Their websites look so great! Their social media is on point. They have great photos and creative videos. Even the people who work for them look good!
I would agree that all these things are awesome and great to have. As the competition is crushing it in these areas you look sadly at your website and social media and wish you had a budget to hire that big design agency down the road.
I have some good news for you. Stop feeling down!
As good as those things may be, they ultimately aren't the things that cause people to buy. You could spend a lot of money on all these elements and still miss reaching your customers.
People buy your products based on the words they hear and read. Simply put—if they are confused they won’t buy.
Sure creative campaigns are great and will draw people in, but clarity is what makes creativity effective. If you are creative without being clear then you just wasted big bucks.
The main thing that will cause your brand to stand out in a sea of noise is CLARITY.
As people scroll through their Facebook and Instagram feeds, clear words are the words that will stick. As they search websites for the best product or service, the one that is easiest for them to understand will be the one they do business with.
I might be drawn into a website with great moving backgrounds, colors and creative features, but I will quickly get frustrated if I can't figure out how to do business with the creative company. I’m clicking away to find something that is easy for me to make sense of.
If I go to your website and can quickly understand what problem you solve for me, how you solve it and how I can do business with you--the chances of getting my money increase drastically!
So let's get to work on making your language clear!
This may seem obvious, but it's not. Many brands are too vague and fancy with their words.
One creative team for a design agency sits in a room and brainstorms how to market their product. They decide to say, "We are for aesthetic beauty." as the main header on their website with the picture of a man backpacking in the most aesthetically pleasing countryside one could find.
The second small business owner, freelancer web-designer (you), with a small budget decides to say, "I build websites that work." as the main header with a picture of a happy person browsing the internet.
The creative company may sell lots of websites, but the clear company will have a competitive advantage simply because the customer knows what they do without having to think too much.
Creativity is great! Just be careful it doesn't' make your message unclear.
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." - Albert Einstein
If I gave you 30 seconds, could you clearly state what problems you solve for your customer, how you solve them and how they can do business with you? If not you may be losing customers and need more clarity.
Test your sales pitch on someone who is an outsider to your industry and see if they get what you do. Remember you only have 30 seconds with a sales pitch and with your website you only have 5 seconds! You can’t afford to be unclear.
Look at all your marketing material and determine if you are clear or if you are using vague language.
This seems like a no brainer too, but it's not. Many brands assume their customer wants what they are selling. However that's not really what they want.
At a primitive level the only thing we want as humans is to survive and thrive. Customers are only really looking for things that will help make their lives better in some way.
Can you clearly articulate how your product intersects with what your customers really want?
They want their lives to be less overwhelming and easy, so I am selling them tax software.
They want to feel confident with their investments, so I am selling them a trusted advisor.
They want a unique adventure and travel experience, so I am selling them AirBnb.
Clearly define what your customers want and use that language in your marketing.
This goes along with the previous item, but stating the problem your customer deals with helps to really clarify why you exist as a brand.
If there is no problem, no one is showing up to your store or hopping on your website. As soon as you stop identifying with the problem you solve, the customer stops paying attention.
The language that sells is language that helps your customer understand that you empathize with their troubles.
You are selling more than tax software; you are solving confusion and frustration by selling a way to save time and money.
You are selling more than financial planning; you are solving fear and uncertainty by selling peace of mind.
You are selling more than variety in travel (AirBnb); you are solving a mundane life, by selling unique experiences.
Clearly define what problems you solve for your customer and use that language in your marketing.
Many brands make the mistake of assuming customers know how to do business with them.
Isn't it obvious? They just need to call or email to get started!
As obvious as it may seem to do business, customers are hesitant to act if you can't paint a picture for them of what the process might look like.
Simply stating the process helps create a mental path for customers to picture how they can get from where they are to where they want to be.
Even the most obvious and well known businesses need this. For example most people are familiar with the real estate process. So a realtor could just have a "call now" button on his website.
But the realtor that says "It's simple. First, you schedule a call. Second, we determine your needs. Third, I find the home of your dreams" will do way more business than the first guy.
He created clear steps for the customer to picture what doing business might look like.
Clearly show your customer what steps to doing business with you looks like and use that language in your marketing.
Many brands are afraid to make the strong ask because they are afraid to be the salesy guy on late night infomercials.
Guess what? You aren't that guy, so stop being afraid! If you applied the ideas from #2 and #3 you position yourself as a brand who cares about your customer, so you won't come across as pushy.
Instead of making “the ask" many brands use vague language like "get started" or "learn more" as their primary calls to action.
The problem with using such passive language is it communicates to your customer you aren't confident in your product or service.
When on your website, if your customer doesn't clearly understand what it looks like to do business with you, they are going to struggle doing business with you. Seems obvious right?
Use clear calls to action with action verbs like: "Call today," "Schedule an appointment," or "Buy now." These express confidence in your brand and help define the relationship you expect with your customer.
It's a shame if a customer gets on your website and can't ever figure out that you are trying to sell them something. You are losing money because of the lack of clarity.
Make clear calls to action and put a call to action in all your marketing. Also put a different colored button in the top right of your nav bar that says "BUY NOW!”
If you've talked to anyone older than 40 you may have heard them complain that people today just don't read anymore. (By the way, thanks for reading this far!)
Maybe there is truth in that statement. But we aren't going to reverse this trend. You keep writing those paragraphs and you will keep losing business.
"Perfection is not when there is more to add, but no more to take away." - Antoine DeSaint-Exupery
Lacking in the amount of reading doesn't mean lacking in quality of material, in fact it's quite the opposite.
Think of a well-designed room that makes you feel at peace--it's most likely the room where all the clutter has been removed and the simplest items are left. In these spaces we often find beauty and inspiration.
Removing clutter doesn't mean dumbing down; instead, your communication is becoming a craft that provokes the customer to action.
So in your communication ask yourself, can I skim this and still capture the main ideas?
Shoot for paragraphs that are around two sentences long. Use images and icons to help break your thoughts up helping the customer grab ahold of ideas easily.
Sometimes we are so close to our products or services that it's impossible for us to discern how an outsider feels when they interact with our message.
Feedback is the breakfast of superheroes!
Big Big Story provides the consulting you need to know how to communicate a clear and compelling message.
If you need help sorting through the clutter, I’m here to help!
Together we will create a BrandScript giving you the clear language that sells.
Then we will apply the BrandScript to all your marketing collateral, websites, sales pitches, social media, and email campaigns.
Lastly we will see your business grow!
Clarity will give you a competitive advantage from all the other brands and help you save lots of money. The big spenders might have money to waste, but you are smarter than that!