In the last year I’ve most likely listened to Donald Miller more than I care to admit. If you don’t know who Donald is you really should. He’s not only a fabulous author and speaker, he’s a wonderful human being. His books help business owners tell their story effectively. The entire world of human interaction is based on the stories that we all tell.
If you’ve ever been to a campfire or done a camping weekend with kids you know that scary story time is the most coveted part of the journey (aside from the s’mores). We ALL LOVE STORIES. Your clients love stories too, but there is one crucial piece we often miss, they want to be the hero of the story. We tend to try to write as if we’re the hero, when we should be writing ourselves as a supporting character.
I’ve said this before but how many businesses will go on and on in their homepage about all the awesome things they do, but never actually address or talk about the client. That’s a HUGE mistake. Getting your website content to speak to your audience, clearly, might be one of the most important pieces of your digital puzzle.
Here are 5 things you can do to communicate your story clearly!
1. Speak Like A Human
What is more engaging to you between the following statements.
”In 1999 James P. Martin lost his job and decided to start a business. Here we are 20 years later still in the business which is now a family owned company. We have 15 employees full-time.”
”My father had a vision. What started as a journey through unemployment turned into a business that has built a personal connection with our most important asset: YOU. We are here to serve your business in a deeply personal way by making sure you never need another plumber.”
Speak like a human! Nobody wants to read a boring-ass press release. Talk like you talk, or better yet – talk the way your audience talks. Chances are they’re similar voices.
2. What Makes You Different
Highlight what makes you stand out as a “category of one” vs focusing on mudslinging your competitors and the nitty gritty of what makes you “better” — because everybody can dig up dirt on everybody else. If you set out to keep score, you’ll always lose. (How many times have I said that to my kids? Is this about parenting? Where am I?)
We have a lot of insider information into our industry as you can imagine, but it’s rare that we throw other agencies or freelancers under the bus. We just talk about what we are most strong at, and how working with us is different. There are some clients that aren’t a good fit for us and that’s okay. Once you see that you can easily communicate with the ones that you want to work with!
3. Keep the Focus on Your Customer
Think about how you want your customer to feel during/ after they use your service or product. Talk to them in a way that makes them feel that, or at least feel like that’s possible. Many of our clients struggle to imagine what it’s like to have an awesome website, and rank in the top 3 on Google. They can’t imagine it, but we can imagine it for them! Imagine your customer in that car they’ve always wanted, or with that deck their family needs? Can you paint that picture for them?
I’ve been told in the past that people stop buying because of noise and confusion. If they don’t understand how your product or service benefits them, they are not likely to buy from you. So keep your messaging focused on how your business can help them!
4. Tell the Real Story
Especially for service based businesses, tell your actual story – why you’re offering this service, how you got here, why you’re inspired to offer what you offer. “I saw this need, it was important to me, and here’s how I met it/ fixed it for other people”.
I struggle with this one personally because it’s hard to open up to people I don’t know, and that’s some of what this blog is for me, an outlet of creative and emotional “opening up” 😉 For Muletown Digital, after working as a technical lead for many agencies, I could imagine a world where agencies actually helped their clients achieve success. I wanted us to be more than a design agency, and boy have we succeeded. The truth is, the clients that know us the best, love us the most. Make sure they know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing!
5. Short and Sweet for the Win
Keep it short! We don’t need to go all the way back to your high school report card (unless you were inspired to build a better high school report card). There are times on your website where (for SEO purposes) you should talk at length about your services. There are also places for what we like to call “conversion copy”. That’s what we’re talking about here. Keep it short, clear, and to the point.
Messaging doesn’t have to be difficult!
If you’re stuck with your messaging, please reach out so we can help you. Don’t suffer in silence, while your competition steals your customers. Make sure that your messaging is on point with your brand and your audience. Let us know how we can help!
Looking forward to connecting with you soon!
Adam Silverman with the help of our favorite content strategist Betsy Snyder of MightyFine Words.