Brand messaging clarity and relatability is based on 3 sources that you can find within yourself.
“I’m stuck writing my sales page. I just can’t find the right words…”
That or something similar is something that I hear from many clients. And you can replace sales page with home-, about me-, services-, landing page or any other copy that you want to write for your business.
You can’t find the right words, stare at a blank page, or surf the web for inspiration (in other words – slightly change the copy that other entrepreneurs have written).
The problem – you’re driving yourself into a deadly spiral of writer’s block, imposter syndrome or inauthenticity (if that word exists).
You end up buying $30 blueprints that don’t really work because they don’t capture your voice, are not written for your audience, and don’t follow your brand messaging strategy.
In fact – if you are buying $30 offers, you probably haven’t yet paid an awful lot of attention to your brand messaging strategy – or you’d know what write about, what content to write for which touchpoint with your clients (ads, landing pages, blogs, different social media platforms etc.).
But before I make your head spin and trigger overwhelm – let’s start at the beginning:
How do you get started with finding the edge and the power that lies within your personality?
I never forget a meeting I had with a client.
We sat in a café and I was asking her lots of questions about herself, her background, the corporate role she had just left and the business she was trying to build.
While we were talking, I made connections between the data points she gave me and turned that into the first draft of a messaging strategy, picking out different pieces of information and stories that she could tell.
She then asked me: “How do you do this? Taking bits of information and turning them into a strategy – in your head?”
And I asked: “Isn’t everyone doing that?’
The answer was a resounding “NO” – and she then told me about the Clifton Strength test (which I can only recommend although I am NOT an affiliate), which I took shortly after our meeting.
And there it was – in black and different colours – the DNA of my mind. My strengths laid out in front of me.
I felt a huge weight lift, felt almost giddy, relieved, and total disbelief. I never thought that I had any particular talents. That what I did and how I worked was just the normal way of going about things.
To cut a long story short (and to squeeze it into this section) – I finally understood what my strengths were.
I understood why I was behaving in a certain way, why I love learning more than anything, why I can’t stand corporate meetings that take too long to come to the point, why I am so enthusiastic about starting things but often don’t finish…
And here it was – the core of my differentiation. The thing is that we are unique and that even though we may have the same strengths, we almost never have the same combination of strengths and the same ways of using our strengths.
There are many factors playing into how we use our strengths.
However, we need to figure out how WE are using our strengths and how we can use them to help our clients to get the results they want, in a way that works for them and we also need to know how to talk about all that.
And that takes us back to messaging – a central part of your brand messaging is about how you communicate what you’re really good at, how you are using your strengths in your own very personal way, and how that helps your clients to achieve results.
With the reports that I got from my strength assessments, I had some language to work with. I had some keywords that I could use when talking about myself, my services and how exactly I help people.
If you are struggling with defining what you are really good at – then take a test. That’s a good way to get started and it also helps you feel better about talking about your strengths. (You feel less like tooting your own horn and boasting about yourself).
There are paid and free strength tests that you can take online to get going. Because…
Your strengths are just your starting point – there’s more that makes you unique and gives you an edge:
It’s not just about which strengths we have but also what we have been doing with them – how we’ve used them in the past. Your strengths are your default mode of operation and there’s an awful lot that you’ve done in your life that was driven by your strengths.
Even if you think that what you do now has very little in common with what you’ve done in the past – you should definitely take a look.
And here’s some data from the “Releasing Strengths” website:
“The chances of two people having the same Top 5 themes in any order is statistically 1 in 278,256. Even more incredible, two people having the same Top 5 themes in the same order is 1 in 33 million (33,390,720).”
That’s pretty amazing, right?
That’s not just amazing but it tells you that differentiation based on your strengths is a smart move because you are (almost) unimitable!
Once you’ve understood your strengths - I’d recommend making an inventory of what you’ve done in the past, starting with formal and informal qualifications, jobs, hobbies or other activities that you have pursued in the past.
Every stage of your career is a reflection of your talents and how you’ve used them. Take a closer look at what you’ve done, achieved, learned, and how you’ve applied your strengths. What were the results?
How can you transfer the skills that you have learned and how do they make you better at what you do for your clients today?
A recent client told me that although she’d been doing something entirely different in her previous career, she’d been using her strengths all the time and that they have led to the results that she has achieved and the successes that she’s had.
All of a sudden, it all made sense to her. She understood how she’s been using her strengths in the past and how she can use them now and in the future. She finally spotted the patterns of how she’s using her strengths but also how she could accelerate based on her strengths.
Because – when we are working within our strengths we can easily achieve results that are very hard to achieve for others (who have a different set of strengths).
And this also gave her the confidence to say – what I’m doing now is not something entirely new – I already have years of experience and I have heaps of results that I can use in my messaging.
That’s so important for those who have recently pivoted and started something new. If you’re looking a bit deeper, you can see that you’ve used your experience and talents for a long time – only in a different framework.
Similar to our strengths, there is another facet of your personality that works like a magnet to draw the right people into your orbit:
Your beliefs and values.
Belonging has been critical for survival – not only when we were still living in caves but also today…
We cannot help but want to belong to a group, a club, a movement. There’s safety in numbers.
One way of tapping into this is through your values and beliefs. When you are sharing your beliefs and values, you are using a natural “client filtering system”.
Those people who resonate with what you believe, will connect with you on a subconscious level and follow you. Those who don’t agree, opt-out. And that helps with filtering your audience so that, in the end, you work with people who really resonate with you and share your beliefs.
Myth-busting is a great way of filtering out those who don’t share your beliefs. It also filters out those who have different mindsets and makes them aware that in order to work with you, they have to shift their mindset.
There’s a blog post I’ve written on busting the myth of the goldfish brain – basically that people are nowadays only capable of paying attention for a really short amount of time.
Read here what I think about that!
It takes courage to voice our beliefs. It makes us vulnerable and gives others opportunities to judge us.
But we also find those who have similar beliefs, who think in a similar way, who love to communicate and exchange ideas with like-minded people. Having the same beliefs creates a bond.
And that is definitely something that we want to achieve with posting content. But there’s something else that creates a strong bond…
So much has been said about storytelling. Storytelling is one of the most powerful marketing tools ever!
Did you know that the brains of those listening to a story synchronise with the brain of the storyteller?
When you tell a story, you go through different emotions, you “re-live” a part of your past and if you add heaps of details and emotions to your storytelling cocktail, then your listeners are drawn into your world and become part of your story.
They step into your role, they have empathy, feel your feelings – especially if they have made similar experiences.
Even if we haven’t made the same experiences, we still feel the emotions the storyteller or “hero” is going through. Why else do we laugh, cry or feel anxious when watching a movie or reading a book?
Stories transport us into another world and we cannot resist entering that world.
Sharing your story lets you tap into the minds and souls of your audience. It helps your audience to understand you and appreciate that through sharing your story, you’ve made yourself vulnerable and relatable. You’ve opened yourself up to connect on an emotional level.
In fact, that is an approach that too many entrepreneurs use and often it is not qualification enough to claim expert status in a certain field.
One of my clients is a Sleep Psychophysiologist. She has a PhD and held teaching positions at Stanford and Harvard University. Now, she’s coaching parents how to teach their children to independently go to sleep so that they can also get better and more sleep to lead more joyful lives.
My client has four children and has never lived through the drama of night-time screaming and getting up 4-5 times a night. She’s not experienced the pain and desperation of being thoroughly sleep deprived because her children wouldn’t sleep well.
But she is probably the best-qualified person in the world to help you to navigate through the horrors of night-time screaming because she’s spent her whole working life learning about sleep and helping people to find sleep.
Her passion is contagious and she has totally convinced me that how we think about sleep is wrong and that changing our beliefs and behaviours around sleep make a huge difference.
Needless to say, that I have changed my sleeping habits with amazing results…
When you tell your story, you need to focus on the emotions, struggles and challenges that your audience is facing. Then they resonate with you and you can use the full power of storytelling.
And if you’d like to read a bit more about how to find your origin story, then there’s another post I’ve written that you can access here.
That sounds a bit like a click-bait headline. But if you think about it – understanding yourself and your strengths, sharing beliefs and values as well as storytelling are content sources that never dry out.
No more $30 social media prompts needed.
If you know yourself and your strengths, then you’ve got heaps of topics to write about. Every customer success story is another example of you using your strengths to transform someone’s life.
Every mindset shifted, helps a very real person to find a solution.
Every story told gives hope to someone who thinks that they are alone with a problem.
So, do you think it’s worth figuring out your brand messaging?
If you think that you need a little help with your brand messaging, then send me a message – I’d love to help!