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15th January 2018 3 min read

Generic Content Serves No One

Categories — Thoughts

The words you choose to use can make a significant difference to how you are perceived by others. When you have that level of exposure, it’s worth ensuring your message resonates.

In a world without borders, your digital presence is always “on”. Your brand can be experienced by unlimited numbers of people anywhere in the world at any time of the day or night.

“Words are free. It’s how you use them that may cost you.” – KushandWizdom

Relating to your audience is key. People buy from people. What you say and how you say it has a significant impact on your reputation, sales, and growth. Words can be incredibly influential – they have the power to trigger an underlying emotion that drives action.

Many companies use messaging that starts with “we..” followed by a self-promotional statement such as:

  • “we provide the best Service X nationwide”
  • “voted the top 10 Company X by Magazine Z”
  • “founded in 1990, we have 27 years experience…
  • “our mission is to revolutionise the way the world works”

Ignore your audience and they’ll ignore you.

Your brand statements need to acknowledge the existence of the person that’s potentially reading them. Your customers need to feel reassured that you get it, that they are in the right place and that what you offer specifically addresses their needs/challenges.

If you have a clear value system that underpins everything you say, there’s a consistency and authenticity in your words that will attract those that relate to it.

So how to find the right words?

Take an approach that instantly acknowledges the reader and invite them to take action.

  • Get ready..
  • Treat yourself to..
  • Try…
  • Ever wondered..
  • Do you..
  • Imagine..

In order to relate to your customers, firstly you need to get to know yourself. Self-reflection and discovery exercises are a powerful tool to uncover the essence of what your brand stands for. Preferably use an expert to facilitate an exploratory workshop to help provoke thinking, challenge statements and identify contradictions.

Be really clear on who you’re targeting and the value you’re bringing to your audience. The more tailored and relevant your offering seems, the more strongly you connect. Consider what the three biggest pain-points you solve for your customers might be.

Even if your target audience and service offering is segmented, they are often united by a shared need or goal or value system. If you dig deep enough, you start to see what connects you to them and them to you. Trying to be all things to all people results in diluted, meaningless ‘spray and pray’ messaging. If you’re selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one.

When we work on value messaging, we focus on your ideal customer. Of all the customers you have, who is the most rewarding to work with? Wouldn’t it be great to have more customers just like this?

To make that happen, ensure your messaging directly addresses the needs and the challenges these types of clients typically have. They’re the ones you want to do business with all the time. What would your dream testimonial from your ideal customer say?

Just because you’re focusing on your dream customer, doesn’t mean you’re alienating the remainder of your customer base that falls outside this focus. This audience can still often be attracted to how you present yourself.

There’s another benefit to focused messaging. It can also speak to people that are not the right fit for what you offer. Clearly stating your position, your focus, your way of doing things eliminates misperceptions and sets expectations early on.

Your brand needs to live and breathe the way it describes itself. If you make bold claims in your messaging, you need to embody that in your behaviour. If there’s something specific you do or don’t do for your customers, let them know.  Be honest and transparent and don’t take your audience for granted. They are more informed and discerning than ever. A competitor is just a click away so speak your truth and you’ll be rewarded for it.

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