• success[1]Pain points or passion points? THAT is the question…

    Here’s a question for YOU (especially if you’re in business for yourself or responsible for marketing anything)

    Do YOU know what MOTIVATES your ideal clients? Not what their ‘pain points’ are — what they really want — what are their PASSION points?

    I’m asking because I want to hear from you (seriously, leave a response in the reply section and let me know after you read the rest of this).

    I’m going to share something with you that made me take pause (WARNING there’s a four letter word in this exchange but it didn’t come from me).

    FB status

    Some time ago I posted a status update on Facebook that said:

    STOP focusing on PAIN POINTS (unlearn what you’ve learned) focus on PASSION POINTS

    I was intrigued by the responses I received and am sharing the exchange here for your consideration:

    Kevin (one of my FB “friends” who I don’t really know) posted:

    FB Ghost“No. 80% of the populous react to pain to stop it. if you focus on that elusive 20% you will find they are too busy DOING, they are probably YOU- so don’t write to YOURSELF write to people that are buying and well there you go. Or heck – write shit that sounds good to say but has ZERO metrics behind it.”

    My response to Kevin:

    FB LisaI’m glad that works for your clients and I understand the psychology behind it. It’s simply not what appeals to mine. As a student and practitioner of marketing, advertising and copywriting for over two decades, admittedly I am not a numbers person. I don’t treat people like numbers and I don’t poke at pain points to create a heightened emotional frenzy and push the sale. That technique often causes buyer’s remorse. 

    I prefer to focus on results and create long-term client satisfaction to build relationships. Oddly, this works for my clients. 

    Something that I do find intriguing in the numbers department (beyond increased client sales and conversions) is that women influence (and have for some time) over 85% of all purchasing decisions. A study on the NextWeb revealed that 91% of women feel misunderstood by advertisers. Toss in the fact that up until very recently only 3% of creative directors in ad agencies are women (it’s now increased to about 11%) and then connect the dots

    Things are shifting. And I can assure you, I am not in the “$#iT” business. 

    However, it does seem that if I were writing to “me”, that would be a good thing given the statistics on buying power. Another interesting thing about metrics — almost 100% of all clients who come my way are totally burnt out on the problem, agitate and solve approach. They’ve often worked with people who use that technique and the content created wasn’t resonating with their ideal clients (this applies to both women and men). That’s why I teach and apply an alternate approach. The beauty of this is there is more than enough business to go around and we each have unique skill sets to deliver the desired results.

    Another friend (who I do know), chimed in: 

    “Ah…the good ole 80/20 rule. Which is precisely why you want to focus only on the 20% because they will, in fact, bring you 80% of your joy and make your passion so much more powerful. Why focus on the 80% that only attribute 20% of your passion and profits? To me that’s sounds too painful. I want to focus on the people who will make my life worth living.”

    My point EXACTLY, my friend. ♥ End of Facebook exchange.

    So back to the question: Passion points or pain points –What motivates your ideal clients?  Share your thoughts by replying below.

    AND I’m working on an article to showcase both approaches in case you’re still on the fence. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, be sure to join the Write On Creative Community and grab your Copywriting Action Plan here.

    Lisa Manyon is "The Business Marketing Architect" a content and copywriting strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She's the creator of the NEW marketing model for success (as seen in Inc. Magazine) that's changing the way people market today. She specializes in powerfully communicating your marketing message to increase results via Manyon Marketing Web Makeovers, website copy packages and content strategies to effectively market your business. She offers a free Copywriting Action Plan and marketing resources on her award winning blog. Her consulting and coaching is known to help produce million dollar results www.writeoncreative.com/blog


    13 responses to “Pain Points or PASSION Points?”

    1. Lisa, I happened to attend your live chat that evening on twitter and I enjoyed that conversation so much. For so long I’ve disliked the expression “pain points” and you have validated that feeling. Let’s focus on the passion points instead! Thank you!

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Mary Ellen,

        I’m so glad you caught the Tweet Chat on Twitter. You can access the archives on twitter by searching the hashtag #SpeakerChat #collaborationeconomy — this is a powerful training offered weekly by Women Speakers Association.

        Write on!~


    2. Jessica says:

      Well since they are my “ideal” clients they would be motivated by passion! I’d much rather work with someone who is motivated by passion than running scared from pain. Take THAT Kevin!

    3. Mitch Tublin says:

      Use the method that you feel comfortable with, is consistent with your values and works in obtaining business.
      There are enough people in the world to satisfy everyone in business. Agree with you Lisa women control the buying and they do not want to be pained into buying anything.

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        Exactly. And there are people using pain points and getting results. However, I believe this approach perpetuates buyers remorse. I’m thankful my clients prefer passion points and focusing on betterment of the world.

        Write on!~


    4. This is a very interesting conversation, Lisa. My ideal clients (and me) are definitely motivated by passion, which is part of the reason I’ve incorporated it into my brand. However, I do see some value in discussing pain points. Many of my clients are often dealing with invisible chronic illnesses that very few people “get.” Acknowledging their struggle can actually be validating and even empowering if you approach it with that intention. I do realize, however, that most marketers aren’t approaching pain with that perspective, and I agree that the old way of marketing is very ineffective for most women that I know and work with.

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        You are spot on. We can acknowledge a painful situation to validate it with empathy and understanding instead of poking at pain points. I’m all about passion and painting a picture of possibility.

        Write on!~


    5. I do hear what Tiffany says. Acknowledging the pain my anxious clients feel is very helpful and empowering for them. But I certainly don’t like the agitate aspect of this and would never use this approach

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        It is important to know what the pain is and to acknowledge the challenge. That’s how we move to a true solution. What isn’t OK it poking at those pain points to manipulate the sales. I know you know this and I’m glad more and more people are choosing to apply my approach.

        Write on!~


    6. I appreciate this post. For a long time, I’ve been told to focus on the pain points…really dig in. However, I think focusing on passion points is better. What a refreshing post. Thanks!

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        Yes, the problem, agitate and solve approach is the go-to formula that everyone else teaches. I’ve never been one to follow the crowd. I prefer to lead and to offer a framework to break the trance, challenge the status quo and engage critical thinking.

        Thanks for playing.

        Write on!~


    7. Linda Ursin says:

      Pain points marketing makes me cringe. I refuse to do that. My followers respond better to passion and that’s the way I like it too 🙂

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