What’s the last question, challenge or need you had in your life? For me, I needed a pair of water shoes for the beach. Like many people living in today’s digital world, I went straight to Google and then to Amazon.com reviews. I didn’t care too much about what the different shoe companies had named their shoes or how nice their websites were, though I did visit websites and that kind of thing. I really just wanted a pair of water shoes that would hold up at the beach, decently match multiple outfits, and dry quickly. I visited a few websites, read a few pages of reviews, and made my decision based primarily on my three needs.

This benign experience holds an important lesson for people selling things to others. Nobody cares about your product. They care about how you’re going to improve their lives. We’re living in a time where people are stressed and trying to do it all, and they need help!

via MEME

As you think about what you’re doing in your own business, how are you communicating about your products or services? Are you talking about how smart, great and successful you are, or are you coming from a place of service that allows you to help other people?

Go look at what your marketing materials, your website, and your social sites. Are you helping people have better lives and experiences?

Successful entrepreneurs have figured out that, no matter what their products are, they are selling solutions to problems.

Melissa Butler, founder of The Lip Bar LLC, walks through this in a recent Essence interview. I remember seeing Melissa get rejected by all of the sharks on Shark Tank a few years ago and thinking what a big mistake they had all made.

After this experience, Melissa kept it pushing, and today her company is thriving. The Lip Bar just announced that their products are available in more than 450 Target stores nationwide, and they also opened a store in downtown Detroit earlier this year.

In the article, Essence asks Melissa, “For other young women of color looking to enter the beauty entrepreneur realm, what would be your advice to them?

There’s a lot to her answer, but the part that stuck out to me was this quote:

You need to know the purpose and the unique value proposition of whatever it is that you’re offering: What problem are you solving for people? What are the strengths you can bring to the table?


Nobody wants to hear about how great you are–they really want to know how you can help them.

As you’re building and growing your personal brand and business, how can you help others, and how are you going to communicate that widely and often? Frame your marketing materials and your conversations in terms of solutions to problems, gateways to experiences, and tools for your customers/clients to have better lives.

What solutions are you solving for your customers or clients? Drop a comment below to let me know.

Please give as much information as you can in response to these questions. I’d be happy to share more tools and resources that help you get what you want. And, I know the other folks reading this can learn from your experiences! We are all in this together.

I always say that I’m on a mission to build a nation of good people with dynamic personal brands and successful businesses. We can learn from each other on this journey, particularly when we have accountability partners. This is why I am building a whole nation of them.

Download the app

You can connect to the the private community I’ve created to provide support and encouragement along the journey–online and via app. Check us out at programs.shontavia.com or via the Mighty Networks App.

Download the Mighty Network app by clicking here. Once it downloads, click “Find a Mighty Network” and search for Shontavia Johnson. You’ll find content there that I may not share elsewhere.

Thank you so much for joining me on this roller coaster of an experience. I am eternally grateful that I get to do this work with wonderful people each day.

Let’s make it happen,

Other articles you may be interested in

What to do when you’re not ready to start your business

What to do when you’re not ready to start your business

Starting a business was something that started for me slowly. I didn't have the Silicon Valley-esque 2000 mph journey of dropping out of college and toiling in a garage until raising a million dollars in VC funding. I thought about it, and thought about it, and...

Finding time to start your business: No more aimless scrolling

Finding time to start your business: No more aimless scrolling

One of the most common responses I get from people who want to start businesses is they do not have time to get everything done because they are too busy. If this is you, this article should help if one of your primary challenges is aimless scrolling on social media...

Conferences need women speakers like you

Conferences need women speakers like you

Nearly a decade ago, I went to a conference for people wanting to establish themselves as "experts" in their field. I was pretty excited because this particular conference was, and still is, a major event in the industry. There were probably 7,000 or so people...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
%d bloggers like this: