How to keep your message clear when your business grows
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Picture this. You’re at a business event and someone asks you: “So, what does your business do?”
Can you answer that in less than ten words?
For far too many, the answer is long and rambling, explaining that you started by offering this service, but now you’ve developed to offer this and that too…
Have they glazed over? Are they rather lost? We’ve all been there!
Now, apply this same scenario to someone visiting your website for the first time. Or picking up your brochure at a show. Is it clear at a glance what you do? If not, it’s time to act.
If you’re confused, your target audience will be too
You’ve got to be crystal clear when you present your business. What’s its purpose? What benefits does it offer?
And your entire team must have the same clarity. This is where it can become challenging as your operations grow.
If you’re currently unclear on communicating what your business offers, take some time out to think about this – with key members of your team if you can.
Have a ten-word target. Your customers (and prospective customers) will thank you for it.
As you grow, be prepared to refresh your message
Consider this scenario to demonstrate my point. In the beginning, your business made dog kennels. Lovely quality, using high grade timber - with Fido engraved over the entrance! The communication was simple then: “We make luxury, timber dog kennels for discerning dog-lovers.”
Over the years, your business grew. Now you make a range of great rabbit hutches too, whilst you also stock a selection of designer dog and cat collars. Oh, not forgetting the hand-painted feeding bowls! All of this is now available to buy online.
Ooh, it’s getting confusing now.
“My business makes luxury, timber dog kennels and lovely rabbit hutches. It also sells designer dog and cat collars. Oh, and hand-painted feeding bowls!”
Perhaps it’s time for a re-think?
Something like this might pull it all together: “We add a touch of luxury for your four-legged friends.”
It doesn’t say everything, granted. But it’s easy to grasp (you sell luxurious things for pets) and your next tier of communication can tackle the detail.
As your business grows and your team expands, keep a clear eye on how you concisely communicate what your business does.
Consider your website for a moment
Clear communication is crucial on your home page. Unless you’re Amazon or John Lewis, don’t assume that your reputation comes before you.
You need your visitors to “get it” instantly.
If they don’t, many will click away in seconds – a lost, lifetime customer perhaps?
Less is always more. I know you’ll have lots to say - but save it until they want to talk to you. Imagine you’ve just walked into a shop for the first time. You want to quickly see what it sells. The shop assistant grabs you by the door and starts bombarding you with everything she knows! Most of us would a) switch off or b) promptly leave the shop.
There’s many pages on your website to get the detail across. Stick to the point on your home page.
My key message? “I help your business communicate better”. Followed by: “Freelance marketing and copywriting that bears fruit.” Got it? I hope so!
Getting to the point
It can take ages to decide what ten words sum up your business. You’ll want to consider your key operations, the main benefits that you can offer your customers and the profile of your target audience.
If you can tell them the benefit of what you do in ten words, fabulous. If not, what is the salient point to communicate first? What will make them want to learn more?
Team involvement is extremely beneficial, decision by committee is not.
Decide how you practically want to get from A to B on this process before you start. And once you’ve got there, think about who you’d like to help you communicate your business clearly. Specialists (like me!) ensure that you end up with far more effective copy to use throughout your marketing.