Business insights

Small business does your message hold up?

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Now every business has a message even if it is never articulated. It puts into a short simple phrase, what you stand for, and is the meaning that makes sense of the brand.

As a new small business you may have created your tagline, written your web copy and have all your words in place to present your business to the world and introduce your brand.

But what about the message that holds all that up.

I’m not talking about key messages that organisations use as static phrases inserted into copy created to ensure a uniform style or consistent voice. I’m talking about the overall message of your brand that makes sense of those key messages and every other message that you choose to communicate.

It doesn’t just simplify your brand to your audience but also for you. It gives a fuller understanding of your words, positions your business and lets the desired prospect know their values line up with yours.

It takes some thought to produce the magic words that together create a powerful message which is rooted in your values and aligns your audience. This simple analysis might just help.

There are those messages related to solving a problem

Our prospect has a pain or problem that we show we can solve. This works well for the coaches, web designers or those servicing a clearly defined niche but what if you are selling a product such as bespoke furniture, clothing or jewellery?

What problem do you solve is a good starting point to creating a great message for specific industries. But if you are a small business intent on building a brand it might be time to take your business from relieving a painful ‘need’ to inspiring a meaningful ‘want’.

There are those who rely on aspiration

The premise is ‘you will become ‘more’ by your association with this product/service’.

This conjures up images of those TV adverts for big businesses that make implausible associations with ‘popular subjects’ or resort to shock tactics to get our attention.

Sexuality, health, wealth, family, security and love: These might be some of the values portrayed in the message but the audience isn’t fooled for a second that there is any meaningful connection between the corporation and the values portrayed.

And those that provide meaning through a shared experience

The product or service is only part of the story. Your audience craves meaning that goes beyond what you offer. So what are you really selling?

Messages that inspire through a shared value hit the spot in terms of emotional connection, because they give a sense of belonging.

Firstly; your message inspires because it fits in with your audience’s bigger picture. Secondly; the value expressed in the message is one that is not only clearly aligned with the brand but I would go as far as to say is the reason for the brand. It is no longer aspirational but inspirational.

Having a powerful message that speaks to the very core of your audience is more than a business declaring; I can solve your problem, but an audience knowing; I am understood.


5 things to avoid when giving your networking pitch


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Does the thought of having to give your pitch at a networking event make you cringe? Are you a small business owner who feels a little uneasy about introducing your business in a room full of entrepreneurs?

When we get it right it’s easy, engaging and effortless, but the fear comes because it’s also easy to get wrong. The pitch is powerful not just because it’s the first thing that potential customers or clients will hear from you about your business or enterprise but also because every word has the potential to deliver and say something positive, inspiring and engaging about you and your business. It could even be the deciding factor as to whether the interested party becomes a future customer, a client or even an ambassador for your brand. That’s a tough job for a 30 second window of opportunity. Are we asking too much in our pursuit of meaningful business introductions? Read More

Get to the next level in business with strong copywriting


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You have something that larger businesses can never possess in such great measure. It can neither be bought nor sold and any attempt at replication will likely be exposed by your discerning audience. It’s the fuel that ignites the sales of your product or service, attracts happy and willing support and illuminates every aspect of what you do. It’s what your potential customers connect with because they glimpse something that immediately puts them at ease.

We are moving away from a remarkable period in advertising history, when big budgets attempted to buy our attention (and affection) in both airtime and editorial. Global brands often made dubious connections in an attempt to align themselves with the latest trend. Think of the food industry, where a mere 2% calcium content became the ‘healthy product of choice’. What about shampoo brands introducing never previously heard of scientific sounding names to legitimise product features such as the illustrious (to ‘dye’ for) shine. Read More

Quality business copy speaks volumes


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You walk into an establishment and expect special treatment. You look around to see who has noticed you and, if they haven’t, you create enough drama to ensure that they do. What am I talking about? The ‘do you know who I am’ syndrome or what some might call ‘being a diva’. What if you walk into an establishment and you are made to feel guilty for expecting quality of service. Are you a diva?

Let’s just say (yes, this was my experience) you pay for something in full (an arrangement of flowers) then arrive to collect the order and notice that the quality of the roses were not up to the required standard. Bear in mind this was the second occasion that I had bought flowers from this particular establishment and was less than impressed. On the previous occasion, the flowers were delivered to a church for a funeral and it was too late to do anything about it. Read More