Let’s get back to basics for a sec.
The single most important factor to focus on when creating ANY message for your business is:
Without clarity you end up with confusion at best, disaster at worst.
Let’s face it: your audience needs to understand you before they Know, Like & Trust you.
(Buying from you comes even later.)
Sure you can be brimming with creative genius, but without clarity in your messaging you’ll always be fighting with one hand tied behind your back.
Any time you write for your biz, your audience needs to know who you are, what exactly you have to say, and what you’re asking of them.
That’s pretty much it.
Simple eh? BUT…
One delightful paradox of our info-driven age is that the more opportunities we have to communicate with others, the more chances we have to muddy the waters for them.
And I’m not talking just about sales messaging here…
This is about ANY and EVERY message you use in your biz:
Emails to clients & customers… social media… your offers, ads and promotional materials… customer support… how you develop partnerships, set meetings, onboard employees and more.
When marketers ignore clarity in favour of complexity, they end up with a head-scratching mess of failed campaigns, broken funnels, misunderstood intentions and wasted opportunities.
In business, that costs time and money.
Get clear first, then get creative.
Put the genius on hold for a minute (don’t worry, it’ll wait) and focus on communicating simply and effectively.
With that in mind, here’s 3 simple tips for creating messaging with more clarity:
1 – Before you write anything, get clear on your intention
This is where you figure out exactly WHO you’re talking to, WHAT you want to say and – this one’s crucial – what you want the specific OUTCOME to be.
Ask yourself a few essential Qs first:
– Are you writing one-to-one or one-to-many in this instance?
– What do you already know about your reader(s), and how will that influence your message?
(For instance, can you use a kind of ‘shorthand’ language based on your existing relationship… or should you explain any tricky terminology for newcomers or a broad group? Remember the tapper-listener experiment!)
– What are they likely to respond to emotionally?
(eg what are their key challenges or ‘hot button’ topics, and should you push these buttons or not?)
– What is the ONE single outcome you want to achieve from your message?
Deciding on the outcome you’re aiming for before you start writing helps focus your reader’s decision-making, and makes your message clearer & easier to read.
2 – Get clear on HOW exactly you’re going to communicate your message
I’ve noticed a trend in people (particularly C-suite execs and online marketing ‘gurus’) taking an aggressively ‘minimalist’ approach to email composition these days…
This is partly down to the influence of instant messaging on our lives, and how it’s changed the way we communicate. But it’s not always helpful to be fast and brief.
Yes, everyone’s busy.
And sure, replying to emails with one or two lines max might be great for keeping your calendar clear for ‘more important things’…
But if you’re unclear in your written instructions, or let’s say you’re asked three important questions and only answer one of them, chances are you’re just causing yourself and the other party extra work.
Why risk leaving someone confused in an attempt to save a few minutes a day? Those minutes saved can come back and bite you in the ass once they turn into wasted hours down the line.
Here’s a simple way you can boost your calls to action:
When asking your reader for a response of some kind (reply, click here, sign up, buy now etc), make it clear not just WHEN and HOW they should do this…
…but also WHY.
The word ‘because’ is incredibly powerful if you use it right, to help your reader understand the importance of their response.
If you can give them even one good reason for acting, they’re significantly more likely to comply with your request.
3 – Remember also to stay consistent with your brand’s core messaging
Think of your brand as basically what your customers & prospects think of you/your business when you’re not there with them.
That means you can control how people perceive your brand to a certain extent with the messages you put out…
But if you slip up, people will notice and may even start to question what you mean in future.
So communicating with clarity and consistency is crucial.
Let’s say you’re in the personal development space and advocate a value-first approach to life & work, emphasising the need for careful, considered decision-making…
All good so far.
But what happens if you come on too strong too fast in your sales messaging, flinging ‘one time offers’ and scarcity-driven deadlines at every opportunity, just to try and increase sales?
If that approach isn’t consistent with the content and messaging they’ve seen from you elsewhere, it can undermine everything else you do and impact your reputation.
That’s why it’s so important to get clear on a core message that guides all your copy and content, your ads and promotions, even your products and services.
Once you have clarity on exactly what that core message is for YOUR biz, you can communicate with confidence and consistency, and ensure every message you put out enhances and strengthens your brand.
Get clarity first, then get creative.
If you need help with that, this could be useful.