Do these three simple things so your message connects better with your audience
When we’re busy, we can rush into doing things. Things that would have been better if we’d spent a bit of time planning and thinking first.
As a small business owner you wear many hats and are often responsible for all the jobs in the business, busy juggling the marketing, finance, sales, technology.
Without planning and thinking first, most things in business are less effective. And one thing that really suffers is communication.
And that makes me sad.
But worse than that, it means you’ve wasted time, energy and money on a communication that didn’t really resonate with your ideal customer.
I have a simple trick you can use to help you think about your customer when crafting a message.
It’s a visualisation, a picture you need to keep in your mind, that will help you communicate better – even when you’re in a hurry.
Paint a picture in your mind of woman wrapped up for the winter, stood out in the snow with a cosy hat on. Her winter shoes are sinking into the snow. It’s cold. So cold that she has ear muffs on. She’s looking for something…
Next time you sit down to write that sales page, speak to that customer, or craft that marketing campaign, keep this picture in mind and it will help you communicate better. You’ll be able to create a message your customer connects with.
It’s all about shoes and hats and ear muffs!
1. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes
It’s not about you, it’s about them!
Picture your ideal client / customer, put yourself in their position.
• Think about what they might think and believe
• What might they be struggling with?
• What do they really care about?
Try to get across these key messages, that demonstrate you’ve thought about them.
- Show empathy – how can you demonstrate that you understand their situation?
- Show the transformation – how does your business transform their situation
- Show your authority – why you are the person to help them. Why should they choose you?
- Show the result – what they’ll get and how they’ll feel about the end result
Try to look at things from their perspective before you communicate. That way you’ll be able to create a message that connects with them, and their situation, a lot easier.
2. Be mindful of your hat
When you communicate spontaneously, without thinking about it first, you naturally speak from a position of knowledge.
I call this your hat.
When you are communicating with your hat on, you are introducing things from your perspective, with your knowledge, your context, your familiar terminology and language.
The other person isn’t wearing your hat.
What might they know and understand?
What might they not know?
It’s easy to forget that you might be talking to someone who has very little knowledge of the subject; or perhaps doesn’t have the same knowledge and understanding as you.
Simplify your message. And use language that’s familiar to them.
Let’s say you are sitting on a knowledge scale of 0-10. And you are at 10.
Your audience might only be at 3.
Even when you try to dumb down your message you might naturally find it only scales down to 7.
Be mindful of this and try to introduce things very simply, you can build on the detail later.
Let’s think about a Vacuum cleaner.
Your audience may not know much about the mechanics of how a vacuum works, that it has a 1200 watt engine, or what the air flow, suction and pressure specifications are.
They probably don’t care.
Baffling them with information and technical words they don’t understand isn’t going to have a positive influence over the purchasing decision.
They just know that their old one is broken, they need a new one. They’d probably like it to be as good as their last one. The need it to clean the house. Ideally they’d like it to be cordless to take the pain away of constantly plugging and unplugging the damn thing. They have a set amount of money they’re looking to spend…
Cord-free. Hassle-free. Powerful Suction. £300
The message was written without a technical hat on and you’ve thought about their shoes.
This is a generalisation of course, I’m sure there’s some vacuum cleaner geeks out there who’d love to talk technical, but do you see the point?
3. Take off your ear muffs!
In other words, listen!
Never underestimate the power of listening to your audience.
How else will you know what they want, or how they feel?
You will connect with your audience much better if you can speak to their frustrations, dreams or wants.
Then you can be the person who transforms their situation.
If you don’t know what they want, how can you be sure to provide them with what they need?
What are the problems they are experiencing?
What are their deepest desires?
What is it that they want?
Why do they need it?
When I go shopping for a laptop, I admit I don’t really understand the difference between processors, gigabytes of ram and all that stuff. (Although I know some people do).
In fact my terminology is probably all wrong and out of date.
But when someone sees me coming and asks me a few questions, they soon suss out I’m no technical wizard.
I tell them I have websites to manage, I do a bit of design work, social media, a lot of writing. I use skype and web conferencing, and would like things to run as fast as they can so I can work efficiently. I want it to fit with my budget and needs.
I just want to know that it will do what I need it to do. And how much it costs.
And if someone explains to me in my language, with the examples I have used, and says this is the one you need to achieve that, and here’s how much it is, that’s what I want to hear.
If the sales assistant didn’t ask me any questions and didn’t listen to me, and just chose to talk to me with his/her hat on, I would be in danger of being bored to death with technical terms that mean nothing to me. Which, firstly, would just annoy me. And secondly, not help me with my buying decision.
Get to know your audience.
Then you’ll know how to communicate with them better.
It all sounds like common sense, but when you’re in a hurry it’s a habit, and it’s easier, to communicate with your shoes, hat and ear muffs on!
Remember this visualisation to think about their shoes, and hats. And take your ear muffs off!
If you’d like to chat to other like-minded business owners, why not come over and join us in the Business Owners Conversation Club.
We are a bit like that virtual team you sometimes miss when you work alone. We believe that working alone doesn’t need to be lonely.
We’d love to see you there.
If people don’t understand what you do, why you do it, the benefits you bring, and why customers should choose you – it’s hard to grow a business.
I help you get that absolute clarity on what you’re all about, craft that message and then use it to attract clients and grow your business.
For more tips and and guidance subscribe to Starting Conversations.