Welcome! This is post #1 of my new series, Why You Should Update Your Website to Showcase Who You Are Now. If you missed the introductory post, check it out here.
Don’t freak out about the term “messaging guide.” Don’t shut down because it feels too market-y, too sales-y, or too business-y. Stay with me! The key to creating your messaging guide is to make it short, sweet, and soulful.
A messaging guide is a short and sweet document (1-2 pages MAX) that codifies your communications with your audience: WHAT you communicate about and WHO you communicate to.
The purpose of a messaging guide is to help you develop and strengthen your brand. A brand is not just the look and feel of your website, logo, or business cards. Your brand is what you’re known for – what you offer. What you promise.
It’ll ensure that your weekly original content (blog, podcast, or video) aligns with your free opt-ins (your checklist, cheat sheet, free meditation, video series) and the content you publish on your social media profiles. It’ll help you plan content by giving you a concrete jumping off point. Plus, when you’re ready to evolve your message and your brand, you’ll know exactly what you’re pivoting from and pivoting to.
Since this series is focusing on updating your website to showcase who you are now, I want to start with a messaging guide. A messaging guide will enable you to spot the outdated messaging and branding points on your website. And it will help you communicate who you are now.
Below are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re creating your messaging guide. Want some more inspiration? You can swipe my own messaging guide here.
Don’t let yourself get stuck on these or tell yourself you don’t know. Your messaging guide will be a living, breathing document – you’ll tweak it as you go! This is just a starting point.
- What’s your one-sentence brand promise? In other words: what’s your big-picture offer? What does your business provide? If you could only be known for one thing, what would it be? Remember what Albert Einstein once said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
- WalMart’s brand promise is the “low-cost leader.”
- TREsemme’s is “professional, affordable.”
- BMW’s is “the ultimate driving machine.”
- Mine is: “soul-aligned content & marketing solutions.”
- Next up is your position. This is how you execute on your brand promise. What do you offer, and to whom? What sets you apart from others in your industry?
- Who is your ideal client? Remember what I shared last week: ideally, your niche should have 3 levels of specificity. For example, super-successful coach Jody Moore started out coaching stay-at-home Mormon moms who wanted to stop yelling at their kids.
- What 3 themes will you cover in all of your content?
- If you have a lot of content that you’ve already developed, go back through your most successful blogs or podcasts or social media posts and start sorting them into categories. Then use these to hone in on your 3 themes! I like to include a few bullet points under each theme to unpack it a little further.
- Who are your inspirations? What are their taglines / brand promises?
- What 3 things are you obsessed with right now? Susan Hyatt is obsessed with Beyonce. I’m obsessed with green smoothies. Your obsessions lend the flavor of your personality to your content and make it fun and relatable.
- List 10 words that describe you, your personality, and your business. These should pop off the page! Don’t use corporate speak. When you’re writing web copy and content, refer to this list and swap out boring words for these.
Want a little more inspiration? Swipe my messaging guide!
September 17, 2018