We have a fabulous cafe in our neighborhood where I love to get a cup of coffee or a decadent dessert. The restored brick building is oozing with character alongside the outdoor patio that has a big city vibe beckoning me to relax with a friend. Every time I come home from the cafe, my clothes smell like the place. The scent is distinctive, but I don’t mind because it evokes happy memories.
So what does this have to do with your message?
Your message is much like the smell of a good restaurant. It should permeate everything you write. There should be no doubt in your reader’s mind what your message is about or why someone would come to you for help. If your writing has nothing distinctive, or if your message is bland, then it won’t be memorable.
The problem for too many writers is that their message sometimes isn’t clear and they may not even realize it.
Your message is what will permeate every single thing you write and put out on the internet.
Your copy needs personality and there’s nothing that will squash interest more than boring, forgettable copy.
So how do you make your message memorable and engaging?
Let’s start with finding your message first. If you already have your message down, you’ll want to make sure it’s rock solid clear before you move on to other marketing tactics.
Because your message is the gold that people need to discover.
When you nail your message, you’ll begin to see a reaction. People will talk about it, respond to it, comment on it and sit up and take notice.
I call this your gold message because gold is valuable. People take notice of it. It stands out from everything else.
In order to make sure you have a message that is gold, you need to do some work. That’s why in this first step we’re going to mine your gold.
. It might sound odd to talk about mining our message. After all, shouldn’t it just be organic? Yes and no. Sometimes our messages develop organically, but usually only after we’ve done some deep digging.
So what does it mean to mine your gold? To mine something means we need to excavate it, dig it up, do the deep work of exploring what you’re passionate about and what other people are talking about, and then seeing how those two things collide.
Step 1: Mine your Gold
During the gold rush, people who were motivated to strike it rich would spend hours sifting through dirt and sand to uncover a small piece of gold.
As writers, we need to do the same. Our gold message usually isn’t the first one we discover. It may take years of honing our message, crafting it until we finally build an audience who wants what we have to offer. It’s something we have to uncover through the work of sifting through many messages until we find one that’s gold.
But here’s the hard part: it’s difficult to see if your own message really works without doing some target market research first. Searching through different brand messages is part of the process of finding yours. To understand how to craft a great message, you have to look at the messages already crafted and understand why they work.
All of us have certain messages we love and there’s usually a reason behind why we love them. You’re going to spend some time researching your favorite brands, authors, or influencers and figure out why you love their message.
By researching those who’ve successfully crafted their message, you’ll create a list of favorite brand messages and why you like them. This will help you discover what makes a well-crafted message and the psychology behind why you like it.
Exercise 1: Research Other Brands
One of my favorite brands is Apple. Their message is Think Different. That message is only two words, and implies so much more than what you get at first glance.
Apple’s message says that their client is different, creative, unique and willing to go against convention. It defines their audience and makes them feel good about themselves. See how all of that came out of studying their message?
Now it’s your turn. Study the message of 5 favorite brands/influencers. It can be an author, a company, a book, an influencer, or any combination of the above. For this exercise it’s good to look at examples where their message is making an impact and causing a buzz. This is to help you understand how to craft a message and what messages resonate with you.
After you make a list of all the messages, answer these questions:
1. What is this message really saying?
2. Why does it work?
3. How does it make their reader feel?
Do this exercise with bloggers, influencers, writers, and brands and you’ll start to see patterns and understand the psychology behind marketing.
When you start with understanding your audience first, you’ll be more likely to capture their attention and hook them as a long-term fan.