How To Use Tension To Stand Out

Tension is a helpful component to use in encouraging people to move along through a process. For you the process of people choosing your business.

Let’s consider a common experience to illustrate tension. A friend tells you about a great new restaurant, book, or movie. This creates some tension. Should I experience what my friend has recommended? What might I be missing out on? To relieve the tension you would check out your friends recommendation.

In the wording you use to attract people to your business are you using tension? Are you clearly defining a problem? Are you highlighting the “enemy” that thing that is preventing them from getting what they want, need, aspire to, or desire? Are you than showing them that you can help them overcome the obstacle and achieve what they’re after?

This would create tension for the right reader. What will they lose if they don’t work with you? What might they gain by working with you?

Let’s look at some example text inspired by actual websites. We’ll be looking for tension or the lack of it.

Website Examples

If your website uses flat statements like the following it’s not creating tension.

Web Design & Graphic Design Services
Simply a statement of fact. Boring. No tension.

Jeff’s Plumbing
Okay, Jeff does plumbing. Next.

You’re A Big Deal
This was for a law firm and all I can do is scratch my head. If they created any tension it was to get out of there because I don’t get it.

Let’s switch gears and see what a little tension looks and feels like. Here are some examples of statements from websites that create some tension. I’ll also offer a brief explanation of why or how it’s creating tension.

Get A Premium Website You’ll Love Guaranteed
Hum, I could get a website I wouldn’t love and I could be out the money? I’d prefer to void that experience.

We Make Plumbing Delightful
This example offers the tension that if I don’t work with them my experience may not be delightful. I don’t want an awful experience dealing with a plumber.

Dedicated To Helping You Untangle The Legal Web Surrounding Tech Startups
They seem specialized and I might miss out on their inside knowledge. Their expertise might also help me save time.

As you can see words are tools that can push potential clients away or draw them in. A little tension can help you stand out to the right people.

In-Person Example

Let’s move from the digital realm to the physical world.

The Question you often hear when meeting people, “What Do You Do?”

We’ve all been asked the above question or some version of it. This provides you with an opportunity to stand out or blend in. Below is an example from the plumbing industry.

“Hey, so what do you do?”

“I’m a plumber.”

A rather common response that creates no tension. We just state what we do for work. That type of response is not very helpful for your business. Let’s try another response to the above question.

“You know that situation homeowners can have, drip, drip, drip. Yeah, water where it doesn’t belong. I help homeowners get that resolved quickly before it creates more damage.”

If you are a homeowner you might be thinking I need this guy’s card. I want any future water leak fixed quickly so I don’t end up with bigger problems. There’s the tension, avoiding bigger problems.

If you aren’t a homeowner you might know someone who is and ask for a card so you can recommend this plumber to them.

On the other hand, the above statement might not resonate at all. No problem they’re not your client. However, they got a more interesting response than they usually get. A better experience created all around.

There you go, a few examples of how to create some tension that will help you stand out to the right people.

Find a way to introduce a little tension in your marketing material. Maybe on your website, or improve your response to the question, “What do you do?” If you have an idea for another place to use tension in your business then go for it.

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Trevor Wilson

Trevor Wilson

I love helping business owners who are passionate about making a positive difference in their clients' lives. I'm a passionate learner and teacher. My purpose is to help people live a more fulfilled life. In my professional life, I love helping business owners get clear on their purpose and identity. Then I help them clearly communicate their story so they can attract their ideal clients. I do this because I believe that when you work with your ideal clients you'll live a more fulfilled life.

Successful people do what everyone else won't dare to do. Don't wish it were easier; make yourself better.