A 3-Part Copy Formula To Explain What You Do

When it comes to quickly explaining what you do or what your product does, it's hard not to fall into one of two camps: oversimplifying to the point where you don't say anything truly compelling, OR saying so much you overwhelm your customer and lose their attention.

There’s a better way!

I call it honing your before/after statement.

A before/after statement quickly explains the transformation journey that you take customers on. It paints a picture of how you leave them better than before and it's a must-have element of any brand messaging toolkit.

Here’s the easy 3-part formula I use to write before/after statements for my clients:

Customer’s Problem + Client's Unique Solution + Customer's “Happy Ending” = Before/After Statement

Want to see the formula in action? Right this way...

Key: Problem SolutionHappy Ending

Example 1

70% of Main Street families live paycheck to paycheck. To end the cycle, they need easy tools and solid financial advice to help them keep more of what they make. Our budgeting app not only helps them track their money but also connects them to knowledgeable coaches that don't sell financial products so they get the on-demand tools and no-strings advice they need to be financially free.

Example 2

Infant development studies show that babies' brains benefit from high-contrast color environments, so we design graphic, black and white nursery decor that's chic and super stimulating  for babies in their first months. Parents like our minimalistic designs but what they really love is knowing that they're creating extra healthy spaces for their babies to thrive in.

Example 3

It's not enough to have a big vision. Your brand needs a clear message for customers, partners, and employees to buy in wholeheartedly. My program gives you the language tools you need to clearly and consistently talk about your products, services, and difference so you can grow


Now it’s your turn! Spend an hour this week honing your own before/after statement. It might take a few iterations before you get it right but it's totally worth it. Besides making for killer web copy, you'll find this messaging super handy in sales conversations or for the proverbial "elevator pitch."

As long as you’re pointing out the right problem and you’ve got the right solution, selling becomes 10x easier once you have your product's own before-and-after in the bag.

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Brand Crush: Beauty Pie

Perhaps it's me paying penance for my SPF-shirking youth or the fact that my crows feet are coming in hot and no price seems too great to restore my formative glow, but I've become a card-carrying member of beauty addicts anonymous. 

Thankfully, Marcia Kilgore, founder of Bliss spas and the retro-kitsch Soap & Glory bath and beauty line, has come to my rescue. If not curing my "habit," she's making it considerably less expensive with her latest venture: Beauty Pie.

I've had my eye on this ambitious brand since it launched in late 2016. Borrowing from the best of the Everlane, Netflix, and Warby Parker business models, this direct-to-consumer beauty company is combining pricing transparency with a subscription model to change the game for beauty buyers in the UK and US, and soon other markets.

It works by offering high-end beauty products, developed at the leading labs and factories in the world, at cost to its members. So a lipstick that would normally retail for $25 is just $2.38 plus the price of a $10 membership.  Membership grants you access to up to $100 of regular retail priced merchandise each month, so four of those lipsticks for example.

Mission Statement

What I love about this brand is that they understand that if you're going to disrupt an industry, you've got to come out of the gate with a crystal clear message. Words that help consumers instantly get what you do. What do you think of these taglines and headers?

Beauty Pie Messaging

"Makeup Without The Markup"

"Like A Buyer's Club For Beauty Addicts"

"Like A Backstage Pass Into The World's Leading Cosmetics Labs"

"Luxury Lipstick For Less Than A Latte"


I think they've nailed their message and made a potentially confusing business model super relatable to their core audience.

To boot, they've used their copy to cleverly distinguish themselves from the beauty samples subscription box companies they could easily get confused for.  

A+ for positioning.

Do you need a clear message so others can finally get your break-through idea?

The Articulation Intensive might be for you. Let's chat through the details of my brand messaging engagement for business visionaries.