When I first became an entrepreneur more than 16 years ago, I helped other entrepreneurs with their messaging, media outreach, graphic design, etc.
One day I was introduced to a group of potential clients by a close friend who I helped with everything mentioned above. However, she introduced me as a graphic designer. I was not a graphic designer. I was and am a messaging strategist, but at that time I had not done a good job communicating my message.
The Lesson Learned
I quickly learned:
If I don’t clarify and clearly articulate who I am, what I do, how I do it and why my business exists, someone else will and my brand will become what they assume it to be and not what it really is.
This experience can help us understand Habakkuk 2:2 with greater clarity. It reads:
Then the Lord said to me,
“Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.” (NLT)
Since that time, I’ve made it a point to get clear on the who, what, how, and why of my business and I encourage you to do the same.
These following five tips will help you shape your marketing message so you can clearly articulate it and potential customers can easily understand it.
Define your brand voice. Perception is reality and you’ll want to shape it by doing some internal work first. Start by asking yourself, “If my business was a person, what 3-5 words would I use to describe its personality to someone?”
Match your message to your market. Take the time to identify the problems your target audience has, but don’t stop there. Hone in on how these problems make them feel. The answers you uncover will be a treasure trove of insight in communicating directly to the heart of their need.
Focus on solutions. Not only do customers want to know you understand their problems, they want to know if you can solve them. So, be sure to give proof you can. Present your products or services in light of the needs they meet.
Share customer successes. Create case studies to share your customer successes. Also, seek to obtain written customer testimonials. You’ll strengthen the validity of your story and increase the trust factor with those considering doing business with you.
Don’t just say what you do. Find creative ways to show what you do. You’ve written your case study and you’ve worded it perfectly. Yet, there still seems to be something missing. You add a picture to the case study and it rounds out your story perfectly. That’s what visuals like pictures, video testimonials and infographics will do for you. They will help you further shape your message.
So, there you have it…a simplified strategy for shaping your marketing message. Keep in mind that it is a process and I suggest you start with defining your brand voice. Here’ a brand voice cheat sheet to help you get started. Download Here: Brand Voice Cheat Sheet
As the owner and founder of Idea Haven, a communications and training practice, Alicia Terry helps entrepreneurs, teens and women clarify the message around their mission so they can attract and connect with the people they are meant to serve. You can learn more about Alicia at aliciaterry.com and connect with her on Facebook.