Tag Archive for: Messaging

How do you communicate the essence of your Mission to your market?  Your Message, of course!

Actually, there are many messages you can use to do that . . .

You’ve heard, I’m sure, about ‘Elevator’ pitches — the short, pithy ‘commercial’ you can use with a stranger to help them think you’re ‘All That’?  Well, that’s not the same ‘message’ I have in mind here.

Behavior Speaks Louder Than Words
There are messages and then there are messages.  I’d like you to think about this.  You want to find a way to be so clear about your Mission that your Market really understands why you’re a better provider of what you do than others in your field.

I worked with a remodeling contractor once.  He paid his workers to wash their trucks each night, paid for them to dryclean their uniforms (yeah, he gave them uniforms, too) and insisted that they always put on surgical booties before entering a home to do a proposal or actual work.

What do you think all that did?  It gave a lasting and memorable Message that this man cares about what his customers care about . . . their home!  Think you can find some ways to get your Message across without using a big neon sign?  I hope so!

Messaging isn’t always about words said or put on paper . . . Actions speak for themselves! 

If you have kids, you understand.  If you want them to do something you want, you have to address the old ‘WIIFM’ — “What’s In It For Me?” issue in terms they’ll appreciate.

Valued Content ATTRACTS . . . People To You
A key purpose of blogging is to attract people to you who care about what you know and what you can do . . . for them.  Your blog’s content needs to address what your desired readers want to know and, if known, is likely to produce significant value for them to enjoy.

Click on the image above.  If you were a financial advisor, a mortgage broker, a P&C agent, an attorney or even a CPA . . . offering such information would be very likely to attract people whose need-to-know aligns nicely with your expertise and services, wouldn’t it?  See?

Valued Content CONVICTS . . . People About Your Authority
A good post will cause people to find you.  That’s what organic search is all about — causing your post/s to appear on ‘Page 1’ when a prospective client types a query into Google.

But the post itself must render meaningful value in the form of useful insights and practical actions that a blog reader can use to enhance their life.  When you do that, people see you as an expert in your field.  That translates into AUTHORITY which builds your CREDIBILITY and reduces the RISK of hiring you.

Offering VALUABLE content is ATTRACTIVE and builds AUTHORITY for you and your business 

If your ‘negative’ headline attracts attention, you have alerted your reader to a threat to their sense of security. That creates a good bit of psychological angst in your reader.  And, an interesting predicament.  For you.

PAIN . . . is Good; Too Much PAIN . . . is Not!
If all you do is direct your reader’s attention to a threat or problem they have or may have . . . you’ll lose them.  Obviously, we’re not designed to live in a heightened and prolonged state of anxiety (which, your headline created!).

So if your reader’s initial anxiety is not addressed quickly — not completely, but to some degree at least — there’s a good chance they’ll stop reading as a way of protecting themselves from EPS (Excessive PAIN Syndrome).

Why We Love Scary Movies and Can’t Leave Until The End
Have you ever enjoyed (sic) a good scary movie?  The kind where Bela Lugosi or Lon Chaney or Vincent Price starred?  As a kid, these movies scared the hell out of me.  Literally.  I hated that feeling.  But I loved those movies.  I also sat through the whole movie, too.  Why?  Because I learned to expect that ‘no matter what’ . . . in the end, all would be made right.  The sun would shine (poor vampire) and Belle would get her prince (sorry Beast).

Knowing that, no matter what PAIN I was feeling, in the end all would be fine . . . kept me in my seat for the entire movie.  Why?  HOPE!  Make sure you remember that hope keeps people in their seats while PAIN is what makes them want to run away!

PAIN-full Headlines may attract attention . . . but HOPE keeps your reader around 

I’m not suggesting you get moody and depressing.  I’m referring to your marketing messages.

Preservation Beats Acquisition
Keeping what we have is more motivating than acquiring what we want but do not have. You know it’s true.

We work harder to maintain what we have — especially if we feel it’s being threatened than we ever do to generate a result that’s better than what we have now.  Go figure.

Why ‘Going Negative’ . . . Works
We’re genetically and psychologically programmed to scan for threats to our well-being. That’s why negative messages that alert us to any possible threats always get our attention.

Remember to Relieve!
Getting attention with a negative or threat-based message makes people uncomfortable. Actually, that’s good.  You can leverage that to produce a response from prospects designed to relieve their discomfort.  But if you make someone uncomfortable, you have a moral imperative to make them feel good again, too.  That’s where your offer comes in . . .

Negative messages . . . work! 

Think of ‘Sticky Notes’ and you probably think of the “3 M” corporation where that office staple was first invented.  But today’s post is not about yellow notepads.  Instead, the 3 M’s of this post serve as reminders of what is truly a basic and highly effective marketing formula . . .

M . . . Market 
Effective marketing requires that you know who you’re seeking and who, in this day and age of social media, might be seeking you!  More marketing is flawed from the beginning because there’s no clarity about WHO you’re seeking to attract — at least at first.

M . . . Message 
Regardless of the medium you use, effective communication always involves a message that resonates with the market member you’re seeking to attract.  Generally, this means speaking more about the issues that concern your prospect and less about the features and benefits of your service.

M . . . Movement
Assuming your message captures the attention — and interest — of the person/s you’re seeking to attract to you, you must invite ACTION!  In fact, it’s called a ‘Call To Action’ for just that reason. This means an offer of some kind.  And in the case of a service, your best offer involves useful information in exchange for someone’s permission to begin a cultivating conversation so you can become the ‘preferred provider’ you want to be.

Marketing can be complex or simple.  Just remember the “3M” approach and you’ll keep it simple and . . . highly effective, too.


It’s an endless quest, isn’t it? Here are some ideas on how to do it effectively:

Enchantment - Increase Likability

Next to ‘public speaking’, what’s the next big ‘fear’ of most businesspeople?  If you guessed, “Answering the question, “So, what do you do . . . hmmm?”

Lately, I’ve grown weary of the ‘cute ‘n creative’ responses businesspeople tend to give.  Nothing wrong with ‘Elevator Speeches’.  But often, nothing very unique about them, either.

Cut To The Chase . . . But Engage, Too
Here’s a refreshing alternative.  State what you do as succinctly as possible but include a follow-up question that engages the other person’s mind and, hopefully, invites them to have a conversation with you as a result.

“I _______ for a living . . . Let me ask you a question . . .”
For example, “I repair foreign cars for a living . . .”  Then, ask a question that invites further conversation, “Let me ask you a question, do you own a foreign car?”  They’ll either say, “Yes” or “No”.  Either way, you have an opportunity!

(No) “Very common. A lot of people don’t.  And I bet you’d never consider owning one in the future either, right?”  “Oh, really?  Gee, why do you say that?”.

(Yes) “Congratulations. They’re not for everyone.  Tell me . . . in your opinion, what’s the best and the worst thing about owning a foreign car?”

Either way, you are providing the other person with a way to:

1) know something about you that was previously UN-known to them, and
2) use that ‘new’ information to help them have a meaningful conversation with you

This will produce much better results than a cute statement that leaves people wondering what it is you ‘really’ do and, more important, what you’d like them to do with you . . . next!

Be short and direct . . . and always ask an engaging question as well 

Seriously, do you like to hear a client complain about their experience with you or your business?  I doubt it.  But it does happen.  How you respond to these ‘bumps’ in your client relationship road may help you turn them into marketing gold.

Here are some points to keep in mind to make the most of these ‘moments-of-truth’ that may have gone bad:

Welcome Negative Comments
The expression, “Don’t shoot the messenger” is very true here.  Your client is giving you a GIFT . . . of insight that you may not have known and might never learn . . . except from the symptomatic loss of clients and revenues that a problem may suggest.  Don’t turn off this excellent source of insight that, used properly, can help you build a better business experience and increased client loyalty to your firm and brand.

Respond Quickly and Effectively
Another expression.  “Actions speak louder than words”.  What you DO to recover from a compromising experience speaks volumes more about whether you care about your clients than any boilerplate copy in your marketing collateral.  Use these difficult but important ‘messages’ to show you care and DO whatever is necessary to demonstrate that to your clients and all ‘fans’ of your brand.

A Little ‘BAD’ Generates a Lot of ‘GOOD’
If all you hear are good things about anyone or anything, you’re probably going to discredit the comments and the legitimacy of the firm.  But if you have some not-so-perfect comments made along with positive ones, your credibility factor will rise like the temperature on a July day!  Just make sure any negative information is a small percentage of the total and show that you used the comments to respond effectively.  That . . . is a winning strategy.

Negative comments are blessings in disguise — Welcome them and Respond to them  

Peter Montoya is the author of a book called, The Brand Called YOU.  Peter’s a very insightful person who understands that, as a service provider, what people buy before anything else is . . . your brand.

Makes sense.  Afterall, it’s the first thing a prospective client learns about you — often even before they meet you in-person.

Prospects, clients and centers-of-influence use the brand called ‘YOU’ to help them identify you and your business from your competitors.  How?  By triggering an association of ideas, thoughts and feelings that your brand represents or suggests.  Your challenge is to ensure those associations reflect what you want and not . . . something else.

Your Personal Brand:

  • triggers . . . an association of thoughts and feelings people have about you
  • reflects . . . the cumulative effect of all the contacts people have with you over time
  • prepares . . . people about what to expect / not expect about working with you
  • occurs . . . by design or by accident and that . . . is always YOUR choice

Your brand . . . is a key factor in shaping expectations of key people for your business

From time to time we all benefit from a little bit of ‘wisdom’ from people who know what they’re talking about . . . if you agree, this might just be your lucky day!

“Thanks” to our friends at Hubspot for this beautiful slideshow of marketing wisdom!