What is your message?
If you’ve been to networking groups much you’ll be familiar with the ’60 seconds’ (or similar) where individuals get up and tell the group a bit about what they do. How many 60 seconds leave you still wondering what that person really does?
When you consider that most people speak at the rate of about 120 words a minute it’s worrying that they can’t get their message across clearly in that time. When you cut that down to a short headline on a web page, marketing flyer, email subject line or any other written material it means that you need to get your message across CLEARLY in twelve words or less.
Practise stating your message in 12 words or less so that people understand what you deliver well enough to want to know more.
Who are you talking to?
OK – this is about niches! You’ve probably heard about knowing your niches, but it doesn’t matter how slick your message is if it isn’t aimed at the right audience. You can’t craft a message that will appeal to ‘everybody’; all you end up with is a broad and bland statement that doesn’t engage anyone.
If you’re creating marketing material you’ll waste a lot of money, time and effort if you are using a blanket approach. Pick a niche and craft your message just for that niche. This doesn’t mean you can’t repeat the exercise with a different niche, but make sure you’re using the right message for the right audience.
What’s stopping them getting your message?
When someone is talking their presentation can make their message compelling or boring. Think of those people who have irritating habits – verbal idiosyncracies (‘anyway’, ‘like’, ‘you know’) or physical mannerisms (staring at the wall whilst speaking, flapping or clapping hands) – do you remember what they were talking about?
When you’re presenting your message in written form – online or on paper – you need to know what stops a perfectly good message getting through to the reader. These barriers include:
- Size, style and type of font
- Colour combinations
- Position of the message
- Other things going on around your message that distract the reader
Writing compelling copy is only a part of the equation that makes marketing work!
Lesley Morrissey is a commercial copywriter and expert in readability – working with companies to help them get their message right and present it to their target audience effectively.
There’s more information and support at www.lesleywriter.com; look in the Treasure Chest and read the blog.