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If you’re looking to attract more high-quality clients to your business, the first imperative is to make your brand message clear, relevant, and focused.
Put yourself in the shoes of your dream clients. They’re busy. Distracted. Overwhelmed. Bombarded with thousands of messages every day. If you want them to understand WHAT YOU DO and WHY IT’S FOR THEM you have to make it easy for them to ‘get it’ instantly.
And yet, unclear, overly-clever, wishy-washy and complicated brand messages abound!
But I understand why…
It’s a huge a challenge for business owners — especially solopreneurs — because we’re expected to boil down everything we do and everything we are and stand for into a catchphrase or a 5-6 word tagline.
I don’t know about you, but this type of exercise is enough to hurl me into an existential crisis — WHO AM I? WHAT’S IT ALL FOR?
Forced cleverness doesn’t help people understand that you’re the one who can help them solve their problems so let’s make this easy. Here’s a simple framework you can use to clarify your brand message…
The 5 Components Of A Crystal Clear Brand Message
#1 What problem do you solve?
It all starts here guys. If you’re not crystal clear about the problem you solve for people — if you’re throwing all the things you’re capable of doing on your services page and expecting people to make sense of that, or you’ve written a manifesto on your home page — you’re making it hard for the right people to find and hire you.
If you’re spending a lot of time on social media, building your email list, or fussing with clever copy for your website but your customer is thinking, “What is it you do, exactly?” your marketing efforts are going to amount to a whole lot of wasted effort.
Get clear on this first and then market your business with the intention of communicating it consistently. Make this one change and you’ll begin to see traction. People will start showing up in your inbox to do the right work because you told them what that is.
This is your niche.
#2 Who is it for?
I’m going in the correct order here. First, you figure out the problem you solve — What are your strengths? Where is your zone of genius? What is the work you’re meant to be doing? What painful problem can you solve for people? What work do you want to become KNOWN for? — and THEN you figure out who you want to solve it for.
If you’ve already chosen a specific market segment (people you really like serving?) but you haven’t figured out the painful problem you’re going to solve for them, they’ll understand what you’re selling is for THEM but they’re not going to understand they NEED it.
Use this simple formula: “I help [target audience] [achieve this transformation] by [your solution].”
Stick that in all your social media bios, your email signature, and everywhere you can — it will be far more effective than a clever tagline that doesn’t get to the heart of what you can do to help your dream clients live their best lives.
#3 In what ways is the experience of working with you different?
This is your value proposition — what makes you the best choice out of all the options they’re considering?
What are the specific benefits? How is your approach, philosophy, or process different?
You want to make your points of difference crystal clear too, otherwise, they’ll make a decision based on price and I’m going to assume that’s not what you want.
Use this simple value proposition formula: “I’m the one that __________.”
#4 What are you like?
People work with people they know, like, and trust. So how can you give complete internet strangers a sense of what that experience is going to be like?
You do it by choosing your words and the way you use them carefully. Your tone of voice in your writing and in your marketing content should give them a glimpse of what you’re like as a person.
Give your brand personality — if you’re whimsical, quirky or nerdy, don’t be afraid to express that in your words and brand visuals. If you’re no-nonsense, serious, and reliable — same. The important thing here is for your marketing messages to be in alignment with what the actual experience is really like.
And if you’re struggling with this at all… ask your past clients what that experience is like. Then, use those words to inform your brand message.
#5 Why are you doing this thing?
This isn’t necessarily something you have to put in your tagline, but it’s something you should figure out so you have an overall brand purpose to ground you.
In my work with clients to create their client-attraction strategy, creating a purpose statement is one of the first exercises we do. It probably feels a bit out of left field at first (“Why is this lady making me answer all these woo-woo questions?”), but a magical thing happens when people get clear about this…
Everything makes sense.
Everything has a larger reason, purpose, mission… and brand messages are easier to create because they know exactly WHY they’re creating the message in the first place.
And this is why people will connect with you too… they’ll sign up with YOU because you’re the one who is here to help them better understand who they are (as it relates to your brand) and become a better version of themselves too. Simple but profound, and far more effective than a clever catchphrase!
An effective brand message is one that’s clear about the problem you solve, who you solve it for, the ways working with you is different than the alternative options and what that experience will be like, and the big reason why you’re the one for them.
Taughnee Stone is an award-winning designer, brand strategist, and location-independent business owner for over 15 years. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, she now lives in Croatia with her husband, energetic Samoyed, and three bossy cats.