I’m always reading books about how I can better run my business. One thing messaging does, when I think back to all those books I’ve read, is that it helps you define your story in a better light. I think about those books and few of them never really asked me what my big message was, or what my company message was about. It made realize how often messaging is missed. So when we talk about messaging when we run a business, what does it mean?
Messaging versus your business plan
A business plan is the best guide in the world. But if you’re not figuring out your message, then you’re never going to reach people in the way you want. If you’re starting a business, or currently running your business, take time to think about what are some of the big messages that define what you do and who you are. Go deeper than just what you offer. Think about what your product does.
Marketing that creates emotion
What is the feeling you are capturing? What do people experience when they walk into your doors or sign you up as a client? What does it mean for you to do this? What does it mean for people to buy from you? What are you about? Why do you matter? Why do you want to do this?
All that is messaging.
How do you make people’s lives easier? How do you fix their issues? How do you ease their pain? Why should they go to you but not someone else?
Messaging isn’t about solving only a product problem, it’s about solving an emotional problem.
The reason for your marketing
Why does this matter to you? Why did you go into business? Why is your package better than anyone else’s? What gets you up in the morning to do this work? What drives you to succeed? This connects back to why you do this work. If you can define that, you can turn that into a message that makes sense to people. No one wants to buy from someone that doesn’t believe in their own business. This might sound obvious, but I’ve met Managers and Executive Directors who don’t love what they do. As a result, their company doesn’t succeed.
What gets your employees up in the morning? What kind of company culture are you fostering? What are the tenants that they live by? Why do they come into work? What do they mean to you? How do they try to provide the best service that they can?
The value in the message
Values are great; a mission statement is great. At the same time, values and a mission only matter if the reasons behind them are true and focused. If your message isn’t there, the values and mission are floating out on their own with no focus or direction. Values only matter if the messaging of the company is clear.
I think we’ve seen recently how little values can sometimes matter to companies. Look at all the companies that have blown up their business because of bad behavior, poor leadership, and toxic behaviors. Those CEOs didn’t hold to their values, so why would their employees? Values do not mean much if no one on your team, from the top person to the lowest rung, is actually following them. Values become just a bunch of sentences. The real heart of your company is the message that drives you: who you are, who you serve, what you offer, and why you do it.
I think values can be just a front if they are not tied into honest, focused messaging. Employees are handed company values, tucked nicely in a binder, and many of those values are forgotten the very next day. A message goes deeper, it gets to the heart of the company, and it changes lives.