We all have a story to tell. Some are tough hard luck stories. Some are stories of fortune. Or of great adventure.
What’s your story?
The problem? Most stories aren’t that interesting. To others anyway. You have to work at it.
And as I’ve started working with companies on their stories, the conversation always comes back to the brand message. The identification of “specific things to say”. With the hopes that readers will be drawn in. And become fans of your personal brand or your business brand.
You are already doing it, by the way. Sending a brand message.
You are doing it all over the internet and elsewhere. On resumes, sales brochures, websites and in social media. Some are introductory messages delivered via a bio or summary. Others are in-depth and complex histories of where you’ve been.
And, hopefully, there are lots of other places people come in contact with your personal or business brand.
But what makes for great messaging?
1. Consistent and Current
If I did an audit on your messaging today, what would I find? Are your messages consistent and based on a single brand positioning statement? If not, you may have a problem. You are introducing yourself to new potential customers or hiring managers based on inconsistent messaging. You are confusing people. And missing a big opportunity.
It is also easy for messaging to stagnate. Your brand evolves. Your company changes products or services. People come and go. And each time there’s a desire to leave a unique mark. The result is an inconsistent message across a variety of media. Old messaging telling an outdated story.
Who are you? What is the personality of your brand or business? What core values helped to create your first story? Knowing what to say and how to say it comes via a process of re-identifying your original “reason why”. If you are looking for work or for new consulting clients, what makes you different from others stabbing at the same steak? What makes you irresistible?
Once you have that knowledge or are reminded of it, the message flows naturally. And allows you or someone representing you to speak with a genuine voice. A voice that is more likely to attract potential customers.
Once you have a positioning statement and a clear set of core values, what specific words will highlight your value to the market? Especially if you’ve chosen a social media platform to send your message (Twitter, Facebook), your social credibility will depend on how you use the platform to communicate.
If you’ve chosen five core media platforms to share your message, the words could be different on each. And also the voice and writing/speaking style. Some platforms are more informal than others. So create a base message then modify it based on where the message will be published. Still consistent to the core message but adapted to speak more clearly to the platform’s audience.
Who is your audience? What do they care about? And to what extent have you crafted a message to attract them? If you’ve never thought about this, why not create a target audience profile? To identify the basics of your target. Are they male, young and adventurous or female, older and conservative? Think a targeted message is read and absorbed more readily than a generic one?
If you are on the job hunt, your audience is your industry, your target companies and interview teams that will evaluate you. What is the personality of your industry or target company? What are they looking for in new employees? Use your job interview prep time wisely to get to know your audience.
5. Benefit Driven
Most messaging is full of features. Things. Product announcements or descriptions. But what do we all really care about? The answer is: “what’s in it for me?” Why should I pay attention?
The question to ask yourself after reading your own message? “So what?”
Push back on your own message and ask why it matters. Knowing a product has feature A, B and C doesn’t help me see why it matters in my life. And why I should spend even just a few seconds to learn more.
So what brand message are you sending? And how is it performing?
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: audience | brand | brand positioning | Branding | business brands | Communication | communication design | deliver | digital marketing | employer branding | graphic design | keys | marketing | messaging | online social networking | personal branding | powerful brand | ringtone | target audience | targets | the keys | Twitter | world wide web
Categories: Personal And Business Branding