We live in a world full of noise. Every day, we are bombarded with hundreds of messages from brands asking us to pay attention, purchase something, or take some sort of action, and most of the times, it’s annoying and overwhelming. It’s not surprising that 57% of consumers actively take steps to avoid brands who bombard them with poorly targeted marketing messages.
Even if a brand is somehow able to capture your audience’s attention, the message won’t stick if it’s not being delivered strategically. If your message is in any way confusing, you are going to lose your audience.
I share three tips I teach my brand story coaching clients for crafting stand out messaging that differentiates you from the crowd:
1. Make the audience the hero.
Your message should not be about you, but rather about what you can do for the people you’re serving. Too many brands make the mistake of creating messaging that exclusively focuses on talking about themselves, their history, their achievements, etc… and then ask the audience to do something for them (e.g. Buy now! Subscribe to my newsletter! Sign up today!).
Your audience’s primary concern is not how impressive you are. It is how you can make their life better, and your story serves as the evidence that you have the expertise to do that for them. When crafting your message, remember that you are not the hero: your audience is. Speak directly to who they are, what challenges they’re facing, and how your brand will guide them closer to what they need.
For example, my online coaching business has allowed me to design my ideal lifestyle, travel the world, and have the freedom to pursue my passions. I share pieces of this story as a means to empower my clients and illustrate what mindset, strategies, and habits they can develop to design their own lifestyle. The messaging is not about me; it’s about how I can facilitate the realization of their goals through my services.
Leverage your story to differentiate your brand and show (not just tell) how you can help your audience overcome their challenges.
2. Offer value in every single message.
While it’s important to keep a consistent and steady presence, focus on quantity rather than quality: filler messaging should be avoided at all costs.
Treat each piece of content as a dish you’re serving to a hungry audience – do you really want to feed them a bunch of empty calories, or would you rather give them nourishing, delicious content that will create some sort of value in their lives?
You can offer value directly (e.g. tips, instructions, to-do’s, etc) or indirectly (e.g. inspiration, motivation, community building, etc). Ask yourself how you can showcase your brand’s expertise while also giving back to your audience. Therein lies the art of storytelling: how can you skillfully tell your story and get your points across without coming off as self-serving?
For example, I only started seeing profound results in my business when I changed the conversation from being all about my experiences traveling the world to what my audience could take away from those experiences. Instead of highlighting how great it was to travel, I shifted to discussing the insights and key takeaways that I learned from travel which could also apply to love, business, personal development, and so on. This made my messaging relatable and useful to people who shared my mindset but perhaps not my lifestyle. As soon as I did that, engagement skyrocketed and a loyal community was formed.
When you consistently nourish your audience with valuable content, you train them to keep coming back for more.
3. Respect your audience’s time.
Be hyper-aware of the fact that your audience is taking their time and energy to consume your content. How would you feel if someone asked you for a moment of your precious time, and then wasted it talking about nonsense and giving you the impression they want something from you (but not directly telling you what it is)?
The same concept applies to the online world. Stellar messaging quickly and powerfully taps into a pain point, explains how the brand will solve this pain point (this is where the value comes in), and then gives the audience pointed instructions on what they need to do next to relieve that pain point.
Be as open and direct as possible in your messaging and include a call to action at the end. Respect your audience by telling them what you want them to do and how you want them to do it. If you want to open a conversation, ask them a compelling question. If you want them to learn more about something, ask them to click and tell them what they’ll find. Don’t leave people guessing, or worse, give them cryptic hints about what you want them to do or think about as a result of your communication.
Treat your audience as the hero of the story, connect with them in a way that genuinely offers them value, and be considerate of the time they spend consuming your content. With these simple steps, you will begin creating messaging that differentiates you from a sea of confusing, overwhelming, monotonous content.
Originally published on: Forbes