Problem vs Passion - Where is the most profitable place to focus your messaging

Problem vs Passion? Which is the Most Profitable Place to Focus Your Messaging?

marketing Jan 29, 2021

I’ve been doing a bunch of Brand Reviews this month in response to my January workshop “How to Plan Your Most Profitable Year Yet” … and I’m noticing a certain piece of feedback that I’ve been giving to almost everyone.

And you know what I want to do when I see a theme in my feedback? 

I want to share it with YOU so you don’t make the same costly mistake!

What’s the feedback?

Well, it has to do with your messaging … how you’re communicating on your website, marketing materials and social media captions so your potential clients want to invest in your services.

I want you to take a look at your website right now and ask yourself this:

Does my messaging focus on … 

1. How my service will solve the big problem my ideal client is experiencing?

Or ...

2. How my service will help my client connect with their passion, achieve a goal or experience more joy?

Or ...

3. What I “do” - my tools, techniques, processes, methods and strategies?

If you answered #3, you’re not alone.

But it’s not the right answer;-) 

In fact, if your messaging focuses on tools, techniques, processes, methods and strategies, you could be letting thousands of dollars slip through the cracks each month.  

For your potential clients to see the value in handing you their hard-earned money, they NEED TO KNOW how you’ll help them solve an urgent problem or connect more deeply with something they’re passionate about. 

In other words, your messaging needs to meet them where they’re motivated to make a change.

But which is most effective? Leading with their problem or passion?

The short answer is that both are important, but solving a problem tends to be more urgent (and lead to more sales) than helping your clients connect with their passion.

I know this may not be what you want to hear. As heart-led entrepreneurs, we don’t like to be too negative or pound fear into our ideal clients’ souls.  

But addressing your ideal clients’ urgent problem doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. You can address it and then move on to the bright side - all the great things and experiences that overcoming this problem can lead to.

So what’s the biggest problem you help your ideal client solve? Well, they likely have many problems, but there’s probably one that’s an umbrella for all the rest.

For example …

  • If you’re a Marriage Counselor who works with married couples … your clients’ most urgent problem might be that they’re on the brink of divorce.
  • If you’re a Career Coach who helps mid-life professions change careers, your ideal clients’ biggest problem might be that their job is killing them inside.
  • If you’re a Parenting Coach who works with parents of special needs kids, your clients’ most urgent problem may be that their child is getting bullied at school.

So what about passions? Can you focus on those instead?

In some cases, a niche can be profitable without a BIG problem, but where a passion exists instead. 

These niches tend to fall under what I call the “hobbies and interests” category (things that bring people joy, like skiing, their dogs, knitting, travel etc.)

When something brings a person joy or pleasure, they're likely to spend money on it because it makes them feel good. 

Here are some examples of businesses that could lead with their ideal client’s passion over problem:

  • If you’re a Travel agent who helps busy professionals plan world-class vacations, you could tap into their passion for adventure and freedom.
  • If you’re a Dog Trainer who helps new puppy owners raise obedient dogs, you can focus on your ideal clients’ passion - their DOG and the desire to have the best trained dog on the block. 
  • If you’re a Personal Trainer who works with female physique competitors, you can tap into your ideal clients’ passion for physical fitness and desire to have the most toned, healthy body possible.

But here’s the thing: even when a passion leads the way in a niche (over a problem), there're still likely a problem you’ll want to point out for your marketing to be most effective.

For example, what happens if a business professional planning their 1-year sabbatical doesn't have access to the right information? Their trip might end up being one big debacle. 

What happens if your puppy grows up to be aggressive? It might bite someone and need to be put down.

What happens if your physique isn’t top notch? You may lose the competition.

So let’s swing back around and talk about what you need to do if you answered #3 above.

If you looked at your website and discovered that your messaging leads with what you do rather than your potential clients’ problems or passions, skim through each tool, technique, process, method or strategy and ask yourself:

“What problem does this tool help my ideal client solve?”


"What passion (hope, dream, desire or goal) does this tool help my client achieve?

Then in your messaging, LEAD with the problem or passion and follow up with the tool. 

For example, if you use mediation as a tool in your work with clients, what problem does mediation help them solve?

Perhaps it helps reduce anxiety?

If that’s your answer, your message could be something like: “reduce anxiety through the power of a simple mediation practice.”

I'll leave you with this final remember: “tools” can be really hard to sell because your potential clients don’t tend to care as much about the tool as the result the tool will help them achieve. 

Want to Take This Deeper?

Join me every Friday at 10 am Mountain Time, inside The Daring Fempreneur Facebook group, for a free brand-booming training. Bring your questions for on-the-spot coaching!

Watch the replay that goes with this blog post here.


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