The words you use on your website, in your Instagram bio, your email marketing, and on that little postcard you send with each delivery...these are all opportunities to build a genuine connection with customers and grow your business.
But before you throw up some words on to a pretty background, or take your time to write a thoughtful story full of beautiful or catchy adjectives, there are three important things you need to think about to ensure that your words are working for your business.
What is Your Unique Selling Proposition?
First, it's important to have a well thought out, and clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This is a statement that summarizes what you offer, to who, and how you'll improve their lives better and/or differently than your competitors.
Your USP is important, because it helps you focus your messaging and makes clear to your audience how your product or service will benefit them.
And don't feel you have to come up with a USP then be locked into it. From personal experience, I've found that as I grew in my own business, my USP evolved. This is especially true for when I decided to focus on a niche.
Who is Your Ideal Customer?
The mistake many people make, myself included, is trying to appeal to too wide an audience. Sure, your product or service can help your teenage cousin and your grandma, but trying to appeal to everyone is going to dilute and convolute your messaging. And when your messaging isn't clear, or you're not speaking to your customers in a way that makes them feel seen, you're not connecting with your audience, nor are you turning a profit.
So think about your ideal customer. Create a customer avatar, give her/him/them a name. What does your customer value? What do they like to do? Thinking these details through will make your messaging that much more effective.
And remember, when someone who is not your target audience reads your words, if you're specific enough about the benefits and pain points, chances are that that person may still relate to what you're saying.
What is your brand's tone?
Coming up with your customer avatar will also help you with defining your brand's tone, and this is so important. Depending on your business, maybe your tone is your own voice. But a lot of times your tone is more about your target audience.
When I was potty training my son, many people recommended a particular book. I already had a book I was following, but out of curiosity I wanted to check this other one out. Turns out, the two books seem to follow, at least roughly, the same method. The difference though, was the tone each book was written in. In many of the Amazon reviews, I found that customers were turned off and even appalled by the tone of the recommended book. But this book seems to be one of the top-recommended potty training books so clearly it speaks to some and not others. And that's perfectly okay.
My point is, when you know your brand's tone and are able to keep messaging in line with the tone, your target audience will get you. And they'll feel like you get them.
Answering these three questions will lay a strong foundation for making your words work for you.
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