3 Wildly Important Ways to Focus Your Message (Part II)

photo credit: GavinBell via photopin cc

photo credit: GavinBell via photopin cc

Sure, you’re an animal when it comes to creating a teaser, but can you close the deal with your message? In the first post in this series, we discussed identifying your target (the what), your tribe (the who) and your territory (the where). Now let’s determine how, why and when to communicate and make a transaction.

You’ve worked tirelessly to brainstorm, research best practices, devise spreadsheets and a critical path, conduct meetings with appropriate stakeholders, analyze probable ROI and … well, let’s face it, practice selling it to yourself in the mirror so YOU believe in it. That’s an awful lot of investment – and humility – to sacrifice for something so silly as poor delivery. Get your act together and do the damn thang.

Fine-tune your focus by asking these wildly important questions.

1. How should you purr?

How are you going to reach your tribe? The delivery of your target needs to be precisely positioned, so you need to consider how to package it. Look at the terrain available.

  • Is email the best option?
  • Does your message require a photo?
  • Do you need to deliver the message in a presentation?
  • Does your target require training sessions?
  • Do you need to print hard copies to distribute?
  • Do you need to translate it into different languages?
  • Do you need to include case studies?
  • Should you post an infographic to Pinterest?
  • Can you say it in 140 characters or fewer and post it to Twitter?
  • Should you post it to your Facebook page?
  • Would it be wise to post it as a video online or on a back-of-house screen?
  • Should you take advantage of SlideShare?
  • Should you – oh, boy, brace yourself for this one – drop it into a physical mailbox?

Attention spans are decreasing with every new technological breakthrough, so it’s important to understand the territory of your tribe. Go to where they are and purr in their language.

Your goal is to lunge into their lungs and secure an emotional connection, and instantly. Yes, even with a new business initiative. Especially with a new business initiative. Remember, people buy two things: results and experience. They need to connect in order to comprehend. They will want to know what’s in it for them, how it affects them and what it can do for them.

“Make your message count. Unless you have a clear message, no one will know who you are. Within 30 seconds, people forget who you are.” – Bill Walsh, CEO/founder of business coaching/venture capital firm Powerteam International

2. Why should you practice your prowess?

You’ve spent days, weeks, months, even years putting a program together. You have, but they haven’t. Because you’re so close to the project, you’ve developed phrases, acronyms and words that belong in your own personal dictionary. Keep in mind your audience is hearing or reading your message for the first time. Practice speaking your words aloud. Do they flow? Are they clear? Are they simple? Do they purr in your tribe’s language? Again, your words are important. They’re part of your brand.

“Own a word in the mind,” says Al Ries, author of Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It. “The mere fact that your company is the leader in your category might have no meaning to the customer. It’s not your leadership that matters. What matters is owning the word in the prospect’s mind that defines the category.”

3. When should you pounce?

When planning your content strategy, apply the principles of Isiah Reese, head director of World Wide Marketing (OEM) for Microsoft: Have a forward-thinking mindset, be ready, aim for something and shoot (lay out your goals). After you’ve established your target, tribe and territory, and you’ve figured out how to purr and why, you’re prepared to pounce.

Assess the timing of your message. What day and at what time should you share the information to reach your tribe effectively?

Consider the following when preparing to launch your communication:

  • Have you reviewed the analytics of your past messages to determine when your tribe is most receptive?
  • What is happening in the operation?
  • What other initiatives are taking place that might cause interference?
  • Is it a holiday break?

Timing could be the most important piece of focusing your content strategy. Don’t risk your investment with poor scheduling.

Laser focus is applicable to everything because the discipline you commit to one area spills over into every other area. Focus your messages and focus your business. Go get ’em, tiger.

What process do you use to focus your content?

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2 thoughts on “3 Wildly Important Ways to Focus Your Message (Part II)

  1. pt3571 says:

    I just read part 1 and 2. This was absolutely on target for my brainstorming concerning my company. I’ve been thinking so much about how to narrow the focus a bit so that I can reach my “tribe”. Right on time! Thanks!

    Like

  2. melissajdixon says:

    Ha! That’s great news, PT! Thanks for stopping by.

    It can be so tough to focus. I’m so impatient with things, but as I was reminded today, “Only God can send the water, but sometimes He wants you to dig a ditch. Real faith believes big but is willing to start small.” I’m digging.

    I’m so eager to launch the redesign. Patience …

    Like

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