Exactly how to write a mission statement that captures your business perfectly
Sep. 20, 2016
I have a lot of competition. We all do. The days of competing on differentiating factors like price and target audience are disappearing. Branding is what’s bridging the gap between old-style marketing and new.
Mission is a big part of that.
Your mission statement is the seed of your brand message.
Your mission statement is the seed of your brand message. It’s the start of your manifesto and the source of your point of view. It’s part of your brand’s foundation—that’s why it’s one of the first things I talk about with both my Brainstorm and my Workshop clients.
Mission has the power to set brands apart. The best way to understand that power is to see it in action.
So, bosses, that’s exactly what we’re gonna do.
You probably remember her from whatever version of Sleeping Beauty you were introduced to as a wee tater tot.
Aurora lives in a far-off place where’s there’s not a lot of industry, so she turned to online bossing to fund the repairs her castle so desperately needed. She wasn’t quite sure what she could do until, kaboom, she realized that working through her own personal struggles meant she could do the same for others.
Dawning was the end result. Aurora named her business after the day she woke up and realized she wanted to be living a completely different life. Through Dawning, she works one-on-one with other women who are feeling stuck in the middle of a major life transition.
Now for some people, that’s a good enough mission statement. It has the who (other women), the what (working one-on-one), and the problem (stuck in the middle of a major life transition).
But let’s get super honest here: That’s not nearly enough for customers to understand what, exactly, it is that you do. And it’s not enough for you, either.
Dawning has the potential to go in a hundred different directions. We’re going to explore just a few of them here, (but if you’re into fanfic and you want to explore Aurora’s new life goal, please be my guest).
First, we’ll take a look at three possible mission statements that could be relevant to Aurora’s business and the service she offers.
Then, we’ll dig into those mission statements and turn them into quick sketches of different brands, each with unique values, audiences, and goals.
Mission #1: I help young women who are seeking soulmates learn to love themselves again before they find their ideal partners.
As an older millennial herself, Aurora knows how hard it is to battle the ideals modern media bombards young girls with. Not only do young women need to achieve an impossible level of perfection, but they also need to build and nurture perfect relationships if they want to find the fairy tale true love they grew up yearning for. In her own experience, though, Aurora has seen that a happy relationship with a lover comes only after a woman establishes a peaceful, accepting relationship with herself.
That’s exactly what this iteration of Dawning seeks to achieve. This business targets women in their mid-to-late 20s, just a few years younger than Aurora herself. While she has casual experience coaching young women, she wants to be able to help more people than her schedule allows. So, with Dawning, she wants to create an online learning empire that integrates video coaching and training sessions with live calls and Q&A sessions.
Mission #2: I coach trauma survivors stuck in a cycle of hopelessness to a state of confidence, joy, and self-determination
Just because everything looks perfect on the outside doesn’t mean that’s the reality—something Aurora knows all too well. Sure, she has that fairy tale princess quality, but that doesn’t erase the violent assaults in her past. She’s done the hard work to accept her history, forgive herself for it, and forge a future, and she wants to help other women do the same thing.
This version of Dawning is an intimate service business that takes advantage of the Internet’s many capabilities to help women in circumstances that Aurora herself has faced. Many small communities offer few resources for women who need the help of a counselor and a coach. Dawning seeks to be one of those resources. Aurora has been able to earn several certifications and take advantage of online business automation tools to keep her costs as low to make recovery as affordable as possible for her clients.
Mission #3: I help mid-life women who are bored by their current circumstances find fulfillment in new relationships and careers.
Being royal isn’t the same as being happy. Watching her mother and her aunts and cousins growing up, Aurora touts this as rule No. 1 of fairy tale kingdoms. Her unending optimism and desire to help her loved ones find true happiness has led her to advise her family on the sly. Now that she’s opening her own business, though, she’s itching to dish advise from a more professional place.
That’s where Dawning comes in. This third styling of Aurora’s solo enterprise is a one-to-few coaching business that’s supplemented by infoproducts. Most of Dawning’s business to date comes from small group coaching sessions and retreats, but Aurora is working hard to bring more passive income into her brand so that she can reach a larger audience 24/7.
The three mission statements above have one thing in common (other than Aurora): They’re all incredibly niche.
A niche is a tiny, specialized segment of an industry. A niche is specific.
In the media industry, the magazine I used to work for, Girls’ Life, occupies a niche; it serves American girls between the ages of 10 and 16. While it has its competitors (think: American Girl, Seventeen, and Teen Vogue), none of them share the exact same niche.
Vogue is in a niche, too, but it has a lot of close competition, especially with the surge of online luxury media. Harper’s Bazaar and Elle are fighting for the same advertisers and the same audience.
When you make your mission statement as niche—as specific—as possible, you’re able to summon a level of exactitude that creates a brand image, both in your mind and in the minds of your target clientele.
You begin to trigger emotions, suggest customer avatars, and build an atmosphere for your brand. The language you use in this one sentence sets the stage for the rest of your brand.
A mission statement isn't essential just for you, the boss; it's pivotal for your business' brand.
I created a free worksheet download to help you take your own mission statement from generic to whoa-tastic, star-spangled goodness. Pop in your details below and you'll get it in your inbox in a jiffy.
What if Sleeping Beauty started her own business? It might look something like this.
The 1 thing you need to create a niche mission statement for your brand: specifics, y'all!
Sleeping Beauty is turnin' over a whole new leaf. More on her (+ her dream biz)