Looking in the mirror is hard — but it’s necessary

Looking in the mirror is hard — but it’s necessary

Does anyone really like looking at themselves in the mirror? It’s awkward, and hard to see past the bits you don’t like, but when it comes to positioning it’s absolutely necessary.

It should be the first thing you do when you revisit your positioning to help you understand what makes you, well, you.

By understanding who you are, you can unlock your understanding of your customers.

Mirror mirror, on the wall — who’s the best positioned of them all?

Getting your positioning right is an almost impossible task — it’s an iterative process, and you will inevitably tweak it as you use it in anger and your business develops. However, you can never really get close to the bullseye without a great deal of staring…at yourself.

That means looking inward or at the proverbial mirror to understand who you are, what you do, and how you do it — as well as who you do it for.

However, looking at yourself is a difficult process. It means zooming in on all the ugly bits. The bits you don’t like, the things you don’t get right, and the areas you haven’t had time to address yet. But it also means highlighting the areas that you do get right, your superpowers, and the progress you’ve made.

By looking in the mirror you can begin to understand what you do well for your customers and the problems you solve. You need to understand:

  • Who you are
  • What you do well
  • Who you don’t want to be
  • What you don’t want to do
  • What you want to be known for
  • What you don’t want to be known for

It’s about looking at yourself in depth before you look at the market and your audience.

Look in the mirror before you look out the window

So we know that we need to understand ourselves before we can go to market with a brand new positioning, but what about the market and our audience? You’d think you need to pay special attention to them first, but that’s not the case.

Of course, they are special and they do deserve extra attention — but you can’t focus on them until you understand yourself.

After all, what’s the point of trying to work out your audience or competitors if you don’t know what you offer yourself?

Looking “out the window” at what’s out there is critical, there’s no doubt about it. Just make sure you understand who you are first before you do so. You can’t answer an audience’s problems or challenge your competitors if you don’t understand the problems you solve or what you offer.

Understanding the problems you solve will help you understand your customers

One of the main reasons we need to look at ourselves in the virtual mirror is to understand what problems our product or service solves.

If you understand that, then the next natural step is understanding your customers.

Looking at problems in close detail brings you closer to your audience and customers, helping you understand their pain points and what they want to be solved. By understanding that, you can then find the solutions and offer content around them.

Wrap up

At Friday Solved, we believe strongly in boundary mapping. That means creating a dart board of sorts using a tool like Miro, and mapping who you are, who you want to be, and who you don’t want to be.

You can then feed that into your roadmap for success and work backwards to understand how you’ll reach that point.

After looking in the mirror, you can begin to work out your own DNA — which is crucial to being authentic and building relationships.

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