In every single industry, profit is king (or QUEEN – ahem). But before profit comes the leaps of faith that lead to the products and services that meet people’s needs, that meet YOUR people where they are, that present a solution to an aggravation, a fulfillment of a desire, or a realization of a dream.
One such leap of faith involves messaging: speaking directly to YOUR people in YOUR voice about the power of YOUR product or service to make their lives better.
But how can you know if your messaging is on target, or if it’s just missing the mark? Here’s three clues that your messaging needs a second (or third) look.
1) Lots of “likes” on social media…but very few comments.
When I first relaunched my blog in 2019 (almost 18 months prior to announcing my copywriting and content writing services), my new branding and website design (here’s my favorite theme maker, for those of you on the hunt for something new!) gathered A LOT of “likes” on Instagram and Facebook. A few people commented with congratulations and party emojis, and I even got a few subscribers to my monthly-ish email newsletter (including my Mom – thank you, Ma!).
But after that initial swell, my posts fell victim to what I like to call the ‘Gram Gap. This Grand Canyon-sized hole in many businesses’ Instagram posts refers to the frustrating ol’ conundrum of “likes” versus COMMENTS.
Here’s the thing – and it’s not news, I know – it’s WAY easier to double-tap to “like” a post than it is to leave a comment (even if that comment is simply a vote for dress no. 1 or no. 2, the name of which White Barn candle smells the best (one vote for Rose Water & Ivy!), a favorite emoji, or choosing who’s the better boy band, *Nsync or Backstreet Boys (here’s my answer to that one)).
So how do you know your messaging isn’t working? Your feed is awash in “likes,” but the comments are FEW and far between. How can you fix it? Two hints: your feed is YOURS, so it should show people who YOU are! And two – you need to CONNECT with your people. Ask them silly questions like those I listed above! Offer them quick wins or easy to-dos, and ask for theirs in return!
You CAN do this. But if you’re still stumped as to why YOUR engagement is low, let’s chat, friend!
2) A product or service launch that generates buzz, but then…crickets.
Wanna know a secret? I’m a total sucker for hype.
If you tell me that if I book in the next twenty minutes, you’ll double my order, you can betcha whatever you’re selling is already in my cart. Add free shipping to it, and I’m hitting CHECKOUT so fast I barely have time to verify my address.
But unfortunately, loving the hype doesn’t make a person excel at CREATING the hype for their own business.
So what did I do to learn how to hype up MY people? I turned to the best: Ashlyn and her team over at Ashlyn Writes. Her Primed to Launch e-course answered SO many of my questions + gave me SO many actionable takeaways to stir up a big ol’ pot of HYPE for my recent copywriting and content writing launch.
And it WORKS, y’all – her e-course gave me the confidence to hit “Send” to some of my favorite local doers and achievers, and a few days later, a client signed on the dotted line on a six-month retainer with me, and another big player approached me to collaborate with them in their new marketing venture! I just KNOW this e-course can work for YOUR business, too.
(And friends, before you ask, NO, this isn’t an ad – I just am one pleased-as-punch Ashlyn Writes alum sharing the goods with YOU!)
3) Serving everyone = serving NO ONE (unless you’re the next Amazon).
This one’s a hard one for A LOT of business owners, especially those in the retail product space. “But my product can truly help EVERYONE, Sara,” you tell me. And sure, while there’s boundless potential for YOUR product to improve a person’s life, your MESSAGING needs to speak to a SPECIFIC person, not just people in general.
Let’s try on this example for size: pretend with me that my business is selling an affordable but hardy and well-made butcher knife that I think ALL cooks should own.
So, my product description to my audience – EVERYONE – reads something like this: “Calling all cooks in America! Make your next meal delicious with this dazzler of a butcher knife. Made in America and created for cooks who know – and make! – quality, this knife is a must-have for every kitchen.”
If you’re sold by that copy, then I’m guessing you’re slightly more culinary-minded than most and may in fact be in the market for new kitchen tools and gadgets, like a knife, perhaps.
But let’s think about this another way, shall we? What if our target market shifts away from EVERYONE and towards, let’s say, adults aged 18-24 who are living on their own?
Let’s see how the copy changes: “If you make one investment in your first kitchen, make it this butcher knife. Made from trusty American steel, this knife is hardy enough to last throughout all of your life’s kitchens. Choose well today, and equip your kitchen for life; this knife is sure to tag along.”
This shift in the target market – to a more narrow, defined, and specific set of potential customers – makes a HUGE difference in the product description for this butcher knife, and you can bet it makes a BIG difference in the way the product is marketed and packaged, too.
In other words, don’t be afraid to get SPECIFIC when it comes to your ideal client: it can benefit your business – and your bottom line! – in measurable ways.
Does YOUR messaging fall trap to some of these pitfalls? If so, it’s time to take another look at the way YOU’RE serving – and selling – to YOUR people. Use these tips above to give YOUR words a refresh!