How to define the core message of your brand without stressing about what others are doing.
Do you struggle with figuring out what makes your business special? Are you trying to stand out from your competitors but you can’t find the THING that makes you different? Are you wondering how to define your core message when you are not sure what makes you special in the first place?
We get it. Building a business, especially if you do it alone, can feel overwhelming.
And what feels even worse is everybody telling you that you “should have” this and that otherwise you simply can’t be successful. Anyone?
Let me tell you this…
Not only I’ve been where you are, but I also know how to help.
And it is not as hard as it seems.
1. You do not have to go into completely opposite direction than your competitors to be different.
You don’t have to hate donuts only because your competitor sells them. You don’t have to abandon pink color only because it’s their brand color.
Being authentic and original does not mean looking up what others are doing and going with something totally different. After all, you do not want to base all of your business decisions on what other people are doing, right? RIGHT?
You want your message to be YOURS.
You want to say what you think is important, what resonates with your believes and values. And if it sounds similar to what others are saying?
WHAT you say can be similar to your competitors. But HOW you say it…that sets you apart from them. Your point of view, experiences, skills is what really makes the difference.
2. Why is the core message so important?
First and foremost, it is the very foundation of your business. Everything you do should reflect this message you want to send.
Every time someone asks what you do, you will have few seconds (max minutes) to explain it the way that people not only understand but ideally like what they hear.
It also helps you with the marketing itself. Writing copy for your website, creating packages and services, list building…it will feel much easier once you know what message you want to convey and why.
It helps you create an emotional connection. Once your website copy not only describes your services but explains the why behind them, it will resonate with your customers for the right purpose.
Your customers have a key role in communicating your message
Well, your customers (real or potential) will be the ambassadors of your brand no matter if you want it or not. And they will make their opinions based on what they see, which can either help or hurt your brand in the process. Therefore it is always better to give them something to work with rather than letting them assume that they know you.
Because assumptions can be deadly!
Additionally, third-party reviews, testimonials, and recommendations are much more powerful and credible than what you actually say about your brand.
So help them spread the right things!
3. How to define your core message?
What to do:
First, you need to know who your target audience is and what problem they are dealing with. If you are not 100% sure just yet, you can poll your existing audience, create surveys or ask questions in Facebook groups. If you have previous clients you’ve worked with, you can ask them as well.
What not to do:
Don’t ask your family, husband or best friends unless you are sure they are your target audience. Otherwise, their opinion or preferences are not really relevant and could confuse you or send you in the wrong direction.
After you know their pain points, get very clear on how you can help to solve them with your offer. In the best case scenario, your products or services already target these pain points and so the only missing thing is to verbalize this core message that you want to share with your audience.
It is a few sentence pitch that you not only want to tell potential clients but that you will also write on your website or in the bio section of your social media.
Luckily we prepared two templates to help you craft a perfect core message you can start using right now!
1. “We/I provide (compelling adjective) (your product/service) for (who is your customer) (description of the customer referring their pain point).”
Take our core message as an example: “We provide an authentic branding for small businesses and entrepreneurs that are not afraid to be seen!”
2. “My/our (compelling adjective) (your unique service or product) helps (your target customer) to (how you can help them with their pain point).”
Example created for an attorney: “My dedicated law practice helps small businesses to get started the right way, without unnecessary confusion and insecurities.”
Final Tip: Follow your gut!
Look for something that feels “too easy” or “too obvious. It is actually very likely that your WHY is the thing you can’t stop talking about, the something that excites you the most and THE thing why you are in your business in the first place…and all these “things” form your brand core message.
What you say to your customers should feel real (therefore authentic) and it should tell them some story. Because people connect with stories. Stories are also what differentiates your brand from your competitor.