If you were to ask 5 clients to describe your business, what do you think they would say? Would it be accurate and compelling?
In today’s noisy world, small businesses are trying to figure out how to cut through the noise and create a lasting resonance among their target market. As you know, existing clients are a great opportunity for referrals, but sometimes people just don’t do a good job at explaining who you are and what you really offer.
So, how can you communicate in ways that get you remembered?
A great starting point is crafting a handful of core brand messages, allowing you to consistently communicate what is meaningful to both your business and your target market. When you clearly communicate what you stand for, people will not only remember you better, they will also be better equipped to share about your business to others.
WHAT IS A CORE BRAND MESSAGE?
A core brand message captures your passion, purpose and values. It shares what you stand for and what makes your offerings unique and valuable. Some marketers say that you only need one core brand message. (Think a longer version of a tagline.) I believe having three to five gives businesses more direction when shaping their subsequent marketing messages and communications.
Now, how do we know what will be effective? We know that a message leaves an impact when it:
Communicates a specific message
Creates a visual
Incites an emotional response
Not only should your core messages aim to embody these characteristics, they also should make your target market feel that their needs and desires are heard and understood.
3 STEPS TO CRaFTING YOUR CORE MESSAGES
Step 1: Dig Deep
Take out a piece of paper and get ready for a writing exercise. Without any judgement or self-censoring, continuously write your responses to the questions below. Try to fill a full page, front and back, without pausing.
Why do you do what you do?
What are you most proud of about your business?
Why do your clients choose you?
What is your philosophy behind each of your offerings or areas of expertise?
What keeps your clients up at night?
What feelings do you wish to instill in your clients?
Step 2: “Connect The Dots”
Take a highlighter and select phrases or words that stand out to you. Use the compiled phrases or words to “connect the dots” and craft a handful of core messages that capture the essence of your brand. These should be powerful statements that reflect your core beliefs. Refrain from using limiting language like “I believe” or “I feel”.
Step 3: Get Feedback
Before finalizing your core brand messages, inspect the language that you use. Is there any industry jargon or would your target market use those exact words? Consider asking three clients for their feedback. You’ll want to make sure that your messages resonate with who you serve.
Now, WHAt To do WITH THEM…
This exercise is not just something to sit in your notebook alongside your to-do list.
Your core brand messages should inform the creation of all of your marketing content—whether that be for your website, blog, social media, email, or special events; and especially for describing your business to someone you’ve just met or for informing your clients about other aspects of your business.
As a next step, you may find it helpful to jot down three to five sub-points for each core message. Consider how your business embodies and expresses each core message. BOOM! You now have a list of 15-25 blog topics (or Facebook videos—whatever your chosen platform.)
If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can even create a shortened version of one or two of your core messages and use it as a hashtag on relevant social media posts. Branded hashtags are a simple way you can be remembered by your audience.
So, give it a go! Ask your clients to share how they would describe your business. Are their words meaningful and representative of your value?