Aligning your messages for greater impact through understanding the environments you're working in.
The great thing about strategies is that you can adapt your strategy when needed.
One very good reason to adapt your brand messaging strategy is when something or a few things have changed that have an impact on how you want your brand to be perceived.
Or simply, when your messages don’t hit the right target anymore. When you notice that you’re not talking to ideal clients anymore, that your audience has drifted to other platforms, that engagement and sales conversions have dropped…
This makes you wonder why things that used to work are not getting the same results anymore. Why has your messaging become less effective?
Your brand doesn’t exist in a vacuum – the world around you and your brand changes every day - you are changing every day.
Not staying tuned in to these changes creates a gap between you and your ideal audience – and if you remain static – you and your market are drifting apart.
Before you can stop the drift, you need to understand the two factors that drive “messaging drift”:
EVOLUTION – an internal development of yourself and your brand. You have “outgrown” your brand.
DISRUPTION – an external change that is taking place in the environment around you – your clients, new technology, and yes - even pandemics! Your environment has changed away from you.
And yes – you can do something about “messaging drift”.
Your first choice (and that’s probably not the best choice) is doing nothing. If you choose to do nothing, then hope that it’s just a phase and that things will get back to “normal” again.
But if you look at changes that have happened over the years, hoping for something to go away is usually not a smart decision because, in most cases, that will only cause you to slowly drift off into obscurity.
Your next choice is to take action.
When I did my MBA I came across a theory that fits this topic really well. Your business is subject to vagaries of economy, social trends, and technological innovation. These three things drive change that has an effect on your business.
The good thing is that you can take action in the right places if you want to not only survive but also thrive during a climate of change.
Let’s look at those environments because if you take action, you definitely want to take action where it makes sense.
The internal environment is another term for you, your business, your staff, your resources, and your facilities.
You can control your internal environment. Decide whether you want to invest in coaching, training, buying resources, hire staff, or improve your office space and equipment.
Your Near Environment consists of your customers, clients, contractors, suppliers, and competitors. You cannot control these, but you can influence them. As an entrepreneur, one way to do this is via your branding, offer, content marketing etc.
The Far Environment consists of factors that can pose threats to you but can also offer incredible opportunities. It’s worth keeping an eye on your Far Environment so that you can do the one thing that helps you thrive – you can respond and adapt to changes in this environment.
There’s even an acronym that describes the range of factors that create the Far Environment: STEEP.
STEEP stands for:
There have been huge shifts in this environment in recent years. Not only Covid but also low interest rates, 4G (and soon 5G) amongst other things have impacted our business and how we do business.
This is what I called “EVOLUTION” earlier on. I called it evolution because you, your brand, and your business change.
Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, you grow as a person, you gain knowledge, insights, experiences, you learn to understand yourself, your clients, your brand, your business including your offers better.
There’s a lot of development going on – which also means that your messaging develops. It “matures” with you and your business. You find your voice, tweak a few things, improve your offer, grow your business, put systems and processes into place…
As you and your brand personality mature – your messaging needs to mature with you.
Does that make sense?
Maybe if you read some blog posts that you wrote years ago or look at your original online course when you first launched it – over the years there have been many improvements and changes.
I often cringe when I read old blog posts and when I look at the first version of my online course, I am wondering what the heck I was thinking of when I put a beast like that together.
Empowerment through knowledge and closing the implementation gap have become more and more important to me.
I used to be quite happy to just share my knowledge – now it’s really important to me that my clients actively use and apply their knowledge so that I can see them achieving results.
Writing copy for clients has taken a backseat and either writing copy with my clients or teaching my clients to build foundations for writing copy and content as well as how to write certain pieces of copy like sales pages, LinkedIn profiles or website copy – has become my focus.
Today businesses need to create much more copy and content than only a few years back. Hiring a copywriter (especially a good one) often breaks the budget. Especially if you want to work with a copywriter who makes the effort to understand your brand in depth.
And even if you do outsource your copywriting. You need to be able to convey the right messages to your content creator so that she creates content and copy that sounds like you and conveys the right messages.
Just a few examples:
Before Covid there was a lot of messaging around “financial freedom” and “living life on your own terms” – now the messaging has changed more towards continuity, safety, security and sustainability.
For many, financial freedom is no longer the goal – many people just want to be able to pay their bills as well as building for an unpredictable future while getting more resilient in times of crisis.
Sustainability is another word that has become a lot more important to us. Whereas years ago, working 60-80-hour weeks was glorified, now people have realised that such an approach has a huge toll on your wellbeing – physical and mental.
And spending more “quality” time has become more important to us.
Shifts like that influence (or should influence) your brand messaging because your audience is looking for new messages for brands that resonate with their new values and beliefs.
Because it has an impact on your business. Having solid messaging foundations that are aligned with the world around you, allows you to send the right messages to your ideal target audience.
Your messages “pre-qualify” people – attract those who resonate with your messages and leave those who do not resonate with your messages uninterested. Those who don’t resonate with your messages are most likely people who are not ideal clients for you.
We work best with people who have similar values and beliefs, who care about the same things, who like to work a certain way, and value what you have to offer.
Your messaging is key to attract your ideal clients and helping them to understand why working with you helps them to solve their problems and achieve their goals.
On top of that, being clear on your brand’s messaging foundations makes writing a lot easier for you. It allows you to develop a brand messaging strategy, plan your content, find topics that are relevant for your audience, and use the language, words, and phrases that your audience uses and resonates with.
If you are unclear what a brand “messaging system” is and want to know how you create your brand’s messaging foundations – then fill in the contact form below and you’ll get directly into my inbox!
I’m happy to hear from you and help you get started.