I get emails all of the time from folks asking me about my work. They tend to be long-winded and jumbled with the topics dancing all over the place. I do my best to respond to each and every one of these requests, however over time, I’ve noticed a common theme.
The people writing to me and reaching out all lack one thing: clarity. And guess what? I do too. I am totally writing this post to help those who have contacted me, but to also tell you in an open and honest way- I struggle with this too.
How come clarity is so challenging for us? What makes stating clearly what we want/need is hard? Well, there are a whole host of reasons. Maybe we were told ‘no’ a lot growing up. Maybe when we asked for what we want we were ridiculed or put down. Maybe we don’t even know what we want because we’re living the life that someone else has set up for us. Maybe, maybe, maybe…
The point of this post today is not to get at the underlying reasons for why we lack the clarity. Oh no, that could take days (years). The teaching point of this article is to share with you an example of my own clarity plunders and then provide you with action steps you can take to get more clear with your own messages. This post can help those nurses who are looking to make a job change- because you’ve got to get clear on what nursing career you want to transition into. And it can help those nurse entrepreneurs out there reading- for clarity will make your business SO much easier!
OK… here we go. Part one: my own clarity-challenged example.
I’ve got my two-day workshop coming up this fall. Now I am really excited about it. And I can’t wait to teach the content to those who participate. But here’s some truth for you… right now we’ve only got one person signed up. So last week, I got to thinking… what is going on here? What am I doing wrong? I’ve been sharing posts on social media, writing about it in my blog, sending email invitations, and hosting pre-event calls. Where are the registrations?
So I took a look at my sales page. For the purposes of teaching here, I will share the sales page now… however, in time it may not look the way I am going to describe it to you as I need/want to improve it (what I am teaching you here about clarity). So the page can be found at: https://elizabethscala.com/landing/your-next-shift. And if you’re reading this post pretty close to publication date (July 22), you may see (unless I have already gone in and done work on it) that it is unclear.
The heading calls all nurses and nursing students. Now that’s a large group! How can one workshop speak to all of those people? Then in the body of the sales page I talk a lot about nurses who are in transition, looking to get a new job. Or nurses who are unhappy with their work. I never mention a pretty significant group (again, if I’ve updated the page, you can take my word for it… it was that way in the past): the nurse entrepreneur. And if I wanted to be even MORE clear, I could say ‘the new nurse entrepreneur just starting out and looking for some guidance’. See how that is more clear than ‘all nurse entrepreneurs’?
So what can we learn from this, apart from the obvious (be more clear)? Let me share some action items with you now, so that you can increase your clarity of message.
- Be Specific. Narrow it down. Avoid doing what I described above (what I’ve done in the past and apparently still struggle with doing right, LOL). Try not to attempt to speak to everyone. In talking to the entire group, you’re really talking to no one. Get very specific on what you want to do and who you want to work with. Focus yourself even further and when you think you’ve got it down… get even more specific!
- Ask for Help. This is exactly what I did in my example above. Remember how I said that registrations were slow and I wanted to figure out what was wrong? Well, after I re-read through my sales page, I had that A-HA moment that said: not clear, not clear. Then, since I had already looked at the page over and over (and over) again… I decided to get some feedback. I posted a question and request for help in several of my online forums and the wonderful wisdom came pouring in. In fact, after I finish writing my blog posts for this week, I plan to take what I received and update the page to make it more clear!
- Listen and Learn. As a nurse entrepreneur, I have learned ‘it’s not about me’. It’s about the customer/client. Think about it from the nursing perspective as well. It’s not about me; it’s about the patient. So any time you want to articulate your message, you’ve got to get in the head of your target audience. Even if you’re a nurse simply looking to change jobs (not go into business for yourself). Who are you going to be talking to? Can you find out about them and learn as much as you can? So that when you go into that interview room you can WOW them when you keep the focus all on them and how you will provide solutions to their problems! Listen to what your target audience is saying. Observe how they write. What words do they use in their conversations? Listen to these folks and then speak to them directly in their language.
Yikes… that was a long post! I just felt it was important to share a specific example from my own real-world experience so that you could understand how important clarity was. I mean, in my case, it is costing me workshop participants (which, in my business, equals cash). So don’t let yourself continue to lose out. Get clear on your message and articulate it that way.
I’d love to hear from you! What did you learn in this post? What would you add to the list above? How do you ensure you are coming across in a clear way? Share a comment and thanks for reading!
About the Author: As a speaker, workshop facilitator, and Reiki Master, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Your Next Shift Workshop, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.