Do you know the Obstacles in front of your audience?
I review a lot of content and websites for coaches and consultants. Usually as part of our work together but sometimes, just for fun. Yep. I'm that guy. One thing they all have in common is they talk about themselves or their products and services way too much. Their websites read like a brochure and their content tends to be a bit “lecturey.”
I understand the tendency to talk about yourself, I used to do the same thing, you're proud of what you do, and you know you can help people, but the truth is if all you talk about is yourself and your product and services, people will ignore you. To get people to pay attention, shift the words in your content and your website from inward-facing to client-facing by using the second “O” of the four O's of marketing; Obstacles.
Here's a breakdown of how to use your clients obstacles in your messaging.
Obstacles have two components
When it comes to crafting a strong brand message, it's essential to understand not only the obstacles your clients are facing but how those obstacles impact them emotionally. The two components of obstacles you need to incorporate into your brand messaging are:
1 – External Obstacles
2 – Emotional Obstacles
External Obstacles Create a Compelling Brand Message
External obstacles are the things stopping your clients from moving forward. Building a compelling brand message is like running an obstacle course. At some point along the course, your clients will run into an obstacle that prevents them from moving forward. Obstacles can be tangible or intangible. Either way, they prevent progress. Examples of obstacles your clients might face are below.
- Outdated or no website
- Lack of knowledge
- Lack of leads
- No sales funnel
- No clear message for their brand
What are some external obstacles your clients are facing?
Emotional Obstacles Create a Strong Brand Message
Emotional obstacles are created by the external obstacles in front of us. Imagine running the obstacle course yourself and you reach an obstacle you can't get past. You're stuck. As you stand there in front of the obstacles trying to figure out how to get past them, you see other participants run past you and get over the obstacle with ease, but you can't figure out how they are doing it.
How would that make you feel?
Business is like an obstacle course in this regard. You see your competitors leapfrog the obstacles you struggle to get past. If you could get past the same obstacle, you could reach and help more people. When this happens, the obstacle creates strong emotions “feelings,” in our minds. Those feelings include:
These feelings cause your audience to have certain thoughts. These thoughts are usually doubts entering the unconscious mind. When you are frustrated, for example, you might begin to believe you are the source of your frustration, and you start questioning everything.
When you can capture these thoughts in your copy, your clients will think you are reading their minds, which will make an instant connection, and they will begin to see you and your products or services as the solution to getting past their obstacles.
Emotional Obstacles are Critical for Building a Strong Brand Message
In his book, “How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market,” Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman estimates that up to 95% of purchasing decisions are made based on our emotions. 95%.
After our purchase, we justify the remaining 5% with the logical part of our brain. What this means for you as a marketer creating your brand messaging, you need to dig deeper into the external obstacles to understand the feelings and thoughts they create in our clients (prospects). When we understand this and incorporate it into our message, we go from an OK message to a strong brand message that will capture the attention of your audience and lead them closer to a sale.
Use Strong Brand Messaging To Capture Your Audience's attention
Strong brand messaging starts with your audience. Your content and copy need to reflect the obstacles your audience faces and the emotions those obstacles create. When you talk about yourself, your products, or services, you make it difficult for your audience to understand how you can help them. Omitting obstacles from your content and copy will cause your audience to stop listening to you and start looking elsewhere for a solution.
A Strong Brand Message is Not About You
So, the next time you sit down to craft a message for your brand, remember the message may be about you and your business, but it is not for you. Your brand message is for your audience, so don't talk about yourself, instead, talk about your audience and you'll be on the way to creating a strong brand message.