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Branding Experts Say Vague Messaging Can Damage Your Success

Indeed, the world is a very noisy place.We're bombarded with thousands of industry messages on a daily bases. Whether its television, the radio, social media, in magazines, or driving seeing billboards on the streets.

After a while we become accustom to seeing these messages that we automatically ignore them and just tune them out. This means that in order for your message to be heard, you need to be clear, niched, and concise.  

A vague message doesn't speak directly to your industry or potential client. The message will not be easily understood, noticeable, and sound like everyone else.

To be successful in  branding yourself, you need to evoke enough interested to where a customer or leader in your industry wants to have a further conversation. Therefore, your messages must clearly target a specific niche, explaining to them the benefits of your skills, experience, knowledge, product, and/or service. They should understand what you do and how you can help them.

As such here's how we can ensure that your messages are recognized:

1.  Define your target market. Pick a niche 

One of the best ways to create a clear output is to start with clear inputs.  That means you understand your industry very well. You know who you want to reach with your messaging and social media efforts. You have define them as clearly as possible

  • Which companies?
  • What is your specialize skills?
  • How are you qualified to speak?
  • Are they male or female?
  • What are their ages 
  • Occupations
  • What are their lifestyles like?  
  • Why would they want to do business with you? 
The more clear you are about who you want to work with, the more clear you will be when crafting your messages.

2.  Market narrowly, don't be a generalist. 

Your messages should be carefully focused to cater specifically to the needs and wants of your target market. Everyone who reads or hears your message should feel like you are speaking directly to them.

One might think you'd be passing up opportunities when in reality more people will be attracted to you because you position yourself as an expert. You're a specialist rather than a generalist.  Folks associate a higher degree of expertise with a specialist and more than likely, you'll be able to expect premium wages and/or prices. Once you've gotten their attention you can then speak with them about your additional skill and they'll see that as an added bonus.

3.  Talk about the them more than yourself.

Your message should speak directly to your industry members and their particular needs and wants.  What problems can you solve for the companies your targeting?  Make a list of the top 10 problems that you solve.  These should be the substance and focus of every conversation that you have.  Avoid talking about yourself.

People are interested in what you can do for them - sometimes even more than the specifics of who you are.  Your prospects needs and your solutions should be the focus of all of your branding.

4.  Explain the benefits.

Not only should you explain the benefits, but you should be able to explain the benefits of working with you.  Features are defined as your distinctive characteristics.  A benefit, on the other hand, is how the feature will add value to your company and your prospect's life.  Carefully define your features and benefits. For services entrepreneurs this means you define, what are the benefits of working with you?
  • Do you offer a rare skill?
  • Do you provide 24-hour turnaround?
  • Do you return emails and phone calls promptly?
  • Do you offer a free introductory consultation?
  • Do you provide additional value to your customers - extra reports, information or discounts on future purchases?  
Companies look for benefits, not features.  What's in it for them?  Let them know!

5.  Know your products and services.

There is a lot to know when it comes to your products and services.  The more articulate you are in explaining their features and benefits, the higher your chances of closing a sale.  For each product or service you offer, make sure you can clearly articulate the features, the benefits, and the specific client need that is addressed.

Word this information in language that prospects can clearly understand - that relates to who they are as a target market.  Drafting a simple one-page summary of these details can help you to get clear on what matters most.

6.  Keep it simple. 

The best messages are those that are simply said.  People understand simple.  The more complex the explanation, the higher the risk you run that you'll “lose them along the way.”

Again, refer back to the one page summary of your client needs, as well as product or service features and benefits.  Provide information that is easy to understand.  Don't give more information until the client asks for the information.  Always let the prospect guide the conversation.

7.  Use a tagline.  

It's catchy and will help customer remember your business. A tagline is a slogan or phrase that conveys something about a feature or benefit of something you offer.
  • For example, the tagline for Chase Manhattan bank is “The Right Relationship is Everything”.  
This slogan clearly communicates the features of working with them is relationship - not just any relationship - but the right relationship.
  • Another example of a tagline is Alicia Smith: The DISC Ninja.  The DISC Ninja implies skill, precision, and performance.  
What type of tagline can best describe you and your business?

8.  Create Research & Development team (or consult with one). 

To create on-target marketing messages, run them by your friends, family, and colleagues before you release them to the world.

Creating your own R & D team is a great way to experiment or to try out your ideas in a low-risk environment.  Probably one of the best things to do is to get feedback from your current customers.  They can tell you first hand what works and why.

Never pass up an opportunity to get feedback, as it will help you to fine-tune your marketing message.

9.  Provide clear and clean information.

 It should go without saying that you should provide clear, easy-to-understand information.  This applies to everything from your business card to your website.  Make sure you include your complete contact information on everything, including your email signature.  Provide FAQ or Frequently Asked Question sections in brochures, on your website or on other marketing materials.

Make sure that you make it as easy as possible for people to contact you and to do business with you.  If they need to search for how to contact you, they may very well search someone else out.  Along with the times and days you do business, include your business, cellular, and fax numbers, as well as your website and email addresses.  Include instructions on how to return or receive a refund on an item.

Clear and concise is the name of the game.

10.  Understand the customer.

Prospects, and even your current customers, are focused on one thing and one thing only; what's in it for them.  For the most part, they aren't really interested in you or your product or service.  They are interested in benefits.
  • How can you solve their pain?
  • How can you resolve their issues?  
If you keep this in mind, this will help you to create marketing messages that are focused and really hit their mark.

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