Defining what you do and how you do it sounds like an easy thing, right? You can write what you THINK prospects want to know and call it a day but you may start to wonder why no one’s biting. Why is nobody reacting to the incredible way you described your business? The key is to define it in a way that resonates with the right audience. And this requires a bit of effort – but the payoff can be huge!

So, the first question you need to think about is who is your target audience. This doesn’t mean who are all the different audiences that will buy your product or service. This means who is the audience that want to actively seek out. Try to focus on a single, and very specific, audience. Think about the size of their business (use employee # or revenue as a guideline), the industry they work in, the structure of their business (franchise, entrepreneur, not-for-profit, etc.) Or perhaps you are a customer facing business. Then you think about demographic and lifestyle factors. Then use this to start building your buyer persona.

How personas or avatars help (and what they are)

A persona or avatar is an imaginary description or detailed outline of your ideal customer. It’s an amalgamation of a typical customer and may not be representative of each of your customers, but it gives a good (and accurate) description of a ‘typical’ customer. You will see them with various labels such as: Ideal Customer Avatar, Buyer Persona or some other variation of these two.  These can take time to completely flesh out so ideally you just add to them as you go.

When you start to make your sales or even your sales calls and pitches you should be recording all this information as you go. Make sure you get answers to such questions as:

  • How did you find me?
  • What made you reach out? What made you call me?

Additional information to collect would be things like:

  • Budget (for purchasing your offering)
  • Length in business
  • Size of business (how many employees)
  • Industry
  • Professional events & publications
  • ANY personal info e.g. where do they live, married, education, hobbies, etc.

And recording who ISN’T buying is just as important as recording who is.

What makes up an effective message

When we think about messaging, the first thing we look at is the copy. What exactly are you saying? Typically, you want to think about three things: what you do, who you do it for/with, and what makes you different. Then you can work on the language e.g. vocabulary, structure, etc. Other copy would depend on why you’re sending the message e.g. special offer, discount, etc.

This is where the customer persona or customer avatar comes in. By addressing a common pain point or using common language from this demographic you have a higher chance of your message resonating and you shorten the path to a sale. When your message resonates, it can quickly lead to trust. The prospect will trust that you know what they need and that what you offer is a genuine solution.

TIP:  Remember to couch it in ‘you’ language and not ‘I’ language. This means you want to make sure you phrase it in a way that makes them believe that you have the solution to their problem. Many businesses are so caught up in telling prospects how great their offer is that they forget (or don’t have room/time) to tell them how this is the solution that they’re looking for.

Something else we should look at is placement. Where will people see this message? Think about the specific location e.g. inside page of a magazine, top of your website, bus shelter ad, social media post, etc. Where the ad is found will give insight into what they’re doing when they see it. For example, if found on social media we can assume they will have limited time and not really ‘looking’ for anything specific. If found on a bus shelter, we can assume they’re in transit and not able to immediately act. If found on your website, they are looking for something specific and can act right away (download something, book a call, etc.) Placement will also guide you in length of the message e.g. think about how much time they have to read or to think about your message.

TIP: As a small business, make your messaging as succinct as possible. Make it easy for prospects to know exactly what you do and if you do what they’re looking for. Small businesses tend to act quickly as there is less ‘red tape’ so decisions can be made quickly.

Need help with your messaging? We work with you to build messaging based on research and branding in our Value Proposition Workshop. Reach out to find out more or download our free Messaging Guide to get you started.

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