This week was a week of getting clearer, messagewise that is. As my first big work deadline looms next week, here’s what else has been going on:

I had a great lunch with someone who’s been where I’ve been and wants to help.

Last week, I had lunch with John Lawrence, the Executive Director of the Mount Desert Chamber of Commerce.

I met him at a Business After Hours with the Chamber and he asked me to let him know how he could help me out. Being the honest, straightforward person I am, I called him on it. And last Thursday, I did what I often do with people I know I want to get information from: I bought him lunch and picked his brain.

He checked out my site and he said, while it was clear what I did, the benefits to the businesses weren’t clear.

Besides this useful (and now painfully obvious) information, he gave me the contact of a person working on a cool project related to local businesses and talked with her about me.

And it just goes to show you… Admire someone? Take them to lunch. Seriously, I mean look at what $25 invested did for me!

I got an email from an old client, and combined with ideas over lunch with John Lawrence, I suddenly understood what I had to do.

I like to keep in touch with past clients. I was trying to get this particular one to let me work for a sustained amount of time on a project for him. He wrote me essentially saying, “I don’t get how this will help my business.”

Common theme? Sure is.

People seem to understand what I do, but not how it directly benefits their business. I shyed away from putting a lot of facts and figures on my site initially because I didn’t want to confuse potential clients or seem like I was trying to out-geek them.

But what I realize is while I am an honest person who knows my stuff, being unclear about internet marketing benefits and results is hurting my business. So…

I am embarking on a video project.

There is already lots of text on this site. To illustrate the benefits of internet marketing, I wanted a dynamic presentation, and a way to balance out facts and figures (from reputable large websites) with something personal (great stories).

Enter case studies of local businesses I know who are using social media. I’ve started contacting some of them about the possibility of my asking them questions on video and so far two businesses are a go. They aren’t clients of mine and I think it’ll be less biased that way.

By interspersing video of myself with video of business owners and pertinent facts, I think this will not only be good (and desperately needed!) content for my site but also a great exercise in creating and using video for internet marketing purposes.

I expect the project to be done in 3-4 weeks. I got myself the software I needed (in my case Sony Vegas Pro 8) and am borrowing a video camera from a Facebook friend. Yup, I love social media!

I made the local paper.

While I did get a mention on Fenceviewer the other day, I actually got in this week’s issue of the MDIslander. (I used to work for the Ellsworth American and MDIslander papers.) An article in the local paper will certainly do wonders with clarifying my message at a local level.

Leaving a job can feel a lot like a breakup but it’s nice to know that the papers and I can remain friends and be happy for each other when good things happen. Not all workplaces would be so supportive of someone out on their own and for the Islander’s support, I am grateful.

I feel like my “This Week In Business” posts are painfully obvious but there seems to be quite a learning curve with this new business stuff!

How do you work on clarifying your business or your own personal message?

Need marketing help?