Have they got the message?
By Ged Henderson of Henderson News and Media
It’s the question everyone in business has been asked: “What exactly is it that you do?
”You’ve probably asked it yourself at a networking event and, ten minutes later, staring blankly into the eyes of the person as they continue with an answer, wished you hadn’t.
Telling potential customers what you do is central to business success, obviously. But how clear are you when it comes to getting your message out there?
How are you describing who you are and what you do to the world? What words sum up your brand identity – and what you offer?
Are you clearly explaining the value of your business to potential customers?
And is that message the right one? Is it what they want to hear?
At the heart of all this is CLARITY. Delivering the clear, simple and appealing messages that in turn will deliver sales by engaging with your potential customers.
What I’m going to do here is talk through some of the questions you need to ask yourself. The aim is to bring more clarity – so that you can create the messages that will deliver sales by engaging with your potential customers.
Getting your message right gives you the marketing platform that you need– it’s where all your marketing – and sales - efforts start from.
If you can’t tell people why they should be your customer – why would they?
Again, it comes back to clarity. The right, clear messages will both explain and excite – and start conversations. They need to be simple, easy to digest and engaging.
But before you start putting togetheryour messages you need to be clear in your own mind – in what you do and what you offer - what makes you and your business one that people want to engage and work with.
If you want to connect – you need to know who you are connecting with.
So ask yourself:
• What are you providing – and to whom?
• Who are your target customers?
• What are the benefits of dealing with your business - and are they clearly understood?
• Do they line up with the needs of your target customers?
How would you sum up the strengths of your business? What makes you different?
Again, ask yourself:
• Why people should choose your services and product?
• What sets you apart from your competitors and why?
• Are you getting that core message out to them in clear terms that highlight your worth to them?
Once you’ve got the answers to these questions clear in your own mind you’ll be able to start crafting your clear, concise marketing messages.
Remember, the messages you want to project to customers should be about them – not the business.
Make it less about what you do and for whom – and more about how you fill the need that your customers have. Make it less about “our” and “we” and more about “you and your”.
Your product or service should be just part of your overall message – you and your business are more than that.
You need to talk in clear and simple terms, about your customer service, your agility, reliability, experience and knowledge.
Think about the essence of your business, what makes you different and show your heart and soul.
Be clear about the values that make you stand out and are at the heart of your business.
Be consistent in your message. Have confidence in it and the points it is making to your audience.
And don’t overload things – too much clutter will dilute the key points you want to get over – and lead to eyes glazing over.
In the interests of clarity, here are a few tips when it comes to creating content.
Before putting pen to paper or switching on the computer, make sure you have identified clearly:
• The audience you are writing for
• The subject you are writing about
• The key points that you want to make
• The basic structure of the piece – the order in which you want to make your points
And once you’ve written the piece, leave it for a while and then return to it – checking that it does its job in getting the points you want to make out to your audience.
Look at the length of the piece – can you trim it by a third and still keep the messages you want to give? The answer is usually yes.
It’s all about capturing interest – whether through a piece of marketing support or through that five-minute networking ‘chat’.
Get it right and people will want to come and talk to you. And you’ll enjoy engaging with them. Get it wrong and they’ll be confused and disinterested and you’ll dread being asked the “what do you do?” question every time you walk into a room.