How To Write Your Business Manifesto
WHAT IS A MANIFESTO
A Manifesto is a public declaration of your business's views, motivations, and motives. It helps to express your purpose and what you are passionate about. It also creates a community and things that your clients can rally around. Your Manifesto includes short, clear statements that are easy to understand and evoke an emotional response in both you and your clients.
WHAT A MANIFESTO IS FOR
Besides inspiring your audience and helping build trust from people who are a good fit for you, your Manifesto is also a crucial part of making decisions in your business. Because your Manifesto includes statements around your core values and your ideals, you will be able to step back and look at the Big Picture, to see if everything is in alignment and how all of the different moving parts of your business contribute to a cohesive whole. Your Manifesto can also inspire you when you are feeling down, boost your confidence, and remind you of why you started your business in the first place.
GET CLEAR ON YOUR VALUES
The first step to writing your Manifesto is to get clear on your Core Values. For this step you may want to spend some time gathering ideas of what is important to you. Carry around a notebook for a week or two, and write down things that inspire you, motivate you, or even agitate you.
This will help you get a clearer idea on what is important to you, and what you want to include in your business Manifesto. If there are certain things that you know are true, write those down.
For example, I value Knowledge as well as wisdom. I value learning and growth. I value Books. So many books. Everywhere. If there are books, I am there.
IDENTIFY THINGS THAT MAKE YOU RANT
The next step is to identify things that you are passionate about NOT wanting in your business. These may include things like poor customer service, people being treated like a number, and slimy, pushy sales tactics.
They may also include "Industry Standards" like holding people hostage on a Thank You page with long videos that can't be skipped, fluff-filled Webinars that are little more than sales pitches, and berating clients by telling them that if they don't invest $10,000 or more in your program that they don't believe in themselves.
Now take all of the things you don't like about your industry, and flip it around to the positive. For example, I want my clients to feel like part of something bigger, a movement of people who BELONG and who are no longer considered weird or on the fringes.
I want everyone to know that they are valuable and can create an amazing business, no matter where they came from, their beliefs, or what has happened to them in their lives.
Of course you may start with statements that are the exact opposite of your ranty issues, like if you wrote, "I hate pushy sales tactics," you may desire, "Connection and co-creation in a sales process that feels good to all parties, with no attachment to outcome."
It doesn't matter how long or wordy your statements are right now. You're going to fix that later.
PROJECT YOURSELF INTO THE FUTURE
Think about where you want to be 10 years from now. What programs do you want to have in place? What types of clients do you want to be working with? How is your business making an impact in the World?
Sitting with these big questions can help you distill your true values and areas of purpose, while helping you recognize where you won't compromise and what you are really here to do.
You can also think about how your business has impacted your own life as well as your family's lives financially and emotionally, and look at all of the opportunities and adventures it has created.
If you plan on donating to charities, this is a good time to think about what that might look like as well.
CREATE 5-10 STATEMENTS FOR YOUR MANIFESTO
After you've gathered all of this information, look through what you've written out and identify any recurring themes.
Choose your most important statements, and rewrite them to make them more concise and to the point. Your Manifesto should fit on the front of one regular sized piece of paper.
You probably won't get this "perfect" all in one go. Your Manifesto is a living, breathing part of your business. Revisit it often to update and tweak it as needed. Once you've got a draft you're pretty happy with, share it with a friend or colleague to see what they think and to get feedback.
EXAMPLE MANIFESTOS TO INSPIRE YOU
Manifestos come in a variety of colors and appearances. Here are a couple to inspire you. Nike's Manifesto is about the belief that there is greatness in all of us.
Holstee has one of the most recognizable Manifestos on the internet. Unfortunately, while this Manifesto can be found on websites, Instagram, Pinterest, and even framed in living rooms and offices, very few people know the name of the company behind it as it is often edited out of any images.
Instead of getting lost in pretty thoughts and a nice picture, make sure your Manifesto is communicating who your company is and what it is about. 5-10 short statements is enough to get started for most people.
More can be overwhelming and may not create the impact you want. Consider whether or not your Manifesto is doing its job as you create it. Enchanting Marketing takes a creative and fun approach to their Manifesto.
Once you have your Manifesto written, share it. Even if you think it isn't "done" yet, share it. Even if you don't think it's "perfect." Share it. Post it on your Facebook or LinkedIn page. Make an image of it and post it on Instagram.
See how your clients respond. Test it. Print it out and hang it in your office.
Revisit it often. Be prepared to update your Manifesto as your business grows and changes.