What do they want from you?

Trying to figure out what to say in your marketing sometimes feel like an unsolvable puzzle. What do people really want and need to see? Should your messaging focus on how you’re different and better than the competition? Or maybe you should feature the features and benefits of your product/service. Or maybe you should cut right to the chase and tell them your prices.

I see far too many business owners struggle with this challenge. Too much emotional language and it feels like fluff. Too much focus on the sale and it feel aggressive. Does any of this sound familiar? Here are a few tips to help you out.

  1. Know your ideal client. This can’t be said too many times. How can you possibly know what to say when you are unclear who you are talking to? Think of it this way: if you are talking to your best friend Suzy, you know exactly how to communicate with her. From how formal or informal your vocabulary is to how many supporting details you need in your story, you know Suzy and you know what will keep her interested. If you’re not talking to only Suzy, but the entire professional association to which she belongs, you may have to rethink the way you communicate. The more detailed your ideal customer avatar is, the more specific you can be in your messaging. The more specific you are in your messaging, the greater impact you will have.
  2. Ask people what they want. Yes, we are going straight for the obvious. Ask a client if your communication style resonates with them. Do a quick poll in your email and ask which form of communication they prefer. Send out a customer survey to see if you are addressing their needs (pain) and if they feel you really care about them. Hire a third party to do quick telephone interviews to check if customers’ experiences are aligned with your promise (brand congruency). Ask clients what questions they have of you. Most times you don’t even have to ask, pay attention to the questions people are already asking you.
  3. Test and track response. Using the information you gather, outline a framework for what you are going to say and in what communication style. Stick to your plan for a prescribed amount of time so you can track response. The amount of time will depend on how often you are pushing out content. For example, you need multiple touchpoints before making an informed decision. Don’t change your approach with every single email or postcard or social media post, you will create confusion and your responses won’t be reliable enough to use for decision making.

The bottom line is this: people want to know if you are a fit for them. They want to trust that your product or service is going to HELP THEM. They want to feel like they are making a smart choice. People typically say they are making an intellectual decision, when in reality most decisions are based on emotions with some facts thrown in to make us feel better about our behavior. This is not to say people make poor decisions when they are emotion-based, it’s quite the opposite. Most people use their emotion as a barometer and it is pretty darn reliable. If you know humorous examples work with your audience, don’t get all formal, facts-and-figures in your marketing just because your competitor is doing it. Identify with your audience, let them know you understand their wants, and let them know how you can help them. If you are sharing relevant information, people will resonate with it and appreciate you for giving them what they need to help them out and also help them make decisions.


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