It’s the one thing that holds so many companies back, and it comes up time and time again. It seems obvious yet it ties people in knots. We’re talking about the question of clarity.
This month at Valuable Content we’ve been working on several projects distilling the messages of new clients, and working on masses of content creation for existing ones. We’ve been wrestling with the importance of getting those most basic messages clear, so we thought we’d share our thoughts with you.
Before you think about starting your marketing, get your story absolutely straight. If you want to get really good results out of marketing, put time and effort into making sure your proposition is crystal clear.
No amount money on your website, no amount of tweeting, blogging, or public speaking will get you the results you really want if people don’t really know what you do. Want to get more referrals and leads? Be clear on what you do and who you do it for. Let people know what you want to be famous for, and then spread the word.
We know it’s difficult. Many business owners fear closing the door on potential opportunities, and see being pigeonholed as a recipe for lost sales. The temptation is to want to be all things to all people, but this leads to nebulous positioning. Dilute your message and it becomes weaker. The result? No one truly understands what you do (see our recent article: Narrow your niche for more leads).
So what can you do?
5 ways to get clear on your message
It’s all very well saying you need to get your offer clear, but how do you achieve this clarity? Here are 5 ways we help our clients to get to the heart of their business message:
1. Look at what you do from your clients’ perspective, not from your own. Your clients don’t care about your products or services, they want to know what’s in it for them. Put yourself in their shoes. Here are 5 questions to help you communicate what you do from their perspective – 5 questions to help you communicate what you do
2. Talk to your clients. Everyone talks about knowing what your customers want, and listening to them, but if you want real clarity you should ask them directly. Read our article on the power of asking your clients for direct feedback – Ask your clients for feedback
3. Think like a book author. We find that the clients we help to produce a business book have a blinding moment of clarity on their business proposition too. So, think like a book author. If you were going to distill all your knowledge into a book for your client base, what would it be about? What would it say? Some of these book planning questions will help –12 questions to plan your book with clarity
4. Get some emotion into your offer. People respond to emotion, not logic when they’re buying. read Jim O’Connor’s excellent article – Emotion, not logic will get your message across
5. Get some outside help. This is really, really hard to do by yourself. Get a view from the outside. Hire a talented copywriter like Sharon to help you here. Helping businesses get to the valuable heart of what they do, and creating the voice to tell their story, is what she likes to do most.
So what are you waiting for? Get thinking, asking, and talking. Cut out the waffle surrounding what it is you do, polish up the jewel at the centre, and shine!