For entrepreneurs, small business owners, solopreneurs, and consultants, your business success relies heavily on how well you communicate the message of what you do, who you are, how you add value to potential clients and customers, and 'why you' over your competition.
Brand messaging is the underlying value proposition that you convey, and how you get it across; the words, tone, and overall language you use in your content. It's what helps people relate to you, helps you earn their trust, and is what inspires, persuades, and motivates them to buy from you.
People have the attention span of a gnat and get confused easily so your messaging must be crystal clear, understandable, and get across your promise, your story, and your essence succinctly, simply, and quickly.
When you explain what you do, is the response, "Oh so you do X," when in fact, what you were trying to convey was "Y?" If so, back to the brand messaging drawing board.
My name is Susan. That’s how I introduce myself. Why do some people then decide to call me Sue? If my name were Sue, I would have said so. It's the same thing with you brand messaging. It needs to convey exactly who you are, why you do what you do, and how it is of value to your clients and customers.
To stand out from your competition, create intrigue and curiosity. Tell a compelling story.
START WITH YOUR ‘WHY’
The best brand messaging earns the trust of your ideal client/customer, and establishes a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with them. As Simon Sinek says in his book, "Start With Why," "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."
So how do you stand out when oodles of other companies or individuals do the same type of work as you?
If you're any type of coach, and today it seems everyone is either a coach or working with a coach(!), it's not your training that makes you stand out. Have you ever been asked by a potential client where you got certified? Most likely no. They're buying your story, your transformation, what got you where you are, the belief that you understand what they need. Today, the more transparent, honest, and filled with stories of triumph over obstacles, the better. They buy why you do what you do, they don't buy what you do.
Professional and life experience, your promise, credibility, testimonials, work samples, and wisdom all matter.
PEOPLE BUY WHEN THEY’RE TOUCHED EMOTIONALLY & RATIONALLY
The best success a brand can have is when it touches its ideal customer/client emotionally and rationally. Dig deep and find a way to tap that. They want to feel, but their mind also needs to buy into it. When you can tap into this sweet spot, they've drank your Kool-Aid so like any relationship, do everything possible to maintain that level of trust.
When developing your brand messaging think consider these tips:
IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU; IT'S ABOUT YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS
Know who they are, know their pain points and problems, and how you can solve them. What's in it for them? Why should they buy into you? How will your product or services enhance, simplify, or enrich, their life and/or business? When going on about how fabulous you are and how much you're business is needed, continually ask yourself, "So what?" "Why does that matter to them?"
Make "It's not about me, it's about my customer," your mantra. You've climaxed when you can clearly say, "We offer..." and "You get..."
"IF YOU CAN'T EXPLAIN IT TO A SIX-YEAR-OLD, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IT YOURSELF." - Albert Einstein
Be human. Be real. Be authentic (excuse this highly overused word but it does say it so well). Be you.
Keep it simple. If people can't remember, understand, or repeat the message, it's not clear. If it's not clear, it will be out of your prospect's mind. And once out of their mind, it's very hard to get them back.
Lose the buzzwords, lose the fluff, find the voice that resonates with all that your brand represents. If you are your business and the only face on your website, use the first person, not third person, not 'we.'
What is your brand personality -- spunky, formal, conservative, edgy, sassy? Use the tone that's most appropriate to who you're trying to reach in your marketing materials and on your website, provided it rings true to your overall brand.
When you have a detailed picture of your ideal client/customer, then you'll know the best way to speak in order to make a lasting connection with them.
TRUST IS BUILT WITH CONSISTENCY...
This is so important. Be consistent across all platforms. This includes LinkedIn profiles, Facebook business pages, all marketing, public relations, communications, and digital materials. If you're consistent people believe you. If you're not, they don't know what to think. A confused prospect, or existing client/customer, is a lost opportunity.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments.