By Susan Jacobs
For us entrepreneurs, coaches, small business owners, solopreneurs, and consultants, our business success relies heavily on how well we communicate the message of what we do, who we are, how we add value to potential clients and customers, and ‘why us over our competition.
Brand messaging is the underlying value proposition we convey, and how we get it across; the words, tone, and overall language we use in our content. It’s what helps people relate to us, helps us earn their trust, and is what inspires, persuades, and motivates them to buy from us.
People have the attention span of a gnat and get confused easily so our messaging must be crystal clear, understandable, and get across our promise, our story, and our 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 your 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.
Consider these tips when developing your brand messaging:
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.
I’m a world traveler, salsa dancing, yoga practicing, wanna-be Buddhist, and perpetual work-in-progress. I believe we are co-creators of our lives and that anything is possible when we get out of our own way. Giving voice to things that matter, sharing stories, and spreading ideas is my heart and soul.
For-hire, I’m a copywriter, content developer, and on- and off-line marketing strategist working with coaches that are looking to make the world a better place through human evolution. The strongest selling point and differentiator for your as a coach is your personal journey and transformation. As a wordsmith, I make sure that your essence is conveyed to speak directly to your idea client, that your content and marketing are in alignment with the high quality of the product of services you offer, and are consistent across the board – website, blogs, newsletters, LinkedIn, and PR and branding materials.
I specialize in cutting through the noise and clutter with authentic, engaging, easily accessible content. From a 25-year career in PR, marketing, and branding I’m able to work to look at all aspects of your business and brand and provide a ‘fresh’ perspective, as an outsider, who creates content that anyone can understand.
I’m a contributing author to the recently published book “Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This Is Now,” and my personal essays have appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. I’m working on her first memoir about my holistic healing journey through a hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease for The Round House Press. I’m also a guest blogger for Yogic Living and Identity Magazine. I live in Brooklyn and can be found at:
To join my tribe of kick-ass women like Susan who is on a mission to impact the world with their own unique talents and in their unique style come over to Get Out Of Your Head.