What Is Your Marketing Message Strategy?
The most important thing you’ll read today is this: YOU are your marketing message, not your product.
This is a pillar post about your marketing message. In this post you will learn:
- What a marketing message is – Marketing Message Definition
- Why you need a message
- Marketing Message Examples
- How to use it
- Marketing Message Template for Creating A Kick-Ass Message
You will also learn about the pitfalls of not having a message as well as mistakes to avoid when creating and using your message.
Plus, some great tips and strategies for creating a powerful message.
This post is intended to help you create your own cohesive and creative message for your market.
Feel free to refer back to this post often while you’re crafting your message and whenever you need to refresh or redesign your message.
Do You Have A Strong Message?
As an entrepreneur in the 21st century there are so many more aspects to your business to think about than just where you’re going to hang your sign.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is…you have to have a sign.
No matter who you are, what you’re selling, who you’re selling to or how you do it, you need a message. Successful entrepreneurs and small businesses all have cohesive, simple and relatable messages.
Marketing messages do 3 important things. They tell your customers:
- What you do
- What’s in it for your ideal customer
- Why you are the best at it
Any more information than that is fluff.
This is the heart of messaging for your market and this is what we’ll dissect and study in this post.
At the end of this post you will be a marketing message genius and you’ll use your knowledge to create or recreate a fabulous message for your business and your customers.
A Successful Message Does One More Thing…
A strong message will be a guidepost for all of your content, products and services.
A powerful message doesn’t just affect your market.
It affects your business by giving you an aligning principle to follow when posting new content, creating new products and engaging with your audience, customers and prospects.
And since you are your message, everything you put out will reflect your values, skills and USP, unique selling proposition.
Unique Selling Proposition: What sets you and your products apart from your competition. How you do things differently than anyone else.
You Are Your Message
No matter what type of business you have it’s imperative to have a message and no matter what type of product you’re selling…
YOU are always the first product.
If you are a dentist you must convince people why YOU are the best dentist for them.
Every dentist uses the same tools and products. So how do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the dentists? You’re better. Why? This is your job to figure out. And this post will help you figure that out.
Whether you’re a business coach, an aesthetician or a cake artist you have to have a clear, concise and consistent message. No matter what you do, YOU are your Unique Selling Proposition.
Everything flows from you: products, services, content.
Your Message Is A Lighthouse On A Busy Ocean
It guides you during murky value decisions like endorsements or product failures; it keeps you focused and propels you forward during market stagnancy; and it’s a consistent beacon to guide your customers and prospects to your shores.
Your message is also a bicycle wheel but we’ll figure out why a fish needs a bicycle a little later.
The bottom line is no matter what you’re hawking out in the world the real message is always YOU. Knowing that will help you create a specific and targeted message that people will understand and gravitate to again and again.
Who The F** Am I?
Why am I allowed to write extensively on this topic and position myself as an expert in message marketing? Because I am. I have over 31 years of experience in online and offline marketing strategy.
I’ve taught some of the best marketing minds of this generation, everyone from Ryan Deiss to Joe Polish to Russell Brunson.
I have generated over $400 million in sales and profits for my clients.
Finally, teaching is my passion. I love teaching people how to create their own success by mastering the art and science of marketing. I do this all over the world and have taught thousands of students.
So humor me while I teach you something.
THE WHAT: What Is Your Message?
“Messaging isn’t rocket science. It’s largely a question of two things: audience and discipline.” –Dave Kellogg
Know your audience and have the discipline to consistently repurpose your message. – Nutshell.
Your message is the information you send out to the world (your audience and market) about your business.
Your message tells the world who you are, what you do and why you do it.
Your message is how your market identifies and finds you.
And it’s how you define your business.
The ‘discipline’ part of Dave Kellogg’s quote is about how you use your message which we’ll also cover in this post.
It can be a little tricky to think about because a marketing message can come in a lot of disguises: your content, your products, your services.
And all of these things should embody your message to the world. But ultimately, the first thing your message is is YOU.
Let me say a little more about that. A ‘message’ is illusive, and you probably already have some questions:
– Is your message your product?
– Is it this little phrase you post under the name of your business?
– Does your message change?
– How do you use your message?
It can be confusing trying to answer the question “what is my marketing message?”
So let’s start with the basics.
Yes, it’s good to put your message into words: a sentence or two that describes what you do, how you do it and how you’re different than anyone else.
This verbal and written embodiment of your message is vitally important as it will infuse your content, products and services.
And it can and will, with use, become a vital part of your planning strategies in your business expansion.
You may use different tools to bring your message to market: a podcast, a YouTube channel, a book, a webinar, a retreat, etc. but for entrepreneurs and small business owners your message is YOU first and foremost. This is the guiding principle behind creating your message.
You = Your Message = You
Your new book, your latest blog post, your weekly YouTube video, your annual webinar or mastermind group, even each one-on-one with your clients, all embody your message.
They are not your message.
Your message is a reflection of you, your values, your skills and your USP, unique selling proposition, what sets you apart from everyone else.
Because you are the constant in your business.
Your content, products and services will change but your values, skills and USP will not (or at least, not as frequently) and they are represented by you.
Even if you eventually sell your business or it becomes a legacy business handed down to your family when you die, those values, skills and USP will evolve much more slowly and will remain guiding principles for the company.
There are two types of marketing: product marketing and message marketing:
So Coke is a big brand. It’s known all over the world. It’s not identified with a person. If I asked you, you probably couldn’t name Coke’s current CEO. Coke’s message is about its product.
Whereas KKW is Kim Kardashian West. She is the brand and the message. People identify Kim’s brand with her. That’s because she IS the product. Whether she is touting her perfume, her TV show, or a makeup tutorial it’s her that you click to see.
Message marketing is perfect for small business owners because well, wherever you go there you are.
Over time and with consistency you, your face and your personality can become synonymous with your message. And this is a much stronger position to take in your marketplace especially when using social media to expand your reach.
Your message becomes synonymous with whatever product or service you’re selling at the time.
In fact, your products and services will change over time. But your messaging should remain steadfast and consistent for as long as it is relevant to your market.
You are the defining principle of the message you give to the world about your business.
You message should reflect your values, your mission, your personality.
If you’re an author your message is not the book you write, it’s you. And your book is the embodiment of you.
If you’re a personal coach, your message is how you’re the best personal coach for your market. If you’re a dentist, your message is not the tools you use to extract a cavity, it’s how YOU, the expert in dentistry, uses those tools better than anyone else.
Your message is always YOU and how, as an entrepreneur, you do things differently, better and more successfully than anyone else.
Your message needs to reflect, not just your business’s mission but YOU and what you bring to the marketplace.
Your products, services and content can change or evolve over time to stay relevant to your market but your message should rarely change because it’s a reflection of three things:
- your values
You should use three rules of thumb when creating your message. Make sure your message is:
1. Clear – easy to perceive, understand, or interpret.
It needs to state who you are, what you do and why you do it.
You don’t always have to convey these ideas in words. Fonts, colors, wording and tone all help to convey your message.
Clarity oftentimes goes hand in hand with brevity. It’s important to use as few words as possible to convey each idea in your message.
Karen Karnaky or Miss Karen as she’s known to her clients is an Austin-based aesthetician.
Karen doesn’t just use words to convey her message. She uses tone and color as well, to create a clear message, easily and immediately understood.
2. Concise – giving lots of communication clearly and in as few words as possible.
When writing your message you need to be brief but comprehensive. Merriam-Webster defines ‘concise’ as a brevity of expression.
Coke has “Taste the Feeling,” Uber says, “Get there. Your day belongs to you.”
Both of these messages are short and give their audience an immediate sense of what they do.
With their unique fonts, colors and tones you get an even more complete picture of how these companies want you to think about them.
Coke just wants you to taste the feeling that Coke gives you when you drink it and have fun doing it.
Uber matter-of-factly states that it wants to help you with one thing: getting to your destination so you can get on with whatever else you want to do.
Kristine Oller is a business coach for creative professionals. Her message is simple, to the point, and tells her market exactly who she is, a strategist for creative professionals.
Her message is also front and center under her name. It’s simple, to the point and short.
3. Consistent – acting or done in the same way over time, especially so as to be fair or accurate.
Finally, your message needs to be consistent.
You need consistency in your message wherever you use it, including across media platforms.
You cannot have one message on Twitter and a different one in your emails or brochures. Your message must be consistent across all media you use to connect to your prospects, followers and audiences. Why?
Consistency insures continuity and lets people know that you’re thoughtful and methodical in your public dealings.
Consistency = Trust.
Consistency allows people to trust your message and therefore you.
Consistency in your message over time evokes a sense of longevity and security for your customers and prospects. You are a pillar of the community and are around for the long haul.
Although your products and services may change over time YOU, your values, and your commitment stay the same. You are dependable.
Yolanda Gampp is a cake artist and YouTube star.
Across her social media: YouTube, IG, Facebook and her website, she’s consistent in her message. You instantly know what her deal is (cake) and she doesn’t deviate from it.
Consistency in her message is what helped propel her to over 3 million subscribers on YT in three years.
Making sure that your message is consistent across platforms and being consistent in the use of your message is how you attract viewers, followers, prospects and life-long customers.
Just do the do that you do. Consistently.
THE WHY: The Purpose of Having A Message For Your Business
From a marketing point of view the reason for having a clear, concise and consistent message is for three specific reasons:
- Accelerates marketing reach
- Reduces marketing costs
- Grows marketing engagement
A clear idea of who you are and what you do in the marketplace accelerates market reach consistently by becoming increasingly recognizable to your followers and customers over time.
When your message becomes synonymous with you and your products or services a shorthand with your prospects and customers develops.
You become instantly recognizable and reliable.
Instant recognizability = instant reliability = trust. This all leads to accelerated market reach.
Consistent messaging can also reduce marketing costs because the more your customers and followers recognize you the less you will need to buy advertising.
Instead you can keep word of mouth flowing through strategic, consistent and clear messaging on-page and off-page.
On-Page: any page on the internet; your website, your YT channel, your IG page, etc.
Off-Page: any marketing done away from the internet; brochures, teleseminars, face-to-face, etc.
Over time you can reduce the amount of marketing you buy, from Facebook “like” campaigns to bus benches, brochures and even time spent on marketing.
Finally, proper messaging can single-handedly grow your marketing engagement.
By constantly circulating your message on social media you create an easily accessible and recognizable way to reach out and engage with your prospects, followers and customers.
The right messaging can also create excitement and momentum for your next product launch, episode or survey.
Your messaging can create a sense of friendship and community where people look forward to engaging, commenting and sharing your Next Big Thing.
Once again, Yolanda Gampp does this brilliantly.
She has a clear, concise and consistent message: “how to cake it,” which also happens to be the name of her company.
She got a foothold in her market by going narrow and deep. “How To Cake It” is also the “what’s in it for me” factor. She will teach you how to cake…anything.
So having a clear, concise, and consistent message circulating and being repurposed on social media you can cut marketing costs, connect with people faster and increase your engagement with your audience.
That’s the power of a clear message and why your business needs that.
THE HOW: How to Define Your Message
First of all, study successful marketing messages from companies you frequent and love. Chances are, the companies that keep you coming back are doing something right with their messaging.
Modeling is a legitimate way to learn successful messaging.
Copying one person is plagiarism but copying many people is called research 😉
Modeling successful behavior in your marketplace is smart and the easiest way to learn about your market.
There are several factors to consider when creating your brand message. You can figure out these factors by asking yourself the following:
- Who is your target market?
- What problem do you solve for people with your product or service?
- Why are you better than your competitors?
- “What’s in it for me?” factor
Look at these questions and create a description based on your answers to these questions.
This description will become a template you can refer back to again and again to create consistency in your messaging with new product launches and company changes.
Who Are You Speaking To?
Who is your target market? This is the most important question to ask yourself during this process.
What Is Your Target Market > Ideal Customer: The person or group of persons most likely to buy your products or services.
Avatar: A profile and template built to understand your target market and ideal customer.
It takes into consideration what your customer, follower and prospect get out of the deal.
It answers the “what’s in it for me?” question. And ultimately this is what your customers and prospects want to know.
In order to answer your audience with an effective message you have to know who you’re speaking to.
You don’t want to sell meat to vegetarians.
Do you know who your ideal avatar is? Do you know who your followers and average customers are? Do you know what they want or what they need? Do you know what they’re looking for?
Let’s look at Miss Karen’s message again…
Building confidence one treatment at a time
That’s it. Karen’s customers, clients and even cold prospects find out quickly what she offers and why. She provides skincare treatments to build your confidence.
It’s laser-focused (pun intended) and speaks directly to her target market.
To really design a message that speaks directly to your target market you need to spend some time getting to know your target market.
This research will take some work and will evolve over time as your market evolves and changes.
Staying up-to-date with your market and what it wants is necessary for clear and relevant messaging.
Take some time to do this research because these answers will provide all the information you need to speak directly to your market and create effective messaging that your market relates to and understands.
When you answer that burning question for them they will feel spoken to and heard.
What Are You Selling?
As an entrepreneur, you solve problems.
What’s the problem you solve for people? What’s your product or service?
Whether you’re a personal coach, an aesthetician, or an internet marketer you have a product or service to provide to your customers. And your product or service solves a problem.
What is it? Define it clearly and concisely.
This might seem like, “starting a business 101” but creating an effective message that really gets people’s attention means going back to the basics.
Remind yourself what your business is about and why you started it. This is the seed knowledge of a strong message.
Why are you better than your competitors?
What’s your edge?
How do you do things differently? Use this simple exercise to define your “why,”
Take a piece of blank paper and write descriptive words about your product or service:
Fast. Slow. Methodical. Specific. Determined. On time. Simple. Reliable.
Thorough. Beautifying. Cleansing. Delicious.
Keep this list to refer back to when writing your message and any messaging around your company or new products.
How Do You Do It?
Next, look at the tone you want to convey.
Are you fun, high-energy? Are you laid back? A little quirky? All business?
Tone conveys a lot.
It lets people know where you stand. If your company offers business solutions for mid-level companies then you’ll want your message to convey the sense that your company is here for solutions and problem-solving, no messing around.
Kristine Oller is our business coach case study. Remember, she’s a strategist for artistic entrepreneurs. Her message is:
Mentor and Strategist for Creative Professionals
Across her social media, including her website she conveys a sense of serious know-how, nurturing and teamwork.
You instantly know three things about Christine: she’s serious about her mission, she’s business-savvy and she’s here for you.
Sarah Prout, on the other hand, is a meditation teacher with a mission to inspire you to manifest the life of your desires. Her message:
Sarah Prout inspires and empowers millions of people around the world to AMPLIFY the manifestation of their dreams and desires
Her consistent messaging evokes inspiration, a sense of inclusivity (millions of people), and living your biggest dream.
Again, you can take a piece of blank paper and write down descriptives for how you do that thing you do…
Fun! Serious. Playful. Meaningful. All business. Down-to-Earth. Stable. A little quirky. Use your imagination to help define your tone.
Keep this list to refer back to regularly to stay focused on your message.
“What’s In It For Me?”
If you have really taken the time to study your ideal customer you will know what they are looking for. With that, you’ll be able to design a message with that specific information at the forefront.
One of the strongest messages to answer the “what’s in it for me” question is Karen’s, “building confidence one treatment at a time.” She’s speaking directly to her target market.
Her ideal customer is looking for more confidence in her appearance. Karen gives her that.
Look at your products and services. Do they speak to your market?
Are you giving them exactly what they need and want? Go back and look at your avatar worksheet to help answer those questions.
HOW TO Use Your Message – Repurposing
You’re never marketing to a grandstand of people held captive before you. You’re marketing to a parade of people walking by.
So be clear and consistent with your message and watch the people who are the greatest at it. Copy what successful entrepreneurs do.
You have to saturate your market with your message. With the billions of voices on the internet how are YOU going to be heard and seen? With consistency and clarity. You don’t have to be the loudest, you just have to be consistent.
Imagine yourself standing in a crowded room and everyone is screaming at each other. How do you break through that to be heard over the din?
By screaming the loudest? You’ll never be the loudest.
By being the most crazy? Everyone’s frickin crazy and trying to top each other with their crazy. Have you seen the internet lately?
The answer doesn’t lie with being more of anything.
Just as the CONTENT of your message needs to be clear, concise and consistent so does the USE of your message.
Your online and offline presence should be a consistent repetition of your message.
You don’t have to be the loudest. You don’t have to be the most attention-getting.
You do have to be the most consistent.
How do you stay consistent? Through repurposing.
One of the simplest and most imperative ways of using your message is through repurposing. What is repurposing?
Repurposing is taking content that you’ve created for one media channel and redesigning and reusing it in other channels of media.
For instance, an author can repurpose her latest non-fiction, self-help, or how-to book and create mini blog posts from it for her blog.
She can also take those blog posts and create youtube segments. Then of course, create tweets, FB posts and IG posts that link back to her blog posts, youtube channel and Amazon link to her book.
She’s recirculating her content which all leads back to a link where you can buy her book.
She has created one piece of content, her book, and from it has repurposed her message over and over, reaching new corners of her market all linking back to her product: her book.
At Marketing Online we call this The Repurposing Wheel. It looks like a bicycle wheel.
The center of the wheel is known as the hub and YOU are the hub. And remember who you are, you are your message. So the hub is your message. The spokes of the wheel are the media that carry your message to your market, which is the tire.
The hub = Your Message
The spokes = The Media
The tire = Your Market
The hub is you, and you are the message, right? Your content should embody your message.
This is why it’s so important to distill your message down to a couple principles so you can use your message as a guide for all of your content, including products and services.
You have a book, a podcast, a webinar, a retreat, a blog, a YouTube channel, a Facebook Live show, etc.
All of these forms of content need to embody your message. But remember, they are not your message. You are your message.
And saturating your market with your message will make YOU synonymous with your products, content and services. Is this starting to make sense?
The spokes of our wheel are the different media channels of distribution. That’s your book, a podcast, a Facebook Live show, a retreat, a webinar, etc.
People have preferences for where they like to consume content and where they like to socialize, find resources and meet new people. It’s your job to go find them.
Meet people where they like to consume media. Don’t make them try to find you. Give them your content in the manner in which they like to consume content.
The wheel of our wheel analogy is your market. It’s where the rubber meets the road.
Your content (energy) flows out from you through the different channels of distribution to your market and it becomes a symbiotic relationship.
You feed the market your energy (your message) and they return that energy, in the form of money, attention, a following, which then flows back to you, and keeps the wheel rolling.
The more consistent your message is, the more momentum you build with your audience and conversion rates. We’ll go into more detail about momentum a little later.
Again, not to beat a dead cake but seriously, USE YOUR WORDS. Get your message out there.
You don’t have to be the loudest person in the room, but you do have to be the most consistent.
What Is Your Call To Action?
One of the most important aspects of successful messaging is a clear call-to-action. Does your message contain a call-to-action?
What the hell is a call-to-action?
A CTA is like passing the baton to your customer, viewer or follower. You tell them your message and then you give them something to do.
If you don’t give them something to do they’ll just wander away to the next shiny penny. Direct their energy.
What Is A Call-To-Action: A statement designed to direct a reader or viewer to take an action, usually to accept a gift of content in exchange for the prospect’s contact info.
“Hey, these are my cool videos. Want more? Subscribe now and hit the notification button.”
“I’ve got a lot of great info for planning your next party. Follow me on Instagram!”
“Want brighter teeth? Make an appointment today.”
These are examples of calls-to-action. They give your prospects something to do with the information you just gave them.
They can follow up and find more of what you’re offering. And you are directing their energy.
Every single message should have a call-to-action either within the framework of the message or nearby.
It is imperative to direct your audience’s energy somewhere that will be to your advantage.
Also, like any good audience everyone wants to be directed. They want to know what the next step is.
Not telling them what the next step will cause mutiny. People will abandon your ship possibly never to return.
Have I convinced you that you need a call-to-action? Good.
How do you create a call-to-action? This is another place where it’s invaluable to know your market and ideal customer avatar.
What does she want? Show her where it is. It’s really that simple.
Your CTA could be as simple as asking for someone to stick around to watch your next video or listen to the next episode of your podcast.
In each and every one of her videos Yolanda Gampp instructs her viewers to subscribe and hit the notification bell to get updates for her next video.
But I urge you to check out her website to get schooled in CTAs. The woman knows how to get you to do things.
Each and every panel of her homepage is a complete and giant Call To Action.
The first panel (shown below) is her latest YouTube video, which is begging you to watch right there. No need to head over to YT.
The next panel gives you access to her VIP membership site in exchange for your email address.
It also lets you know about this week’s specials to take advantage of and if that weren’t enough info for you, every few seconds there is a floating window telling you what the latest purchase was by another adoring fan. Peer pressure much?
The third panel of How To Cake It’s homepage is a link to all of the products she sells in conjunction with her videos.
In the 1950’s advertisers got really wise to product placement. They started featuring their products right inside the shows.
They would even stop the show and have the leading actor and actress break the fourth wall and pitch a commercial for the product.
Everything has gotten a lot savvier these days with subtle-not-so-subtle branding everywhere.
But HTCI has taken those original ideas of product placement and enhanced them so much that her show is literally a billboard for all of the products she sells on her website. Her content is one big call-to-action.
I know I’m straying a bit from my point here but I’m really trying to emphasize the importance of a call-to-action. It’s imperative that you don’t just grab a person’s attention with a great message…you keep it.
The fourth panel of the HTCI homepage is her recipe box with all her recipes just a click away to browse and study.
The fifth panel of her homepage is her featured products section along with a note letting you know that HTCI ships worldwide. They take care of their viewers, followers and prospects.
Finally, at the very bottom of her homepage is an About section with another chance to sign up for her VIP membership site. She’s got this CTA thing down.
Not directing visitors’ energy will leave a person feeling abandoned without knowing they are feeling this way or why which is why most people click away and go somewhere else.
A very clever thing Yolanda does is put her VIP membership access front and center which makes people feel a little left out, like, “hey what’s that? Why can’t I go in there?”
And then right next to her VIP access is a place for you to enter your email and get into that damn VIP area.
Her homepage also has her latest video, recipes, etc. None of her content is neatly hidden behind Page Titles and Child Pages. They are all front and center.
If you go to her website you could stay there for hours watching her videos, reading recipes and joining up. If you’re into that sort of thing. Not that I like cake or anything.
Her message is How To Cake It. Yes that’s the title of her website and her company but it’s also her message. She shows you how to cake it.
And under her message are her very obvious and inviting CTAs. EVERYWHERE.
You can shop, browse recipes, join her VIP club or sign up for a cake webinar known as Camp Cake.
Every time she repurposes her message on social media she includes a link to a CTA. With. Out. Fail.
Yolanda’s site is big, beautiful, colorful. This might not be your aesthetic but a few
well-placed CTAs are imperative for your message.
Your message doesn’t have to explicitly contain a CTA but it is a smart business
move to have your message point to your CTA.
Let’s look at the first panel of Sarah Prout’s homepage. Once you land on Sarah’s page you’ve got a Start Here welcoming you and beckoning you to take the next step.
Below that is her message and below her message is a clickable box with the irresistible request to “Start Your Journey to Manifesting.”
Super simple and super easy to just click and find out what’s next.
The next panel of her homepage gives you 3 CTAs. You can read about her, check out her podcast or shop her products. Are you getting this now?
If you’re a smart entrepreneur you will find every single way to use your message and beckon your readers, viewers, followers and prospects to stick with you.
Learn to direct their energy like a conductor directing a symphony.
Consumers expect this now and when they don’t get it, they know it. At worst they become resentful and at best they lose interest and mozy on over to the next shiny penny.
But the most important thing is this… they WANT it.
They want to know where to go and what to do next. Taking them on a journey around your message, your site, your podcast, your blog, etc. is exciting!
They get to discover something, someone new! Then they get to share this new thing with their friends and followers!
One of the most exciting things is finding a cool business, or voice, or message you want to share with the world and then immersing yourself in their message and learning what they’re about. Amiright?
Be confident in the fact that you and your company worth discovering and state that message wherever you can over and over.
The final panel of Sarah’s homepage are her featured blog posts.
Her site, her posts, and her podcast are all infused with her beautiful message of manifestation for all. And it’s all clickable.
This is another site you could spend hours on listening, and reading her message.
I’d like to stress again the importance of modeling.
I’ve shown you guys some clear examples here of smart messaging and how to cram CTAs into every nook and cranny of your site, linking your message to your CTA.
Study these examples and model them. Or not. You know, whatever.
Bottom line, a CTA is imperative to your bottom line.
The Biggest Mistake You Will Make
How well do you know the people you are marketing to? How well do you know your market?
The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is not knowing who they are speaking to with their message.
Know Thy Avatar.
When you do the proper research into your market you can go deep and narrow with a message your market will respond to because it’s tailor-made for them.
This type of research isn’t a one and done experience.
Your market and it’s needs changes over time. Plus, it takes a long time to get to know someone, right? Same goes for your market.
It takes a while to intimately know and understand your ideal client or customer.
But once you know that, you can begin to anticipate their needs and market changes.
But not focusing on knowing your market is a beginner’s pitfall to be avoided.
Billions of dollars are spent every year by companies and corporations with the sole purpose of staying in tune and in touch with their markets. This step is one of the most crucial steps in your marketing efforts and your message creation.
Don’t skip it.
There are so many free tools available now to really understand your market that it’s imperative to take advantage and really get to know who you’re speaking to and to continually do it on a regular basis.
This worksheet is a comprehensive and exhaustive look at who your avatar is and what makes her tick.
Once you have this knowledge you will experience a higher level of trust in your market because you know it now.
Even when it changes you’ll be able to keep up and understand the changes and what’s driving them.
So do the work because the payoffs are immeasurable for a successful business.
Marketing Message Template
6-Step Guide For Creating And Using Your Message
You don’t need this guide. Here’s why…
Crafting your message is a creative process.
A lot of times it seems to arrive all of a sudden in an entrepreneur’s mind during the business creation process. Makes sense right?
You have this brilliant idea for a business and this idea morphs into your message.
Sometimes that message is spot-on and sometimes it needs some work.
Since that message is a reflection of you and vice versa you may already have a well-crafted and brilliant message.
“Coke. Taste the feeling.” “Just Do It.” “How To Cake It.”
Btw, corporations spend billions of dollars crafting the perfect message for their target market. Rarely is it a flash of inspiration and insight.
On the off-chance that you haven’t found the time or creative streak (or billions of dollars) to craft a brilliant, memorable message…
…one that reflects your values, skills and attitude and is also clear and concise…
…then this handy guide can help you with your process.
Before you begin please realize that you can use this guide a little or a lot.
However you choose.
There are a lot of research steps in this guide but just know that this research will come in handy in ALL aspects of your business.
Doing research is NEVER a waste of time when getting to know your market and studying your own products, abilities and business values.
So enter at your own risk but realize you risk nothing except greater knowledge of your business, your products and your market.
Enjoy the process!
Step One – Study Your Avatar
C’mon, you knew this was going to be the first step.
Arguably this is the most important step because without knowing WHO you’re speaking to, you won’t know WHAT to say.
This step should take 15-20 minutes. This will be the most time-consuming step.
An important tool to use in learning about your avatar is my Avatar worksheet.
Have I mentioned that yet? 🙂
Learning about your market and ideal customer is a lifelong process in any business.
Your market will change, you will create new products, economies fluctuate.
So many factors contribute to changes in your market and your ideal customer.
Plus there is so much to learn about your avatar that you will never be finished.
But you can get a good start and it’s imperative to do this research before you create a strong message. Some things you can do to learn about your market are:
- Use MOL’s Avatar worksheet
- Take surveys of your followers to find out more about them and what they’re looking for
- Ask questions of your clients and customers
- Learn about your competition and what they do better than you
- Study your most popular products or services
- Model successful businesses in your niche
Compile all this research for continued use. Set it aside.
Step Two – Define The Problem You Solve with Your Product or Service
Take out a sheet of paper and write down the problem you solve with your business. Spend no more than 5 minutes on this step.
Are you a personal coach? Why?
What problem or issue did you see in the marketplace that prompted you to start your business?
Or were you motivated by something else? Was it your passion that drove you into the marketplace? If so, what is your passion and how does it serve people?
Defining a clear “Why” is an important step for creating a strong message.
So don’t skip this step and don’t spend too much time on it. The first answers that percolate up in your brain are probably the most accurate and honest.
Set this aside for now.
Step Three – What’s Your USP?
Your Unique Selling Proposition or USP is your edge. It’s what sets you apart from
your competitors. Take about 5-10 minutes for this step.
This step is your chance to put into words what makes you and your products or services really shine.
What do you do differently than your competitors? How do you help people better than anyone else? Why are you qualified to help your market?
This step is a two-step process:
First, look at what sets you apart from your competitors.
Next, look at what makes your products or services unique.
Take out a piece of paper and write down your first thoughts on what sets you apart.
Now, go back and study Step two. How does your product or service differ from everything else? What makes it unique? Write that down. Set this aside for now.
Step Four – The Tone of Your Message
Once you’ve gathered all the research from the first three steps, you get to play!
Take 5 minutes for this step.
This is where you look at your tone of voice. You can define your tone with colors, fonts and style of writing.
1. Think about who you are as a person. Are you serious? Playful? Snarky? Flirty? Down to earth? Ethereal?
2. Take out a piece of paper and write down what comes to mind about your personality and how you want to be perceived in the marketplace.
3. Now, look at your product or service. What kind of tone does it evoke? What do you want it to say about you and your business? Give your product or service a personality and write it down as well.
Set these aside.
Step Five – What Are Your Values?
You don’t have to spend too much time on this LOL. Hopefully, you’ve already done some work on yourself in the past to determine what your values are.
5 minutes tops for this step.
So ask yourself, are your values reflected in your product, service and business model? If so, move on to the next step. If not, take some time to write down your values.
Here is a list of core values (for business) that may help you determine yours:
- fast service
- environmental awareness
Make this a fun step of self-discovery. Set this sheet aside and move onto the next step.
Step Six – Creating Your Description
Now it’s time to take all the information you just discovered and create some statements.
Messages come in all shapes, styles, tones and descriptions. And it will take a bit of editing and pairing down to come up with a succinct message.
“How To Cake It”
“Creating confidence one treatment at a time”
“Spark your conversation with the universe and manifest your desires.”
“Mentor and strategist for creative professionals.”
Each of these statements is a strong message. They each evoke a sense of purpose, they are clear and concise, and two of them are calls to action.
Can you guess which two?
Remember, your message needs to be clear, concise and consistent. It doesn’t have to say everything. It just has to evoke a strong feeling, image and tone reflecting YOU.
All these steps gather a tremendous amount of information but not even half of it will end up in your message.
Your message is a representation of you and what you offer but think of it as an abstract painting rather than a tome of information.
Your message is a representation of you. Does that make sense?
So don’t over think this.
Write down some descriptives and see what appeals to you best. Then show it to friends and trusted clients. Get some opinions, if you want.
Don’t Screw This Up
Your message is a reflection of your values, skills and unique selling proposition, what sets you apart.
Therefore, your message is YOU. Whether you’re an author, speaker, aesthetician, or cake artist you’ve infused your business with your values and skills and you’ve spent time forging a unique path to success, you do things differently than the herd.
And whether you know it or not, you have a message.
So take control of that message and use it wisely because the payoffs of a clear, concise and consistent message for your brand are boundless.
If you’re a small business owner and entrepreneur you’ve spent a lot of hours building a strong business that provides an invaluable and unique service and gives people impeccable products and well-curated content.
Your values and skills are reflected in your products, services and content.
Take some time to put those values, skills and the unique flavor you bring to the world into a few words that reflect YOU and what you bring to people’s lives.
These words can become a guiding principle in business decisions, in product creation and in communicating with your audience, followers, customers and prospects.
There are so many benefits to having a kick-ass message for your business, including:
- Brand Visibility
- Accelerating Market Reach
- Reducing Marketing Costs
- Growing Market Engagement
- An Aligning Principle for Your Business
With consistent message repurposing you can grow your brand visibility, accelerate market reach, reduce your marketing costs and you grow your engagement. Not to mention, you also create a “backbone” for your business.
Your message can be a way for your business to make sure that every product, service and piece of content aligns with your brand.
A strong message can also help with deciding who you will partner with for joint ventures, as well as advertising partners, and in marketing your business. Your message can become a strong partner in all of these decisions.
There are also some pitfalls to not having a clear message that you’ve taken the time to craft. Without a strong message you can inadvertently allow your audience, competitors and prospects to write the narrative for you.
A Cautionary Tale
Without strong messaging there is no context for anything you do in your business.
Just like people, businesses can become disorganized, unfocused and stray from their original vision or purpose.
That lack of cohesion can keep a business on the shallow surface of it’s market without the ability to dive deep and narrow and go for the big fish.
But a strong message can assist a business in staying focused on it’s goals and building trust with its customers and prospects by staying consistent and cohesive.
A great example of inconsistent messaging is Elon Musk’s Twitter feed lately (depending on when you read this post).
In early August 2018 Elon Musk, the owner and face of Tesla, tweeted, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”
This caused a huge stir with his investors, shareholders and customers.
The SEC announced it was investigating his remarks for possible violations and has now subpoenaed Tesla. And although Musk walked back his tweet about going private people are concerned and wondering about the future of the company.
If I were in the market to buy a Tesla I would be thinking twice about my decision right now. This is a car that needs a more cohesive infrastructure after it’s purchase than traditional gas-powered vehicles. And people did get nervous.
This tweet was not part of Musk’s messaging. It was simply a statement of thought.
But did it align with his message? Tesla’s mission is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” Does that tweet align with Tesla’s message?
No it doesn’t. It’s effect made people question Tesla’s dedication to it’s marketplace and that transition. It actually worked against the company’s mission.
If Elon Musk had kept his focus on his message he might not have ever tweeted that statement realizing first that it may make his marketplace as well as regulators question his motives and even his sanity.
Do your “out-loud thinking” in your therapist’s office, please.
Tesla is a big company controlling billions in assets but the same lesson applies to small businesses:
A wacky, unclear, in-cohesive message causes your marketplace to question your motives and puts your company on shaky ground with your customers and prospects.
A big company may or may not have the resources to weather that kind of storm. A small business almost never has the resources to do so.
A strong and repurposed message avoids these kinds of dangers altogether if you’re a savvy entrepreneur. It also helps you stay focused on your marketplace and what IT wants.
That kind of stream of consciousness and irresponsible messaging can have dire consequences for a company. And as for Elon Musk as the head of Tesla, only time will tell how that tweet will effect his business and his mission.
Maybe Musk would not have lost site of his brand’s mission had he repurposed its message a little more frequently. Just sayin’.
Write a strong message, infuse that message into everything you do in your business and then repurpose the hell out of it. As a small business owner that is the key to your success in using successful messaging for your business. Water that garden. Weather that storm. Ride that bicycle.
All Good Wishes,