If you’ve been in online business a hot second, I know you’ve heard the term “brand message” or “core message.”
I also know your eyes glaze over when you hear it.
I understand. It’s not the sexiest term, and I’m sure there are tons of other “business-building” things you’d rather spend your time on (ahem, Periscope, vision boards, Facebook groups – does scrolling through Instagram count?…).
But I’d like to re-introduce you to the idea of messaging because the truth is, babes, your message is INSANELY important.
Now, here’s how I like to think about it: Remember when you were 13 and trying to dip out the front door in a sparkly tube top and low-cut denim shorts (and butterfly clips in your hair, natch) and your dad/mom/grandma would catch you and snarkily say something like, “Do you know what message you’re sending the boys with that outfit?” (Just me? Okay, then…)
Anyway, dad/mom/grandma was right: What you put out into the world sends a certain message, whether you mean to or not.
And it doesn’t just happen IRL. It also happens online – every time you write a blog, put up a piece of sales copy or post on Facebook.
Aaaaand until you get clear on who you are and what you actually want to say, you might be telling the world something totally confusing, off-base or downright boring. (And we can’t have that, now can we?)
So, let’s talk messaging in business.
Your message is simply a statement that drives everything you create, talk about or write about in your business.
And not-so-simply? It’s a statement that defines what you do, who you do it for, what they get out of it (aka the “transformation” you provide) and WHY you do it.
(If you just read that line like, “Ugh, transformation, really?” I understand. I know this can be a real hang-up for lots of businesses – especially product-based businesses – but trust me, every single business provides a transformation. For example, if you sell ooey gooey, gourmet caramels, you might take your customer from bored and hungry and totally over all those other basic sweets, to feeling unique, different and of course, satisfied in the stomach. See?)
A solid brand message is important because it forces you to GET SPECIFIC about what you do, who you do it for and why the hell it all matters.
Plus it makes life (and biz) a helluva lot easier.
Once you’ve mapped out your core message, you’ll notice that…
: Content ideas crop up everywhere (and posts practically write themselves)
: You feel WAY more confident promoting your products + services
: You (finally) know how to talk about what you do in a unique way that doesn’t bore people to tears
But HOW do you discover your message? Sit tight, sweets. 😉
You’ve probably seen this formula for defining your message:
I’m a [insert what you do here] who helps [insert brief description of your dream client here] to [insert the main benefit you provide here].
BUT I BELIEVE THERE’S SOMETHING *HUGE* MISSING FROM THAT FORMULA:
Why do you do what you do?
If you want to create a truly unique (and true-to-you) message, you HAVE to articulate your reason for pursuing this particular path.
So here’s how I think this formula should ACTUALLY read: I’m a [insert what you do here] who helps [insert brief description of your dream client here] to [insert the main benefit you provide here]….because I believe [whatever you believe – your WHY].
And THIS is where it’s get juicy. Because NO two people have exactly the same backstory, life history, values or beliefs…every WHY is different.
Because here’s the deal: ANYBODY can be a writer, designer, life coach or stylist. And ANYBODY can work with women business owners, or millennials, or stay-at-home moms. And yes, ANYBODY can help your clients get similar results.
But what they CAN’T do – and the ONE THING that will set YOU apart from alllll the other entrepreneur crayons in the box – is WHY you do it.
What you BELIEVE IN is what makes your message unique.
Once you nail down WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN….that’s when the real magic happens especially in the content department.
When you nail your message (or today’s iteration of your message – because this will evolve), you’ll NEVER have to question whether a piece of content makes sense for your business EVAH again.
All you’ll have to do is (silently, unless you want people staring) ask yourself, “Is this piece of content I’m about to create aligned with my message?”
Can you connect what you’re about to write (or tweet, or periscope) back to what you do, who you do it for, a benefit of working with you or WHY you do what you do?
This gives you the freedom to play around in your current biz – without seeming like a total wishy-washy weirdo. (For example, I just saw one of my fave biz mentors is running a workshop on how she uses essential oils to fuel her business. Because she often talks about rituals and creating ease and space in your business, this actually makes total sense even though essential oils literally have NOTHING to do with business when you first think about it. See what I’m saying?)
Pretty sweet, right?
Sooo, let’s turn it over to you. If coming up with your message has become the bane of your existence, here are the four MAGICAL questions you need to answer right now:
- What do you do? (Create luxury soap? Write about pages? “Play” matchmaker?)
- Who do you help – specifically? (Busy and nearly-burnt-out 20-somethings? Yoga studio owners? Self-employed business peeps?)
- What transformation do you provide (or, what is the juiciest benefit of working with you)? (A moment of pleasure and peace amidst the chaos of day-to-day millennial life? Clearly articulate their studio’s unique vision? Find life partners who won’t get jealous over their laptops?)
- And why the hell do you do it? What do you believe in that drives your desire to do this particular thing? (This is the part I can’t really give an example because it’s SO personal.)
Voila! You now have a simple business message to refer to as you create content for your business.
Wanna see the finished product? Here’s mine: “I’m a message mentor + copywriter who helps young, creative womenpreneurs find their unique voice, own their message + write content that connects + converts so they start making real cash from their craft because I believe self-expression is THE KEY to a well-lived life.” (Whew!)
Now, I know that might not sound like anything revolutionary – and yours might not either.
But I want you to know that’s okay.
The message you can create using this formula IS NOT meant for client-facing copy (unless it’s freakishly good – in which case, by all means). It’s simply a blueprint for you to use on the backend to keep you focused as you create content for your business.
What should you do now? Write your message on a Post It, in a Google Doc or in your Evernote and refer to it regularly.
DON’T just keep it in the back pocket of your Paige jeans (metaphorically that is).
Make it a part of your content creation process to review this message (and tweak or refine it when the time comes) to keep you aligned…and watch business get THAT much easier. 😉
YOUR TURN, BEAUTYTOWN! //
1. Draft your message using the formula and questions above.
2. Post it in the comments for feedback from moi, totally gratis. 😉
P.S. Are you still stuck? No worries, love. I’m thisclose to revealing a super cool thing to my list about how we can work together to infuse your message into every piece of your content. Hop on it so you don’t miss out: