Tell me: When you plop your bottom down to bang out blog content, or social media content, or website content, or even fantasize about a new offer, is it:
- Fun! Exciting! The best time ever! You can’t wait to tell the world all about your brand new idea/thing!
- A total PITA that makes you want to quit life (or just your business)
If your answer is number two, you’re gonna wanna stick around, because I’m about to share a fresh perspective on something that just might change all that for you.
Here’s the deal: A lotta people mention “messaging” in business, but it feels like nobody really knows how the heck to describe it, or why it matters.
Well, here’s my definition of “core brand message”:
A short-n-sweet statement that explains what you stand for, how you’re different and why your brand matters (in the bigger context of the world).
…Which then makes all your content (and heck, your entire business) way easier to write/run.
Why Do You Need ‘A Message’?
In short? Because a core brand message acts like a touchstone you can refer to again + again as you create for your business.
It not only helps you position yourself and stand out in comparison to other peeps with your same skills, it also keeps you on track so you don’t confuse your audience (and by that I mean, it stops you from talking about all sorts of rando-things or contradicting yourself).
And honestly, it’s something you should keep in mind any time you’re creating for your biz. You can use your message to create:
- Website copy
- Your tagline (and offer taglines)
- Social media content
- Press releases
- Your elevator pitch
- And pretty much anything else
And if done right, a well-crafted message will help you:
- Call in the “right” clients – ones who get you and appreciate your viewpoint
- Write content without wanting to rip your hair out
- Get stoked about marketing your business (seriously!)
I know right now you might be thinking, “Okay, cool…but like, can you give me an example?”
I got you. This is where I think most freelancers get stuck. They “get” the idea of a brand message on an intellectual level, but turning it into an actual, tangible statement? Easier said than done.
So, let’s try one on for size. Let’s say you’re a web designer, Jane Doe.
Jane Doe loves helping her clients make money, and she believes you need good design to make money. And coincidentally? That’s also something her dream clients – business coaches looking to bank 6 figures a year – totally want.
So? “Awesome design equals awesome sales” becomes her main focus – her main brand message. She hangs her whole brand on this one idea.
But how does that show up in her business, or more specifically, her content, you ask?
Well, Jane would likely a write blog post titled, “7 Ways to Tweak Your Sales Page for More Conversions” vs. “5 Ways Your Home-Based Biz Can Change the World,” because the first puts the emphasis on – you got it! – sales.
And Jane, miss smartypants that she is, might also create offers that focus on how they will make her clients more money (and you might see this on the headline of her sales page, for example, as somethin’ like, “Custom web design that brings in the dollars”).
Basically, Jane’s entire content and marketing strategy will somehow tie back to the main message that you need good design to make sales.
Get it? Feel ready to whip up your own?
Hold up. Here’s what you should know before you do:
- A good message is concise, clear and coherent – and memorable, to boot. (Oh and BTW, if you’re wondering, “Why can’t I just use my tagline as my brand message?” well, sometimes you can, if you feel like it encapsulates all of the above.)
- It should be compelling and attractive to dream clients – which means it should include something about what you believe that will also likely make them think, “Yeah, that makes sense!” or “OMG, exactly!”
- It should say something different than your competitors.
- It’s not a USP or positioning statement (although it’s similar, and they all influence each other). Your core brand message is more about creating a powerful, impactful statement that inspires or motivates, rather than pointing out a tangible differentiators, like a fast turnaround time.
(Oh, and also: In reality, businesses usually have several core brand messages, in addition to sales messages for each offer. But that’s all another story for another day.)
Finally, here are some key questions to ask yourself to get to your core message
- Write out your viewpoints on your industry. Is there anything you think or believe differently than others in your niche?
- What do you stand for – in life, in business? What actually matters to you?
- What makes you or your approach different?
Yeah, it’s a tall order. And it’s not definitely not easy to sum all this up in 1-2 sentences.
The good news? If you can nail all this, you’ll have dream clients fangirling (or boying) all over your brand – and you can finally say sayonara to your 9-5, hire your first (or next) team member, or at least stop hating “Marketing Mondays.” 🙂