The Mission Statement

Client: Nice to meet you. So, what do you do?
You: …

What is your line? Your pitch? What is the first thing you say when meeting new clients at a roof-top party? 

Read this quick guide, and you will always know what to say when meeting new clients. It doesn't matter if you are invited to a formal pitch presentation or if you meet new clients on a roof-top party after a view sundowners. Even getting a call from a referral won't let you speechless anymore. Run through this quick guide, and you will know how to sell your service with ease.

People will even people line up to work with you. 

This insight takes less than 4 minutes to read but will help you to win new clients. There is even a bonus download included that will get you started to develop your 'Mission Statement' today

Often, we navigate ourselves in situations where we don't have an answer for what we are actually doing. Telling people that we are a VFX-artist or a Motion Designer working for the tv industry doesn't always seem to be helpful to others. It raises questions, and it confuses people. 
On Tuesday, on of my coaching students, Mike (click to see the program) talked to me about the misinterpretations he is going through when talking to people. 

He is a great VFX-artist (visual effects artist usually work for film and movie productions) working for ad agencies doing commercials. But he has a hard time explaining to people what he is doing. 

'Telling people that I am a VFX artist, working for the TV industry just doesn't cut it. It seems to interest people, but at the same time they get stuck or confused with my occupation. They don't know what to answer.' –Mike

The problem Mike has is that he doesn't address his opponents interests. People don't care what our occupation is. Everyone has a different expectation of what a designer is doing. Don't even get me started on 'business analyst' or 'hedge fund managers' (I have no clue). The point is that we need to help others to quickly get a better picture of what we are doing, but also how this relates to their world. 

People want to find a place for us, somewhere in their universe. 
Let's help them do that.

As designers, we associate great artist, but also people in general, with their work. We link them with what they do.

The reason why we can associate some artists with their area of expertise is their focus on what they do. 

The people we admire are not only good at what they do, but they make it real easy for us to remember. And they do this on purpose. They understand that it is our responsibility to explain us to others. 

Those artists make it easy for us to associate them with their art or their profession. They even tell us where to place them. That is the secret to it. They tell us what they want us to associate them with.

And you should, too.

Let's get serious. Let’s start with putting your flag in the ground for clients to remember your specialty.

'The Mission Statement'

The first thing people need to know about us is if we can help them. If we, in any case, relate to their cause in life. They need to know our mission.

We must help people to determine if we can help them or not, quickly. And we need to make it effortless for them. 

Let's take an example that is helpful for you. Let's focus on a situation when you first interact with new clients. 

Your website. 

Let's see how we can convert visitors to your websites into intentional clients, and how we can do this with only view lines of text. 

A 'Mission Statement' is a clear statement on how 'what we do' relates to our conversation partner, helping them on their journey. 

But we can't help everyone, and we don't need to. We focus on the people that we can clearly help with our expertise. 
By providing every visitor to our websites the chance to tune out immediately, we filter out all non-fits and proceed with a much more interested audience. The once that are a good fit for our services. 

All it takes is one short paragraph. Come up with a statement on what you are doing and how that relates to their situation. Tell them how you will help them to be successful in their business. 

No, a mission statement is not telling the world how cool and amazing we are. For example:

‘Hi, my name is Marko, and I won 20 industry awards by the time I was 30. I worked all over the world and, blah blah blah'.' 

I tried this; it didn't work.
No one cared, no one listened.

No-one cares about our successes or what we have achieved. Not at this point, not yet. People care about their successes, first. They care about the question 'if we can help them', and that is all. 

Don’t tell them what your occupation is or what you do. Tell them how you help others.

Don’t say you are a VFX-artist, a UX-Designer or a Motion-Artist; chances are people won’t know what it means anyway. Even if they know, it doesn't mean that they can relate it to their cause. So they don’t care. 

Instead, talk about how you help people. Let them decide if they can relate to it. 

Let's say you are a UX-Designer. 
Tell them that you build websites that convert leads into paying clients. 
Like this:

'I help businesses to convert their website visitors into paying customers.'


'I build websites that convert visitors into paying customers.' 

Are you a motion artist? Tell people that you brand their products or tell their story with animated graphics. 
Do it like this:

'I help people to brand their products with animated graphics.'


'I tell your brand's story, or your product features with animated movies and motion graphics.' 

Make the statement about them, target what they need, focus on their pain-points. Clients need to sell their products (i.e. convert visitors) or engage their audience (i.e. tell their story). Us this insight to craft your 'Mission Statement'.

Next, people need to associate your expertise with your name for when they need what you offer. State your occupation, followed by your name.

Mine goes something like this: (be aware that I change them due to situations and events)

‘I help people to brand products and tell their story with motion design. My name is Marko Pfann. I am a Motion Designer.’

And I vary them depending on the channel I am communicating on, or the situation I am using it for. It also works this way:

‘I help people to sell their products with animated movies. My name is Marko Pfann; I am a Motion Director.'


‘I brand products with motion design. My name is Marko Pfann.’

The last one obviously is for people closer to my field of expertise, i.e. Branding and Motion Design.

Having more than one service to offer to people is great. As a UX-Designer, you can also consult clients or coach other creatives. There are many ways that you can help people. You can even adjust your message depending on the person you are talking to. 

On my website, I use this version:

'Read the creative insights or talk to me about branding products through motion design. My name is Marko Pfann.'

But it should always derive from the same field of expertise. i.e. UX-Design, Motion-Design, etc.

Make it quick, make it easy and make it simple. 
And it will stick with you.

You should use this everywhere. Even on parties when people ask you what you do. This will become your initial branding claim and conversation starter. Your mission statement will become what people associate you with. 

Don't make it boring, by telling people you are a designer. Seriously, who cares? Everyone seems to be a designer or creative these days. 
If I tell people, I am a designer they most certainly react with: 

'My niece builds websites, too. You know…' 

Instead, tell people how you help others. That is how you get people seriously interested in you. That is how you start a conversation. In sales, real life and online. 

Make your statement about them, target their needs, and focus on their pain-points. This way people can see your value to them. Help others on their journey, make this simple and easy, and they will line up to help you on your mission. 

Now, watch out for more articles on 'how to tell your story' and 'winning clients' in the upcoming weeks. Bookmark this page or sign up to my newsletter. I'll let you know when the next article is ready.

Before you go, here is a link to my mission statement template including some examples to get you started.

This January, I will be speacking at the CATALYST 2018 | Amsterdam event hosted by /REVTHINK/.