4 Messaging Foundations You Need Before Writing Any Copy

Writer's block? Messaging foundations cure much more critical problems than that...

4 Messaging Foundations You Need Before Writing Any Copy

Not knowing what to write or getting stuck writing a certain part of a home or sales page is something everyone has experienced.

I don’t know anyone who can sit down and just start writing great copy.

That’s not possible, even if you have a magic blueprint that gives you all the prompts that you need.

You are only slightly better off. You know which sections you’re supposed to write but you are nowhere closer to actually writing your copy because you don’t know what to write and how to write it.

If writer’s block is no stranger to you, then also take a look at my post Writer’s Block? Here’s what to do instead... In that post, I introduce you to a solid writing process that makes writing so much easier!

Writing copy starts long before writing

This sentence might not make sense right now. But let me explain…

Writing copy and content for your business is hard. But the reasons for that are not that you are a bad writer, that you cannot write fast enough, or that you don’t like writing.

The reasons for getting stuck with your writing start before you even sit down to write. It starts with your messaging foundations. Once your messaging foundations are clear, writing becomes a lot easier and can even turn into something that you really enjoy doing.

Your messaging foundations give you all the clarity you need to write any content and copy that you need to write for your business. And they inspire you with ideas and topics you want to write about.

The four messaging foundations

These four messaging foundations are no great secret – they are, in fact, rather obvious: 

  • You – and your knowledge about your zone of genius, your strengths, your experience, your professional knowledge, your expertise, aptitudes, your WHY
  • Your Customer Avatar – including demographics, psychographics, the niche they are in, their problems, obstacles, problem awareness stage, customer’s journey, buyer type, beliefs and values, emotional reality etc.
  • Your Offer – and its overall transformational outcome, the features, benefits and smaller long-term outcomes, your method, tools, processes, programme steps, your offer’s name, its perceived value and the ROI it will give your clients
  • Your Brand – but not so much the visual branding but rather the psychological foundation of your brand – your mission, vision, values and beliefs, your purpose, core message, positioning, brand voice and story, and your brand personality

The issue with these foundations is, that they need some effort to figure out and that it’s not always easy to figure them out by yourself, let alone know where you start and what the process is.

Foundation #1 – YOU & why you need to know yourself

Knowledge is power – and I’ll explain why:

I used to have a corporate career – a successful corporate career. I followed it for years but never felt happy and fully aligned with what I was doing.

Not being able to be authentically me almost made me feel ill. But if I wanted to succeed in my job, I had to fill a role, meet expectations, believe things I wasn’t aligned with, behave and talk a certain way…

Coming to think of it – not being able to be your authentic self is pretty soul-destroying.

In fact, when I started out as a copywriter, the hardest thing for me was to get the “corporate” out of my writing.

But it wasn’t only the writing. I had to get the “corporate” out of my whole system and discover who I truly was as an entrepreneur and as my own person.

It took me a while to step into my authentic self. I learned…

  • that I did have strengths and talents and that working in my genius zone brings me joy,
  • that talking about things that I’m passionate about and in a way that allows me to not hold back anything is inspiring,
  • that I am deeply resonating with the people work with and that working with them is pure joy…

Because I figured out who I authentically am and how I can serve people best - I can talk about it with clarity, openness, and contagious enthusiasm. And that draws the right people into my world.

When you know yourself, you can build the brand of YOU. A brand that attracts people who specifically want to work with you and no one else. (More about that a bit later in this post)

Being authentic self also means telling your story and if you’d like to know how you can find your story (even though you might think that you haven’t got anything interesting to share) then take a look at my previous blog post Finding Your Origin Story & unravel the WHY that hooks your audience

Or if you want to know more about business storytelling, you can also check out my Business Story(t)Selling course.  

Foundation #2 – Your Customers

Knowing your audience down to tiny psychological details has many advantages:

  • You know where to find them
  • You know how to talk to them
  • You know what they want and need
  • You know how to attract them
  • You know how to nurture them

Not knowing your clients in enough depth is a root cause for many other problems:

  • Marketing to the wrong audience and attracting no or the wrong clients
  • Creating a service that doesn’t meet client needs
  • Poor copy that doesn’t convert
  • Poor content or even writer’s block because you don’t know what your clients want to hear

But if you do, then you can build a relationship and nurture your audience with value until they are ready to buy.

If you want to read more about providing value with your content, then check out my post How to boost reader engagement

And honestly, I still remember my first client. A client who turned out to be my worst client ever. In a way, I am thankful to him because I learned many lessons through working with him – but I don’t want to re-live the frustration and stress and think of the hours I spent trying to make him happy.

Now, I get to work with amazing clients because I resonate with the right people. Knowing and really understanding them has also allowed me to create offers that they want and need.

This leads to:

Foundation #3 – Your Offer

When I first thought about creating an online course, I created a mind map. I felt so proud that I created such a comprehensive concept and presented it to another entrepreneur. The first thing that she said was “Wow – how many courses are in this mind map? How long does it take to complete them?”

Talking her through it took me about 80 minutes! Honestly – who would even listen, let alone buy anything that can’t be summarised in a few sentences?

And that was it – I had created a concept for a monster of a course. A course that my ideal client would never sign up for because it would take ages to complete. In fact, they would fall asleep during the pitch. It was total overkill and how would I even write a sales page for a monster like that?

Now I know your offer has to focus on the most urgent transformation your ideal clients need and deliver that transformation in the shortest time possible sharing only knowledge that is relevant to achieve the desired transformation.

Having an offer that meets your ideal client’s needs is the No. 1 requirement to sell.

But what’s more, you also need to create an offer that your clients want to get from YOU.

Which l takes us to…

Foundation #4 – Your Brand

Clients who buy from you resonate with your brand. And your brand – that are not just pretty fonts and colours – your brand goes much deeper and resonates with your audience’s subconscious minds.

If you know Simon Sinek’s TED talk on selling the WHY – you know that people buy from you because they are aligned with your beliefs, your values, what you stand for and not the HOW or WHAT.

I’m assuming that you’ve done your research and that you are aware that there are many other similar courses and services out there – but your clients buy from you because your brand resonates with them.

In other words – they resonate with your personality, your mission, vision, values, voice, story, purpose, positioning, and impact that you are leaving on the world.

Your brand is nothing tangible - it is only a mental construct that taps into the subconscious minds of your clients. And that’s the beauty of it!

If you understand your brand, then you can also talk and write about it so that you can tap into your audience’s subconscious minds.

The deeper you go with your brand, the more “human” and relatable your brand will be – because people like to buy from people.

So, the ultimate goal is to create a brand with lots of personality, then you can write about it with authenticity and passion so that your audience resonates with it.

So, what does this mean?

Ultimately, that means that all your copy and content flows from these four foundations.

All your messaging flows from these foundations and once you have figured them out, it will become much easier for you to be “on brand” and message with clarity, ease and consistency.

That in return, will create a deeper connection with your audience and let your audience grow because you can now create content that your audience wants to read.

Imagine you could put a price label on your copy and content…

Then you could start calculating the hours of writer’s block, the hours spent writing and then paying for ads that don’t convert, and the efforts, platforms and software costs, you’ve spent creating and marketing a service that your audience doesn’t want…

And you could think about what the overwhelm, frustration, and imposter syndrome is costing you now…

But lastly, what price label would you put on a sales page that converts and the ability to actually “live” your vision board.

Does that make sense?

If it does and you want a little help with creating your foundations, then send me a line!

I’m right here…

Categories: Copywriting, Customer Avatar, Content Creation, Branding

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