Welcome back to the Coaching Hive Podcast!
I’m curious to know when you think about your business and specifically your brand message, how do you feel about it?
- Does it feel like it’s clear?
- Does it feel like it provides a solid foundation upon which your business can grow?
- Does it feel like it can withstand financial fluctuations, whether that is internal business fluctuations, you know, the ebbs and flows of money coming in and going out and the bigger picture of the economy as a whole.
So I’m curious to know, is your brand message ready to withstand a recession?
This is something that I talked with a group of entrepreneurs about last week during a live training. We talked about the fact that building a strong brand message allows you to build a strong business that becomes resistant to economic fluctuations, whether that’s internal, economic fluctuations within your business or external economic fluctuations.
Today, we are going to dig into a few ideas for how to make sure your messaging is solid to make sure that it is dialed in, nailed down and specific enough so that your business can grow and scale with you, just how you want it to.
If you are ready to get started, grab your notebook, grab your tablet, whatever you’re using to take notes on today, get your water and a snack. And if you’re ready, with our theme of simplicity, clarity, and vision for 2022 in mind, let’s jump in!
Create Strong Messaging
Does the word or the phrase brand message bring about a little bit of a heart palpitation?
Does it make you have that kind of deep in the gut feeling?
I know that when I started my first business messaging was the furthest thing from my mind, I felt like, you know, I’ve got something important to offer. It works. It’s helpful. People are just going to come, but that doesn’t actually happen.
Instead you have to create a compelling message that invites people into your business and basically makes it hard for them to say no, that it is truly an attractive offer that you are making. But the problem is that brand messaging feels tricky. How you represent your business through words is kind of difficult to nail down and to nail it down in a Way that allows your business to withstand fluctuations can feel even harder or even bigger. But the good news is that messaging, while it sounds big and complex, doesn’t have to be.
It can actually be pretty simple when you boil it down to three basic components. And today I’d like to share those three components with you.
Step 1: The first step that you want to take, when you think about your brand messaging is to follow the principles of storytelling.
If you know me and he followed the coaching high for a little while, you know that I am a fan of Donald Miller’s StoryBrand formula. As a StoryBrand Certified Guide, it is what I use with my clients and day in and day out as we create brand messaging. And so when I say that your message needs to have a storytelling aspect to it, we need to be inviting our customers into a narrative where they see themselves.
We want them to see themselves as the hero in your business. Your business is not actually about you. Your business is actually about the client and what they can achieve, what can happen, what their success looks like. Having worked with you. And you are simply the guide. So as you look at your messaging, I want you to look at it from a storytelling lens.
Imagine that you’re sitting, you remember how you might have read to a small child, maybe your child, a grandchild, a niece and nephew, a friend’s child. We’ve all been read to at some point probably, or you’ve read to someone and you see those eyes light up because they get entranced by the story. That’s what we want for your customers.
We want your customers to look at what you have put out there, whether it’s a post, a website, an article, a podcast, and get drawn into the story. We want that person to see themselves and to say, that’s me, that’s what we want. That’s what I mean by you need to follow the principles of storytelling, open up that opportunity, that scene, or that scenario, that invites the client in where you walk them through what it looks like, the problems that they’re having.
For example, when I started this podcast, I said, The problem is that, you know, messaging is important, but it feels complicated. It feels really complex. And you just want to have a successful business.
And some of you probably thought, yeah, that’s me. I want to have that successful business. But gosh, it feels complicated to get the message, right? I was inviting you into a story. And then as I start to paint this picture of what can you do to be able to create messaging that works. I started to share with you a solution, a step-by-step path to get you to where you want to be so that you can start imagining that you can be a storyteller. I can shift my messaging so that it’s about my client so that it is talking about the problem they’re experiencing, the success that they could have with me as their guide and them as the hero.
Step one: Make sure that your message follows the principles of storytelling, where you as the business owner are the guide. And more importantly, your customer is the hero. You are inviting them into the story where they see their life transforming into what it is they actually want and need.
Step 2: Step two in creating a really solid message that helps create a solid foundation for your business, is to focus on the benefits rather than just the features of what it is you’re offering.
We’ve all been to websites where there’s a bullet point list of what all you get with the service. For instance, if you were to go to something like Canva, you might open up their website and they’ll tell you all of the things that you get with your monthly membership to Canva. The same goes with Typeform, with Kajabi, with any of these systems out there that you have to pay for, you’re going to find a bulleted list or sometimes a table. I love the ones that have tables that allow you to compare their different levels. It’s all these features listed out.
Unless you know how each feature is going to benefit you personally, sometimes you think I don’t need that feature. You may pass up on an offer simply because you don’t understand how that feature will benefit you.
When you create your messaging. I want to encourage you to focus on the benefits, lay it out for the client, because what happens is when the client doesn’t know the benefit of your feature, they’re going to pass your service by saying, no, thank you. They’re going to go with the service that may have the exact same features that tells them what they get out of that feature. Why is it going to change their life? How will it make their experience better, different, more successful.
You are an expert in your business, which means it’s sometimes hard to look with in expert non-expert eyes at what you’ve written, having some outside eyes on what you’ve written will help you to create those benefits and outline them, clarify them in a way that’s actually understandable with the goal being that your client can read through your list of features and see right next to it, how it will specifically benefit them and why that matters. We don’t want them to have to figure it out, deduce it, dig through the sand to find that one specific little nugget of information. We want them to have that nugget right there on top of the sand, ready for them to pick up and say, oh, this looks great. Sign me up.
Remember, make sure that you’re focusing on the benefits, not just the features of your service or your product or your offering in general.
Step 3: The third thing to do is get out there and test now, see what resonates and make adjustments.
One of the things that happens is we get caught in this perfectionism cycle. We want everything that we put out that represents our business to look really good.
Be perfect, not have any stumbles or hiccups along the way, but the fact of the matter is that nothing will ever be perfect. It’s better to get something imperfect out there, get some feedback and make adjustments than to put something out. That’s perfect because that won’t ever get out. It’s better to put something out, test it, see what works,
what resonates and make adjustments. Nothing you do will ever be perfect. I guarantee you that you will make more money, be more profitable, have a stronger business. If you put things out there than if you wait for perfection. One of my favorite people, Jasmine Star, said “perfection is procrastination and disguise”.
We as human beings are really good at keeping ourselves safe. And if we are trying to make something perfect, we’re keeping ourselves safe. That has worked for many, many, many, many, many, many generations, but there’s also a part of us that needs to stretch and grow, right? We don’t always want to be completely 100% insulated safe because that means our business won’t grow.
We have to take a few calculated risks in order for our business to be strong, to grow and to succeed, especially when there’s a bunch of economic stuff going on, we have to get out there ahead of that curve so that we can test things. Know what is solid by the time any kind of economic struggles happen, because now you know exactly what to say, what to do, what to put out there in a way that resonates with your client and has them saying yes. So number three, this one’s hard to implement, but simple to remember, just get out there and do it. Just do it. Test implement, iterate, accelerate.
That’s one of my favorite things to say about the Coaching Hive Messaging Accelerator. We get to go through your messaging. We get to go through your marketing plan and then we get to implement, iterate and accelerate because working together with other people, having a guide to help you be a guide in your own business, having the opportunity to implement test, adjust. All of these things are going to help you move faster. You are going to make faster progress by implementing something that’s imperfect.
You will gain experience by implementing something that is perfect. Imperfection is good. Get it out there, get it done. Let’s implement, iterate and accelerate.
What happens when you implement these three things?
When you follow the principles of storytelling, when you focus on the benefits, not just the features and when you start getting things out there to test and you make adjustments, you iterate and you start accelerating your progress. What is happening is you are creating a strong business with a strong messaging foundation that is recession ready. It can withstand economic fluctuations because you are getting out there ahead of these fluctuations. You are building yourself, essentially a buffer of time, space, money, where your peers might still be worried about, “what do I say? How do I do this? When do I implement it? What adjustments do I need to make now so that I can be ready?”.
You’re already ready. You are putting things out there doing the hard stuff and seeing the progress. So what happens is you get to experience a strong growing business that is anchored in solid messaging that will stand the test of time and will continue to evolve as you evolve in your business.
As a guide, you are going to experience growth while others are kind of hunkered down, worried about what to do or how to make an offer that works during challenging financial times. Hopefully that’s a good enough reason to go ahead and start making adjustments to your messaging today and how you market your business. Because although messaging feels difficult, it can feel overwhelming and it can feel daunting, it doesn’t have to be. It can be simple.
Keep in mind the principles of storytelling, invite your client into that story, help them see themselves as you highlight the problems they’re experiencing, as you help them think through a plan to follow. And as you paint a picture of success for them, what you’re doing is you are painting them as the hero of the story.
You are their guide there to help them get that success. They dreamed of. When you have strong messaging, that’s clear that tells a story that focuses on the benefit and you’re getting it out there. You become the go-to resource that everyone is seeking out in whatever industry you’re in, whether you have a product or a service or some combination of products and services, you are the Go-To Resource, the person there that’s being sought after and sought out for your services. How does that sound?
Would you sign up to be the Go-To resource? Yeah! I think we all would as business owners, we want to be successful.
This week your action item is to take a look at what you can do. We talked about three things today.
- We talked about following the principles of storytelling.
- We talked about focusing on the benefits, not just the features of your offering.
- And we talked about getting out there and testing things, making adjustments to implement, iterate, and accelerate.
What can you work on this week?
Maybe you’ve been sitting on a blog post or an article or a story that you just need to get out there. See how it lands. How does it resonate? What kinds of comments do you get? What kinds of interest do you get and make adjustments.
Perhaps it is the fact that you have been thinking about revising your website homepage for eons. Maybe this is the week that you just look at the header that you know, where the picture is at the very top of your website and you probably have some big words. Look at that header to see if you’re starting a story with the header.
Maybe you have an offer out there right now, and it’s not getting the kind of traction that you would like. And so you’re going to look at the features you’ve listed and think about, well, how can I help my clients know the benefits of each of these features? Does it save them time? Does it save them money? Will it help them move faster? Will it help them feel more secure in trying this new thing? What’s it going to do for them?
What will you do this week? What action will you take this week to implement one or all one, two, or all three of the things that we talked about in this podcast episode so that you can get your messaging dialed in, nailed down, ready to go, regardless of what the economy does, because at the end of the day, we want to make sure that our business is ready for anything. We want to build a strong business. One that stands the test of time.
Just as a quick recap, we started off by talking about the fact that having a strong message will help you to create a strong business and that strong business can help safeguard against fluctuations that happen, whether they’re economic time-based or something else entirely, and the way to do that, the way to get through your messaging so that it doesn’t feel complicated and daunting is to use the principles of storytelling outlined by the StoryBrand formula, by Donald Miller.
We talked about focusing on the benefits, not just the features of your offering. And we talked about getting out there and just doing it, just testing what you have to see what works, what resonates, and then make adjustments from there doing that will allow you to accelerate your progress even faster, even further. And then you get to enjoy growth. You get to be the go-to resource in your industry.
That is all I have for you today. But before we wrap up, if you are now thinking about your messaging and saying, I would love to make some adjustments, but I just don’t know where to start. I’d love to invite you to check out www.bethegotoresource.com, where you can learn about options to work on your messaging with support and guidance, because honestly that’s the best way to create your messaging. Even as a StoryBrand guide. In fact, our entire community of 700 plus StoryBrand guides routinely put our own messaging in front of other guides, for feedback, for ideas, for just a fresh look, because messaging is not created in a silo by yourself.
Messaging is created by surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs, other business owners, people who are going through these same steps that you are, it saves time, it saves money. It creates simplicity in your messaging. And that simplicity is what invites your clients into the process, into your product, your service, and your business.
I look forward to seeing you back here next week for another episode of the Coaching Hive Podcast, where a focus on mentoring and community removes the overwhelm of building your successful and profitable business and adds in a dose of momentum.
Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week!