Back when I was a communication professor teaching Intro to Communication, I would inevitably have this conversation with several students per semester.
Usually, the student wasn't doing very well in my class and they would show up in my office hours and we would talk about what's going wrong for them. And inevitably they would say to me, Dr. Mazur, “this is supposed to be my easy class, communication is supposed to be easy” and then they would backpedal because I'm sure I gave them the look from hell.
I would also tell them that trying to communicate with just one person, one person who has a host of experiences, who has different values, who knows different things than you do, who has different assumptions that you're not privy to makes communication complex and difficult.
So why should this be your easy class?
Communication is messy. Humans are complex and messy and as soon as you introduce them into any system, that system is bound to be screwed up.
Communication is difficult.
Now imagine that you're trying to communicate something to more than one person.
Maybe you're trying to talk to 10 people, 50 people, a thousand, a million people, and you realize that each person has their own frame of reference. They bring their own experiences to the message that you're putting out into the world.
So yes, getting your message across is going to be difficult. It's going to be messy.
There are going to be miscommunications.
Since you are a business owner, getting people to understand what your business does, the value your business creates, how it's different from other people who do what you do, it's an exceedingly daunting task.
That's why this month of October, I'm going back to the basics. I'm going back to my training to talk about communication.
To talk about why a can be so fraught with difficulty, but also what you can do to really master your own messaging in your business, how can you create a way to connect with people so that they understand and are interested in what you have to say.
So let's dive into this.
Tune into the audio:
Before we really get into it, I want to address one big issue. It's an issue that I hear all of the time when I'm talking with someone who's interested in working with me, they always say, I should be able to figure this out on my own.
They've created all of this shame and they feel all of this frustration because they're the expert. They're the one who does whatever their business does every single day.
They're immersed in it. It's almost like second nature to them and they feel like, especially if they're high achievers, that they should be able to figure out how to talk about what they do in a way that grabs attention is curiosity provoking, compels people to say, “yes, that's exactly what I need.” Here's the deal.
You are far too close to your message and it's because you're the expert. It's because you're in it day in and day out that you can't figure out the best way to communicate what your business does.
Now in my business, I work with a surprising number of other messaging and marketing consultants and these are people that do help others with their messaging.
So shouldn't they be brilliant at coming up with their own message?
No. Just because they're able to do it for other people doesn't mean they're able to communicate their brilliance to their audience in the way that their audience understands it.
That's why they seek me out. And there's no shame and realizing that, wow, this communication thing, it's a bit tougher than I thought it would be and it's holding me and there's nothing wrong with that.
I realize that you're so up in your head about your message, your thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking, and that's part of the problem. You're too in your head. You need to get it out so that you can be objective.
Just let go of that shame and that concern you have about not being able to figure out how to express what you do so people get it. It's difficult and you're too close to your message to see it clearly and to see the value that your clients and customers see and why this is so important to talk about is your message is why you are chosen.
Last year I did a huge podcast episode about the eight things your message does for your business, but I think that it be summed up into one word and that word is chosen.
Your message allows people to say yes and to choose you and your business.
Your message is why people choose to stick around on your website and go to your about page and check you out.
Your message is why people choose to buy from you, your message is why people choose to jump on a discovery call with you. Your message is why people choose to have you on their podcast and feature you as the expert that you are.
Your messages is why you're chosen to be on a stage in front of a live audience and your message is why people choose to opt-in for whatever you're offering or to follow you on social media.
It all comes down to your message and them getting your message, being curious about it, wanting to know more, wanting to be a part of your world. And I realize I just sound like Disney's Aladdin, but I'm going to keep going with it.
Tour message is a huge reason why people choose. You let that sink. It's a huge reason why people choose you.
When you nail that message and people choose you, they choose to hang out with you. Your audience grows, your business grows, your income grows, your impact grows, all of it grows.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, Michelle, “if this messaging and communication thing is so darn important, why aren't any of the marketing gurus out there talking about it?”
I would answer this question much like I would answer it for my students. It's because it's hard, it's difficult, it's complex and they don't know how to teach it to you.
Sure they can give you a template or a swipe file that never feels quite right to you and never really expresses your unique gifts and offerings, but they can't get you the message that is going to make you wake up each day and be excited, like actually excited to go out and promote your business and feel confident that you're getting momentum.
There's no course or membership program that can teach you that because messaging is so subjective and you have to think about the other people who are consuming it. And that makes it complex.
Typically when I've been in a course where there seems like there'd be a messaging piece, it's glossed over or skipped.
For instance, I took a wonderful webinar course. It was a great course on how to do webinars. I learned so much from it.
What was interesting was when she was talking about the content of your webinar, it literally was like, “oh, and you'll put your content in here and then this is how you do your call to action.”
That was it. You put your content in here and this is how you do your call to action because she couldn't help you with what that content should be.
What that message should be that would make people take the next step. That's okay because there was a whole lot of other stuff you can get out of that webinar course and that I got out of it.
But messaging couldn't be included because it's that hard.
How do you know if messaging is the one thing that could make everything else in your business easier? Because if you're like most people at this point, you've probably skipped over the messaging.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if messaging can make your business easier:
- Does it take a while for people to get what you do? Do you really have to spend time explaining yourself?
- Is your audience not growing or isn't? Or is it not growing as fast as you would like it to?
- Do you ever find yourself staring at the blinking cursor wondering what the heck you should talk about whether you're writing a podcast script or a blog post or a social media post?
- Do write something and then before you post, you doubt yourself. Is this good? Is it going to get me the results that I need? Is it going to call it in my next client?
- Are you pitching yourself to media or podcasts or speaking and you get more no's than yeses.
- And, lastly, another sign that your business could benefit for some messaging help is if do most of your clients come in from referral instead of showing up in your inbox looking for exactly what you do>
Now if you find yourself nodding your head a yes to these questions more than shaking your head no, then most likely your message is the one thing that will make everything easier.
So what happens when you finally nail that message?
I know I have featured a lot of my clients on this podcast, but I also wanted to talk about my own experience with working with the 3 Word Rebellion now for almost two years.
What is happening in my business is that I get podcast interview requests, people want me to share about messaging.
Clients come to me because they bought the book, they've heard the message, they've heard of me on the podcast. I'm not always chasing clients. And heck, when you're being booked by your peers who do what you do you know you're doing something right.
This year I've gotten so many speaking opportunities because people want to know more about the 3 Word Rebellion. And my personal favorite is people yell at me across the room, “you're the 3 Word Rebellion woman”! They don't know my name, but they know my message. And I freaking love that.
I will also say that the book that I wrote sells every day because the message is compelling and it's something people want. It's curiosity provoking. They want to have a message that is clear and crisp and represents the change they want to create.
So that's what having your messaging nailed does. Not only that, it's great because I have a team that does my marketing and they know exactly the conversations that they need to create in order to grow my audience and get more eyeballs on the book.
That's the power of messaging, understanding your audience and how they interact with your message and creating a message that works for your business.
If you're ready to get everything you're thinking about out of your head finally and onto paper and have someone else (ME!) create your 3 Word Rebellion and all the messaging you need to get that message out into the world and dominate the conversation, then you and I should totally have a call to see if it's a good fit for us to work together.
What happens on this call is I will ask you questions about your business. I listen, I get curious. I typically ask a ton more questions. And then if we are a fit I'll tell you about the 3 Word Rebellion messaging intensive. Then you get to make the best decision for you.
If you say yes in two months, you'll be leading with a message that attracts the right people and opportunities that grow your business. And you won't have to second guess yourself or a spin on your head wondering what you should say.
So if that sounds good, book your free session now.
In the meantime, realize that communication is complex. It's difficult even with the people who know and love us best.
There's no shame in not being able to figure it out yourself. However, it's imperative that you figure it out because your message and a message that matters to your audience will make everything easier in your business.