When you want to start something–a business, a creative project, or even a social group–you need to begin by knowing the purpose of the new endeavor. If it’s a storefront, you need to be clear on who your ideal customers are and why they will shop there. If its a project or invention, you need to think of purpose in terms of ROI. Does the new product solve a problem or provide a solution such that people will actually pay you for this product? And then can you really make money selling it? What are your goals? More specifically, what is your AIM? Your desire to achieve does not have to be a pipe dream.
But sometimes our desires really are pipe dreams because we’re stuck at the visionary stage and not sure how to make things happen. Or we’re afraid to take the next step, and then the next.
Once you decide you’re going to succeed at doing something, you have to figure out how you will get there. What is your AIM? To attain the goals you’ve set for yourself, you need to master your sphere of influence in these three areas: Authority, Identity, and Message.
Authority– It’s been said that leadership is the strongest marketing strategy. Creating lasting relationships with your customers or whoever is within your sphere is key to having an impactful, lasting influence. Establishing yourself as a market leader and a leader in your community more broadly demands the ability to communicate effectively. But establishing yourself as a recognizable leader creates opportunities and opens doors not available to just anyone.
Identity – What distinguishes your brand from the competition, or simply allows you to stand out in your circles, is more than a logo and a Facebook page. Its your personality and the experience that your followers have with you and your product, service or personality. Your brand is your identity and, even further, it is your reputation and your reputation needs to be managed. Your entire brand identity comes into play in your rise to the top.
Message – The reason you started your business or project is to take care of the needs of your customers. How does your product or service do that better than your competitor? What you provide for your customers must have a “must have” appeal to them to make a purchase. And you attract customers and followers by appealing to those needs with marketing strategies that reach and speak to your audience. Your product or service has to be worth something, but without an effective way to communicate its value, you’re kind of stuck.
Getting your A•I•M established is when things begin to take off and you take the lead. Your A•I•M creates a flash point and ignites your vision, allowing for it to explode. It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting a business or selling an idea or forming a local affinity group. For success that isn’t fleeting, to avoid become a one-hit-wonder but really giving legs to your business or other endeavor, you need the trifecta of Authority, Identity and Message to move from vision to reality. You need to AIM to Lead.
About Sarah Flashing
- Sarah Flashing is a business leadership coach and creative whose passion is to see businesses & organizations thrive in the new normal. As a successful business owner with experience in both the boardroom and classroom, Sarah helps leaders identify gaps in their business and marketing plans and implement innovative solutions. She holds an M.A. in Ethics from Trinity International University. Contact Sarah about coaching or invite her to speak at your next event.