The Backbone of Your Practice: Why This Aligns Your Marketing Impact and Business Growth

Nothing impacts the return on your marketing dollars and maximizes productivity more than having a clear and compelling purpose that is relevant for the stage your business is at now.

In my recent blog post, I talked about why purpose is make or break for marketing impact, and why every practitioner needs two clear purpose statements: one for themselves and another for their business.

Here, I dig deeper into why purpose is the backbone of your practice, and how it aligns your business (and your relationship with it) for maximum marketing impact and optimal performance.

What Experience Taught Me About Purpose

Have you ever been there and done this…or maybe are doing this right now?:

When I first started out, my core personal purpose was to reduce suffering in the world by helping people make sense of the problems they were facing and find simpler solutions. Very broad and all-inclusive! Yes, inspiring to me, personally; which would have been fine if I’d also had a parallel business purpose that addressed: Which people? (I figured, well, everyone.) Which problems? What results?

My business purpose was basically to attract enough clients so I could pay all of my bills. As a result, my default niche was anyone with a checkbook. And, because my purpose was so unclear, so were my marketing and communications. And, I didn’t really know what my priorities were—everything felt like a priority.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Purpose is Like an Onion

My initial purpose statement did help me get started. So, with purpose as with many other things, good enough, rather than waiting for perfection, is good enough. Key is to continuously focus and narrow your purpose so it is always relevant for the stage of your business right now and where you want it to be.

Purpose is a lot like an onion; there’s always a deeper, clearer, simpler, or more compelling layer below the surface that won’t disclose itself until you are ready for it.

Purpose is not just for beginners.

What is Purpose? The Short Answer…

Your purpose statement should be a simple, clear, and compelling statement about why you do what you do. Your purpose:

Inspires you and your team to get out of bed each day and do your best work.

Serves as the connecting thread between your business strategy and your core values.

Here are two examples of purpose statements from two companies that everyone is familiar with: Google and Microsoft. I chose these because seeing how an idea works is often easier to do in someone else’s field where your ways of perceiving, talking, and thinking, and your creativity are not limited by “group think,” or traditional beliefs and assumptions.

Google’s mission is to: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Since the beginning, our goal has been to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible. Not just for some. For everyone.”

Microsoft’s new purpose (they call it a vision statement) is to: “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world…”

Purpose is really no different for any other field of business. While all practitioners need a clear and compelling purpose, this is especially so for service-minded, care-centered practitioners, who may find themselves over-serving their clients and providing value that far exceeds their price.


Purpose is Your CEO of Business Alignment

Another metaphor that I find helpful is to picture an organizational diagram of your business with purpose sitting at the top in the role of CEO. 

As I’ve illustrated in the diagram: 

  • As CEO, your purpose shapes and directs all of your business strategies.
  • Your strategies (business, marketing, and systems) report to your purpose, which defines their purpose and functions, and what outcomes to track in your business.
  • Your strategies, in turn, provide the same direction, information, and oversight for your decisions and actions—tactics, tools, investments, approaches, and more.

5 Top Reasons Why Purpose Impacts Your Marketing And Aligns Your Business to Your Why 

1. Purpose allows you to target your marketing dollars to get the most impact for the smallest investments of money and time. 

When you know your clear and compelling purpose, you can shape your marketing strategy so it serves your purpose. For example, to fulfill your purpose, what type of person do you most want and need to attract into your practice. Those are your ideal clients. When you know who your ideal clients are, you can determine what unique protocols to offer and how to communicate about them. You’ll know where to reach your ideal clients so you can make wise decisions about where to invest your marketing dollars.

2. Purpose lets you decide whether you want to run a clinic empire or a small intimate practice where you know all of your clients and work directly with each one. 

When you are clear about your compelling personal purpose in your business, you can decide on what type of practice and legacy you want to build—a large firm, or a solo practice in which you serve families across generations and serve as a pillar of your community. You are at greater risk of being motivated by “should do’s” and “ought to’s” instead of “love to’s,” especially if you love to please people. Sometimes, a decision about what to do next is foist upon you by an accident, family event, or change in health status. Having a clear and compelling purpose to ground your decision-making can be the difference between not being able to move past focusing on what you can’t do anymore, to being able to leverage what you can and will do to make your compelling purpose happen, no matter what!

3. Related to #2, purpose helps when hiring an associate or deciding to go it alone. 

Without a clear purpose, you are more vulnerable to comparing yourself to others’ definitions of success. Some people are energized by the business side of their practice, and others…not so much. Some are in it for the things they can buy. Some are in it for bragging rights. Some are in it to live a fine life working with clients they enjoy most. All are right; if their business model supports the lifestyle and work they love most. The best road to success is the one that works for you by honoring and enhancing your personhood. One of the saddest things is when a person gives up their personal agency around this critical decision and wakes up one day feeling shackled to their business and related financial obligations. If you decide to go it alone, knowing your purpose and your strengths helps you decide what services to outsource and what programs and systems to buy to support you without building a larger permanent staff than you want to deal with. And, if you decide to hire an associate, your purpose will help you identify the type of person (personality, training, skills) you need to complement and support your ability to implement your purpose right now and into the future.

4. Your Purpose helps you attract ideal clients by narrowing your niche so you speak directly to them.

One of the greatest fears people have about defining their niche is the fear of going too narrow and excluding potential paying clients. The paradox is that the more you can identify what type of person best aligns with your clear purpose, the more naturally you will narrow your niche and speak to that person. I provided a formula for identifying your ideal client in my recent blog post on the Ideal Client Cloner–3-Step Formula.

5. Purpose helps you train (and retain) your staff. 

Purpose not only helps you know what to train your staff in (procedures, communication, systems, etc.), it helps you know when, how, why to train them. Sometimes, it will be to build new delivery capabilities to integrate a new product or technology into your practice, or because you’ve gotten training on new systems or approach. Knowing your purpose helps you know when to add certain capabilities so your staff can deliver on your purpose. And, it helps you avoid overwhelming them at the wrong times, or leading them to dread every time you go to a new training or read another book… Understanding the impact of purpose and change (see my blog post on Why Your Brain Hates New Year’s Resolutions) can help you help your staff collaborate with you and implement your vision or purpose more effectively and fully.

The Secret Power of a Clear & Compelling Purpose

The obvious power of purpose comes from having clear and compelling words to express and remind you of it. The secret power of purpose, however, comes from the process it takes for you (and your team, if you have one and choose to engage them) to get from the complexity and confusion of the “I help everyone” phase, to the simplicity of a compelling 1-3 sentence purpose statement.

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