I’ve taken the ultimate blogging challenge and intend to post a series of 30 blogs that will help you to get an insight on what you need to know to use written material to help you to make a real impact on your target audience. Today is about the message.

If you have a clear idea of what your message is – hooray! But you’re in a minority. I’m always surprised at how tough business owners find it to clarify what their message actually is. Let’s look at some of the issues:

  • A strap line (that’s the bit that comes after your company name e.g. ‘The world’s favourite airline’; ‘I’m loving it’; ‘Just do it’) is not your core message. It contributes to it, but it doesn’t deliver value.
  • What you think your message is and what your target audience wants to hear need to be flying in formation! To get potential customers engaged there needs to be something in there that hits their hot buttons.
  • The message should be clear, easy to understand and short. If you’ve got to get into explanations then you haven’t cracked it yet!

A good place to start is to understand what existing and previous clients have liked about what you have delivered for them. If they like a particular aspect of your product or service, there’s a good chance others will too. Review your testimonials – or ask clients for feedback to help you with this.

What makes you different from your competitors? Why do you stand out? What do you do that’s different or better? This will all contribute to crafting your message. Start by writing everything down you can think of, no matter how trivial, you’ll find there are some really useful bits of information. Ask colleagues, people in your network, suppliers and anyone else who knows your business for input.

Gathering all this information will take a little while – but will be worth it when you’ve developed a really powerful message.

In most cases you’ll find the answers to some of these questions and the feedback from clients will start to clear some of the ‘woolliness’ away and a trend will start to emerge. The toughest part may be when what you thought were your strong points don’t appear anywhere in your feedback – and, painful as it is, you have to let them go.

Pick the most compelling points and create a short statement that is focused on the reader, not on you and your business. Aim for something that will offer real value to the reader.

Read the next blogs to find out more about words that work.
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