Be the fractal you wish to see in the world

Fractal: any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given or larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size. - Merriam Webster.

When you look at your organization, does your process or product or output reflect your own internal systems or processes?

A fractal is a self repeating pattern, a pattern that recurs whether you are viewing the object at the macro or microscopic level.

I had a realization some months ago that if I wanted my clients to believe in the systems and processes we created for them, those systems and processes needed to be reflected in my own business. Then I read adrienne maree brown’s book Emergent Strategy where talks about organizations as fractals.

And this is how the work truly began. I needed to practice what I preached and as a marketer, there was no where to hide.

To espouse the value of content, I needed to be creating my own content. To keep my clients accountable to their goals, I needed to set, revisit and take consistent action to achieve my own goals.

I’m not going to lie and say it’s been easy or that I saw overnight results. That’s simply not the kind of business I am building and it’s not the kind of business I help my clients to build.

See the connection? Fractals.

I’ve come to realize the value of slow, incremental, gentle change. I write a blog post every day. Not only because of SEO or to build a following or to generate leads, but because the creative process itself is so generative.

Because writing helps me organize my thoughts. Because daily practices help to ground me, to bring me clarity. I can then bring this clarity to the work I do with my clients.

So what?

A wise person once told me she often doesn’t know how she feels about a subject until she writes about it. It takes patience to sit with something long enough, to write about it in enough depth that you see it through to its logical conclusion.

You’ve spent countless hours developing a product or service that works for your clients. You are steeped in knowledge about your chosen field. You have set your price strategically and you have added features to make it easier for your clients to work with you. And so why is it so hard to encapsulate the true benefit of working with you? What’s the key thing your audience takes away from your process that they won’t get anywhere else?

When we’re asked how our audience really benefits from all of those features, often we come up short.

Translating features into benefits is so often overlooked. That’s why getting into the habit of seeing your product or service from the benefits end can really set you apart from your competitors.

Start by listing out your features, then for each one, write its benefit. Usually, this first benefit is just the starting point. When you think you have landed on a benefit, ask yourself so what? Then write your answer. Ask yourself ‘so what?’ again and again, until you run out of answers.

Only then will you know that you’ve landed on a real benefit.