If you met me four years ago and asked me what I did, I would have said “strategic marketing”. It was true then, and it still is. The problem was, potential clients frequently thought that was interesting, but also it had nothing to do with their current problems.
They were, in many cases, completely wrong about that:
1) They often had a vague idea about their target market, so their message was coming off as too bland and mediocre
2) They felt undervalued and underappreciated by clients who naturally paid market rates for mediocre value
3) They had no capital to drive their market and just drifted along through DIY trends and initiatives until work randomly happened
All of these were clear signs they would benefit from my services. Clear to me, that is. To them, it was completely opaque.
Until one day a friend said, as a passing remark “you are not really a marketing guy, Filip, you are more of a pricing guy.” At first, I thought that can’t be right, I do so much more than “just” pricing. But I gave it a shot and tried describing what I do trough a single symptom that’s easy to self-diagnose: “I help people get paid better for the value they already produce”. And BAM – people reacted to that by getting interested instead of amused.
If you solve a real problem that’s mostly invisible to clients, try talking about a clear symptom that the problem usually causes.