All good communications begin with a strong and powerful message that reaches the target audience and motivates them to act. Many companies settle for a surface level “this is what we do” approach, but that has limited effectiveness.

You Have To Do More Than Preach The Message…

Before you share anything, spend a few minutes thinking about what you’re going to share. Get your head clear and find your message. Ask yourself 3 questions:

What is the argument that I am trying to make?
What is the problem I am solving?
What action do I want my audience to take?

Remember, your messaging should be on a topic valuable and relevant to your readers. If you’re sharing to potential clients, for example, a good topic might be “Why You Should Hire a Me” or “5 Things Your Business Can Do to Make Your Customers Life Easier.”

A great way to come up with topics is to review questions you’ve had from previous clients and answer them in a post. If you don’t have any past clients, you could look for questions on forums or in social media and answer those.

You Have To Be The Message!

The fastest way to get your message across is to write about a subject you could be considered an expert in. But keep in mind; it should also be of interest to your readers.

“Marketing gets easier – and more effective – when you realize it’s just communication. It’s everything you say to customers, and it’s also everything you do. Focus on what your words and actions are communicating – your content, your site, your support team – and you’ll find that your relationships with your customers start to ‘magically’ get better. And that’s when you see the loyalty, social sharing, and referral business that create vibrant health for your business.”

–Brian Clark, founder, and CEO of Copyblogger

Customer-Centric Marketing

In order to grow revenue and gain market share, you must get the attention of and engage with members of your target audience during the early stages of their decision-making process. To gain their attention and engage with them, your strategies must be focused on your customers, their pains, their needs, their interests, and their challenges.

Be specific about what you can do to help them. Instead of saying you are a graphic designer, tell prospects what you do instead. For example, do you create logos, business cards, and brochures? That’s what they want to know. Rather than just saying you are a communications consultant or business writer, tell them how you can help with employee newsletters, annual reports, or ghostwriting articles. Even when you don’t know what that prospect may need, providing examples of your work will better communicate how you can fulfill their needs.

Key takeaways:

Stop pitching your products.
Stop trying to be clever by pretending a product promotion is a helpful piece of content.
Give away your expertise that educates, informs and entertains — without promoting your product.
Start making a clear distinction between content that is meant to clearly define your offering and content that is meant to engage your audience by providing them with useful education or entertainment.

Are You Listening?

When you’re trying to reach the new media ‘consumer generation’ of smartphone and tablet users, don’t underestimate the value of your content. But be aware that this new tech-savvy generation, who cannot be defined by any particular age, gender, income or nationality wants to be heard. And they can tell if you’re listening or not.

Communicate with Courage

Your business is small, but your ideas don’t have to be. Don’t let your communications be ordinary and forgettable. Like some of the biggest brands in the world, Apple, AT&T and McDonald’s, your company can evoke powerful emotions with your images, videos and messages if you just dig deeper and have a unique point of view that you can use to attract and build your community. Small businesses can take bigger chances and defy conventional thinking more easily than larger ones so use that advantage in your communications and do something unique and amazing for your audiences. Write down your message map with a statement that defines your business from the customer’s perspective and then your top three (no more) benefits to that customer’s life. Focus ALL of your communications into these messages and stick to them. As a small biz owner, we already know that you’re brave. The challenge is to let that courage shine through in everything your brand touches.