make fashion less hot air and more down to earth. It’s all about how fashion can help any woman look sexy, attractive and hot! I think this appeals to emotion. Don’t we all want to look sexy and fab even if we don’t fit the cookie cutter mold or if we think fashion is too frilly around the edges? I mean I can’t stand to hear another ” fierce” “make it work” or ” Banana’s”
    I make personalised illustrations which are intertwined with my personalised fashion advice and I make color inspirational bracelets. The end goal will be a fashion line which will solely exits of dresses which fits my focus group. ( I do need to raise capital first:-) Therefore the idea is encompasses more than my products.

    As I mentioned before the goal is to make fashion fit the curvy women not to become yet another fashion victim. Therefore their desire would be to boost confidence, feel happy and sexy without becoming just like everybody else.

    I do think this goal is something women would like expert help with in addition they would like to see it in action on a woman who has been there herself without totally making it about herself. (Therefore I have asked help from several of my girl friends who approach it from a totally different perspective but feel the same/ struggle with the same.)

    It’s time to change the fashion world as much as the traditional media has changed. I mean before we watched TV and big companies could shove their opinions/products down our throats and we bought it. Through social media that has changed. Now it’s time to fashion world starts to listen to us and doesn’t dictate the terms. No more feeling like we are inadequate but that we too can look like a million bucks even if we just bought the outfit for a bargain.

    Am I on the right track? Should I change my big idea? Any tips/ advice is more than welcome!

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Georgina,

      You are most certainly on the right track regarding your Big Idea. I would make it succinct and something you can refer to (and share!) often such as:

      “You can look sexy, attractive and hot – no matter what your shape!”

      The more “punchy” the statement, the more emotional impact you can have.

      In the comment below, Bobbie Cole pointed out Dove and she’s absolutely right – they have this down great. Many people can have the same Big Idea. But you have an awesome USP that you can align with your products to help your target audience get closer to making the Big Idea a reality.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and commenting Georgina.

  5. iain says:

    Building a community seems to be something that many people forget when they start a blog.

    I know I have fallen victim to it at times. You get so concentrated on what you’re doing and forget that you need to build a community.

    It’s not all about you. It’s about your community and how you build it.

    Great post.

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Exactly Iain. That’s why I love the Big Idea concept so much. People are much more likely to be part of a community with a shared Big Idea. That’s why a USP isn’t enough.

      Thanks for commenting and interacting, Iain!

      1. Iain says:

        Thanks for writing a great post.

        I love to interact. I think I may be better at it offline, but that the way things go.

        cheers

  6. Halina Goldstein says:

    Hi Jeff,

    This is a really inspiring post – and thank you for giving us an opportunity to share/get feedback on our Big Ideas. Here’s mine:

    “People should be able to live a meaningful, fulfilling and joyful life – even if their loved one has passed away”.

    My project is called From Grief To Growth and it’s created to inspire, educate and support widows.

    I have downloaded your PDF – it looks great and I will study it in greater detail – but wanted to share the above here and now.

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Halina,

      Your Big Idea gave me goosebumps. I lost my father 12 years ago and have seen my mom struggle so much. I know your Big Idea would resonate with her.

      I answered yes to all the Big Idea questions about yours. Congratulations!

      Let me know what you think about the guide and any questions you have. I’m here to help.

      Jeff

      1. Halina Goldstein says:

        Jeff, now it’s my turn to feel those goosebumps… One of my encounters with loss was very similar to yours: Losing my father and then witnessing my mother’s struggle. That’s many years ago and she’s gone too now – before I knew how to support her. I think of her often, as an inspiration for this work (even if she wasn’t the inspiration to begin with). Anyhow, your encouragement means a lot to me!

        I enjoyed the PDF. 3 things that I’d like to mention especially:
        1. The clarity of the Big Idea immediately blew away all the verbal struggles I’ve always had with trying to make an elevator speech and all that. It’s so powerful and simple!
        2. It was kind of enlightening to understand the difference between Big Idea and USP and how they play together
        3. I don’t usually think much about the design of a PDF. I did in this case. The design/structure of your PDF is so vibrant that it made me FEEL (as opposed to just think): “I want to read this!”. Impressive!

        Thank you!

        All the best

        Halina

  7. Kristen Hicks ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nice post! I’ve found it easier to figure out something like a “big idea” for clients (although haven’t ever thought of it in quite those terms) than for myself.

    In reading this though, something came to me that I think will serve pretty well: good marketing has to be about giving. That’s what drew me to content marketing as an industry.

    I know I hate the feeling of being sold to, and learned from a young age on to tune out most types of advertising. As our culture became more and more dominated by advertisements and sales pitches, people grew ever better at ignoring them. I think the shift in marketing to providing something of value to people first, instead of always making it all about the business or product has been an effective response to this, and one that offers the added benefit of allowing marketers and businesses to feel good about their work while still seeing results.

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Thanks for getting involved in the conversation, Kristen!

      Your paragraph re: hating the feeling of being sold seems to be a great source to help you define your Big Idea. Maybe something such as:

      “You can market your business in a way that people can’t ignore.”

      Then, you have a great opportunity to show how your words help your prospects get results and to get noticed. It will put you in a prime position to discuss the benefits of content marketing.

      Let me know if you have any follow up questions!

      Jeff

  8. Nita says:

    I think I hit upon my big idea during a workshop with Perry Belcher in Dallas. We were asked to make up a target customer and then write a sales letter to that person. I read mine and was applauded for the tone of my message and I think that is where I am going to concentrate my efforts. There are so many people who want help and are desperately seeking someone who can help them that doesn’t cost them an arm and leg. I took a course in free-lance writing and can use a lot of what I have learned there and in Linkedin. ONWARD TO A NEW ROUTE.

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      That’s awesome, Nita. Thanks for sharing that story.

      This is a topic for another post, but it makes me think that the better we define our Big Idea and then demonstrate very clearly how we (via our USP) can help make that Big Idea a reality, people may be less worried about money.

  9. Roberta Budvietas says:

    Jeff
    I have always taught new business owners and my mentoring clients that the why – called purpose consists of three parts:
    How will you and your team benefit – Why are you in business
    How will your clients and prospects benefit from your business – why would anyone buy from you
    How will the community benefit because you are in business. – why would the community support and refer others to your business
    My big idea now and always it to empower people to fulfil all three of these – many businesses do the first well but Lomography do. all three. Interesting when business fails to keep in touch with any part of the parts, it dies shortly thereafter, even if they once were a great company.
    Thanks for the information. I am looking forward to reading your report

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Roberta,

      I love your three-prong approach. A lot more businesses need to reflect on them. As far as defining a Big Idea, make sure to review the 2nd question. What you were touching on is more of your USP.

      Try to define something bigger so you can attract an audience and then have an opportunity to deliver your USP.

      I hope you enjoy the report and would be glad to answer any questions you have.

      Jeff

  10. Liesel says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am naive and new to the world of blogging and because I am learning from Jon Morrow, I checked you out since he tweeted you. Thank you for those helpful questions to ask defining the big idea! They make total sense to consider when trying to sell my big idea of people achieving happiness without changing their circumstances because they can! In my mind, it answers yes to the 5 questions or is it just my perception of my own idea? Your thoughts would be inspiring!

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Liesel,

      You are most certainly on the right track. I’ve often thought of a similar Big Idea and put it simply as:

      “You can be happy in the meantime.”

      People definitely need help with contentment and gratitude, the keys to having happiness without changing circumstances.

      You’ve got it!

      If you have a chance, I encourage you to read the report I linked to in the post so you can take the steps to get that Big Idea out there.

      Jeff

  11. Katherine, with reference to your comment ‘So few people even know what the word “woman” means’ – I honestly don’t think that just one person (you or anyone else) can truly define what is is to be a woman. Surely ‘being a woman’ is about more than just being defined by one idea or one person. How simplistic.

    Jeff, although I don’t agree with your condoning of this stifling view, thank you for the great blog post. My Big Idea is that no matter who you are or what you do you should never, ever settle for second best in life (man, woman or otherwise).

    1. Katharine ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Hey, Kirsty!
      I was not planning on going for opinion!!! Just, as I said, a definition. And THAT just for the very beginning,which was what I was asked to relate. It would not be the enire premis, at all! Just the facts, ma’am! I plan on quoting dictionaries, which are the word histories from many, many cultures and languages besides yours or mine, and which give us a far better and more factual picture of just what the WORD has always meant, as opposed to each of our own opinions on what “being a woman” means to each of us these days. You are right, that would be folly! And it would be a lousy basis for any sort of real help. Yep.

      And when I am done, those who are my clients will know how to avoid second best. Thanks for this great reminder! I shall commit to keeping it before me. You are really wise.

      1. Sorry Katherine, I assumed because of your comments on this post and the fact that you have an active blog that you were indeed ‘planning on going for opinion’. I misunderstood; I thought it was your opinion you were expressing. If on the other hand you’re planning on only expressing ‘just the facts’ as you say then all the best to you with the incredibly extensive research that must go into such an undertaking! I’m sure that expressing only facts without opinion on a blog (or anywhere else for that matter!) must be a pretty hard task!

        I’m not sure who your clients are and what service/product you offer them so perhaps have not go all the facts on your business – but I do wish you the best.

        1. Katharine ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

          Thanks, Kirsty!
          I shall remember to try being more careful about all the opinions we all have and shall always remember the help you have extended here! 🙂

    2. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Thanks for commenting Kirsty! I took a look at your site and I love what you’re doing. I definitely see how you’re also good at conveying that “Words Can Help You Build Your Dream Life” through your posts and how you are relating to your audience.

      Plus, I love the way you write titles!

      Looking forward to seeing how you grow more in the future.

      Jeff

      1. Thanks Jeff. The aim is to inspire my fellow freelance writers and other entrepreneurs to live the lives they want to by creating freedom and meaning in their work and lives. This is why your post resonated with me so much!

        Thanks again.

  12. Katharine Trauger ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Although my big idea is based on pure intellect, it broods many hot debates: That women should stay at home.
    It is a pure idea, eons old and tested and proven by all cultures, and really has its own support services in place already, but for the woman trapped by lies and feeling STUCK on the outward-bound track, there is a huge need for a new type of support, a sort of underground railway to get her back to where she really longs to be.
    And don’t be fooled; women truly do long to come back home. Truly.
    And they truly need help getting there, due to the antipathy, even enmity, they find all around them, not to mention the lies and bad examples found in average governments. Yes, once they realize that “hankering”, they need direction, encouragement, and plain ol’ help.
    After a few test posts, I have learned that women completely resonate with my content, do engage, and just need someone to lead them by the hand over that “helplessness, hopelessnees” hump.

    Thanks so much for the questions at the end of your post, and for this clear direction. I’m scared. Iknow I’ll be hated by the woman haters and the women who pretend to be men and the women who just wish they were men, but I know my clients are out there, too, and I know how to find them.

    1. Jo Foster says:

      Hi Katharine. I was really interested to read your comments and your big idea – partly because through our big idea we’re helping women successfully combine being a Mum with being an entrepreneur – and empowering them to consciously bring the two together (as most models of business planning completely ignore who you are outside of being an entrepreneur).
      But – what I really wanted to say is that a truly great big idea (and a truly great business model and marketing plan) SHOULD polarise people! Too many of us try to be all things to all people and I think your message will really hit home when you clearly target certain people who share your values and motivations and the clearer you are about this, the more clients you will attract, and therefore naturally the more people you will also turn off!
      Ido think there is a way you can share your message and your big idea and successfully attract your ideal client without attracting too many “haters” and just by accepting that there are a whole range of people out there with different opinions and different needs and motivations allow us all to focus our energy in the places that really work for us!

      1. Katharine Trauger ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        Hello, Jo!
        Thank you so much for these kind and encouraging words!
        Oh, I know about polarization. I think when I said I was scared because I know the haters are out there, it was from internal reliving of past encounters. They can be so, so unexpected, so unpleasant and seemingly so non-productive. I can be perking along and helping people become more and more free when BANG, out of the blue, we have this side issue of whether I have a right to free speech or to free press or to free thinking or even to an existence, and/or whether my clients have a right to need, accept, and appreciate help. It can be so amazing, so intolerant, so . . . etc.
        What I have found, though, is that along with the haters come the lovers. Those who do love and appreciate me or the help I offer seem to glow a bit more brightly during these times. And if I manage to give a right response to opposition, the appreciative ones seem to flock to it and give such lovely encouragements. So in the end, I almost feel glad for the static that causes my clients to tune in more accurately and willingly.
        So is it a gift or what?
        I know I need to get over the tendency to be unnerved during these times, and to realize there is a LOT of hatred out there, so instead of “why me”, I should ask “why NOT me”.
        I used to say, jokingly, “It’s because of the tattoo on my forehead that says, ‘Correct Me’. It throws everyone off!” But that is too retiring a response to suit me anymore. I have decided to be openly thankful for my detractors and eventually, I will go beyond the decision to being actually able to DO that! This comment of yours was a definite reminder to me of the need to move forward.
        Thanks again for taking the time to encourage! K

    2. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Katharine,

      From conversations I’ve had with women in my church and some of the ways I’ve seen God work in their lives, I can fully confirm this. There is one woman in particular who was a sales superstar and gave it all up to be home with the kids. She recognized the longing!

      I’m excited to see how you position yourself to help women not be afraid of this longing and how they can get there.

      Re: the Big Idea report. Feel free to email me at jeff [at] fiorecommunications.com and I’ll get you set up.

      Jeff

      1. Katharine Trauger ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        Thanks, Jeff!
        I’ll probably begin with defining terms. So few people even know what the word “woman” means.
        Then I’ll likely explain the wisdom behind creating men and women different, and how their differences apply to life in general, each other most importantly, and their children specifically — and go from there to showing how we suffer, how we all are suffering, due to ingoring the obvious there . . .
        After that, I’ll probably expose a few lies, or maybe I’ll just pepper things with them all along. idk.
        Oh, and at some point, I hope to throw in a great novel based on the subject. I’ve been wanting to do that for ages. It’ll be one of my big products, eventually. Gotta write it first, ha.

        1. Bobbie Cole says:

          Hi Katharine – I’m beyond having to take such decisions, though I remember only too well feeling like I should be with my kids when I was running my biz and feeling like I should be attending to my biz when I was with my kids. Those years are a blurry memory now. If I were still there, I do think I’d like to have info on how it could possibly be pulled off, some words from those who have achieved it. The whys are important but I would only value your site if it helped me get there.

          1. Katharine Trauger ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

            Oh, I agree, Bobbie, and thanks for making this clear! I tend to have the big picture swirling around in my brain like a kaleidoscope, and forget most folks want a straight line to the bull’s eye! Makes sense!
            I know what you mean, too, and that means there’s hope for me! Help getting there is the big idea, the main plan. A clear view of the bull’s eye helps, though! Thanks for being so kind as to bother with constructive comments! I cherish any thought that helps me clarify what I need to communicate. I mean that — thanks!

  13. Amandah says:

    Great post, I especially liked,“Why should anyone – including the stranger I meet in a coffee shop or the person next to me in line at the grocery store – feel compelled to learn more from me?” Good question. One that is not asked.

    I agree that the ‘guru’ content marketers and life coaches tell people to figure out the ‘Why’ behind what it is they want to do. This isn’t enough. If you want to do (fill in the blank), why should people care, especially if there are hundreds, thousands of people doing the same thing you’re doing? What makes you unique? What’s special?

    This post has given me a lot to think about today and throughout the weekend. I’ll spend time reflecting on and answering the Big Idea Defining Questions.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Amandah,

      I did a lot of soul searching when writing the Big Idea guide and this post so I can’t even begin to describe how awesome it is to hear that people like you agree. I was somewhat worried because Simon Sinek’s Why is HUGE right now and being mentioned everywhere.

      But the market doesn’t reward you because you have clarity on what you want to do. It rewards you when you create something that inspires people to take action – this was the birth of the Big Idea concept.

      Feel free to email me or tweet me about your Big Idea. I’m excited to connect with others who believe in this and would love to be an encouragement in any way I can.

      I hope you have a great weekend as well. Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing!

      Jeff

      1. Amandah says:

        Hi Jeff,

        I looked at Simon’s website and while it’s a nice, clean website, I don’t feel like I understand his BIG Why. I read his About page and it was standard Bio page. But, these are my opinions.

        I’ll keep you posted about my BIG Why. I have a coaching session next week with my business coach and will tell her about your post. Perhaps she can offer me some direction too.

        Have a good one!

  14. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Jane,

    This is awesome! If you haven’t already, I encourage you to download the Big Idea guide that will help you flesh out writing your Big Idea. But I imagine it will end up being something like this: “Your creativity can help you build your dream business.”

    Thanks for commenting.

  15. Jane Robinson says:

    Well put. My big idea is to build community for creative entrepreneurs, artists, writers, yoga studios, gardeners, life coach, etc. Not just the arts but anyone who is building a business based upon their creativity. I have finally understood this principal and working now to really implement content to build this community. Thanks for the reminders.

  16. Roman Torkowski says:

    Hi, I’ve got technical question (I’m asling again)
    what kind of plugin you are using on left side (sticky social bar), and on the right side “free books – floating space with those books..
    And 3rd question what kind of slider you are using in header and footer of your blog.

    By the way great article as usual.

    Are you using thesis 2 or still 1.8?

    1. Megan says:

      Hi Roman,

      The Free Books are just image links – we used a text widget to put in the code.

      For the sliders – they were custom coded for us as part of our site design. 🙂

      Jeff is right about the sidebar, and we’re on Thesis 1.8 – Thesis 2 looks a little crazy to me!

      1. Roman Torkowski says:

        Hi Megan,
        thanks for your answer 🙂
        So I’ll just look at your code and maybe I’ll be able to do the same at my site 🙂

        Thesis 2 is great 🙂 I’m building my own theme right now and your site ispired me. So I’m planning to steal some of your solutions 😉
        I’ve changed my mind about thesis after watching this video:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvu485xPJQA

        Just one more questions. What kind of plugin you are using for spam protection?

    2. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Roman,

      I know this question is for the Firepole team but I can tell you that the sticky social bar is the Digg Digg plugin. I don’t know the rest of the plugins. I would email the Firepole team directly for this.

      Jeff

      1. Roman Torkowski says:

        Hi Jeff,
        thanks for your help. I couldn’t find any good sticky social bar 🙂
        Now I’ve just need to translate it.

  17. Matt @ Manifest Income ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hi Jeff,

    “…because you really want people to get your big idea. You crave it…” – This is so true, our initial launch pancaked a bit, because we craved for people to understand our Why and big idea, instead of targeting audiences and gaining enough feedback at the start.

    My Big Idea: Take your passion and your expertise to the infinite space and potential of the Internet with a team of Techpreneurs teaching and positively supporting you to greatness and success. Your laptop is your ATM.

    I’m huge on Simon Sinek’s “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it..” I believe in that firmly, your section on flipping the why is crucial to grasp as well. At first, their why matters more than anything, as soon as trust and attention is gained, your why becomes more important slowly but surely…

    Good Stuff – Matt

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      So much truth here:

      “At first, their why matters more than anything, as soon as trust and attention is gained, your why becomes more important slowly but surely…”

      That’s an awesome way to put it. I like that it combines the Big Idea with the Why because I think both are essential concepts.

      Thanks for commenting Matt.

  18. Bobbie Cole says:

    (The blog is under preparation.) I really liked your article. My Big Idea is Christian testimony. If Danny Iny is the Freddie Krueger of marketing, I’m the Testimony Lady. I’m just composing my About page and would love your feedback on how it starts:
    Welcome to TestimonyTrain.com – the blog where you can learn to hone the story of your walk with God, be inspired by the testimonies of others and contribute. In these pages, you’ll find Christian testimony – yours, mine, those in the bible – and information about how best to share our stories.
    I’m Bobbie Ann Cole, aka the Testimony Lady. I’m passionate about Jesus and the diversity of what He does in all our lives.
    etc.
    Looking forward, Jeff.

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      This is awesome Bobbie!

      When I think of what you wrote, it seems like your Big Idea is that “A well-crafted testimony can help you draw closer to God.”

      I like the start of the about me page a lot. I would emphasize that really understanding your testimony and learning how to share it will erase your fear of evangelism – something I know a lot of Christians struggle with.

      Let me know when you get the blog started. Tweet me @jeff_machado

      Jeff

      1. Bobbie Cole says:

        I like your theme suggestion.
        You are so right about the fear of evangelising and I’ll incorporate it into the encouragement to share bit. It’s already a theme of the Landing Page Danny had me design for my free download offer.
        I’ll let you know when the blog launches. Just approved the logo today. It’s very exciting.
        I requested your ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ publication but it didn’t drop into my Inbox yet, though I reached the confirmation page.

        1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

          Bobbie,

          I sent you the link directly. Make sure to check your spam just in case. I’d love your feedback on it and how it can help you more.

          Are you in Danny’s AudienceBiz course? I’m glad to hear that you’re putting together a free download offer! I actually put a pause on my company’s blogging until we had this Big Idea report done because it is THAT important. Our traffic plummeted but now we get to build relationships with people – something much more valuable.

          Just said a prayer for you my friend.

          Jeff

  19. John Gibb says:

    hi Jeff,

    What an inspiring article! Here’s what I understand from your post:

    * A big idea is your ultimate USP (unique selling proposition). Or is just my feeling?

    Your (great) Lomography example proves that helping people look at the same thing in a different way can be a great advantage in capturing the client… and create the BIG IDEA around it.

    Their Golden Rules are amazing… I can tell there are some strong marketing minds behind the company.

    I cannot wait to buy my first lomo camera. They’re having a “buy one get one free” offer at the moment. How cool is that? I’ve told you they know marketing.

    P.S.” Ideas are like legs: what good are they if you can’t run with them, or spread them?” ~ Jarod Kintz.

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      As someone who purchased MANY of their cameras, I can confirm they are absolute masters of marketing. They have gotten even better over the years by adding film developing services. It’s brilliant!

      It just blows my mind how they didn’t just build an audience, they built a GLOBAL community of diehard fans. And it’s not even that mainstream!

      I explain it more in the What’s The Big Idea? guide, but there is definitely a difference between a Big Idea and a USP.

      I would say that many businesses can have the same Big Idea, but they each should have a different USP. For example, one of the Big Ideas I talk about in the report is that “You should be able to sleep well at night without worrying about money.”

      Well, a bank, a financial planner and an insurance agent could each share that same Big Idea. But their individual USPs should show how to make the Big Idea a reality.

      Sorry, I get so nerdy talking about this!

      Which camera/s are you looking at?

  20. Clint Butler says:

    This is something that I have been telling my readers and followers for quite some time. Its not a hard concept to implement within their business, but a lot of people seem to forget it somewhere along the way when trying to implement the technical side of marketing. Great post Jeff, definitely sharing this with my followers.

    1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      I completely agree Clint! I could have easily made this a tactical, follow these 3 steps kind of post but I feel like I would be doing people an injustice by adding another one of those. Gotta have those uncomfortable, sit down conversations sometime to help spur real change.

  21. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thank you so much Firepole team (esp. Danny and Megan!) for featuring me here.

    I want your audience to know that I’m available to respond to comments and questions today so definitely let them loose.

    And I love your Big Idea “if you build relationships based on a genuine desire to help – you will succeed in your business.” You are doing a great job of putting it into action.

    1. Joe says:

      Hi Jeff
      Great article, I really like your “big idea” and grabbed your report 🙂

      My big idea: Desk-jockeys and office workers shouldn’t accept the paradigm that getting fat and sick is part of the job. Many of us sacrifice our health for our work – the irony is we’re slowly killing ourselves just to “make a living”.
      I want to empower people to take back control of their health despite their desk job.

      I think (?) I’m on the right track for a big idea anyways.

      1. Jeff Machado ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        Joe,

        Thanks for grabbing the report! Let me know if you have any questions or feedback. Anything to make it better would be a big help.

        Dude, you are totally on the right track! And it’s a message that a lot of people need to hear. It passes the test of all the questions. Now it’s your time to get people to hear this message and then position your products/services to show them how people can make that Big Idea a reality.

        Go out and crush it Joe.

        Jeff

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