Make Marketing Suck Less

What’s the Difference Between Messaging, Marketing and Copy?

Do you know the difference between messaging, marketing, and copy?

I've taken multiple copywriting classes, and this isn't because I want to one day make a career change and become a copywriter, but rather it helps me to be better at what I do. Having some expertise in copywriting helps me to nail messaging in my own business and my clients'.

But a common mistake I see?

So many online business owners are investing in the wrong things at the wrong times. Their sales are stalling, they are having trouble finding new leads, and their audience is quiet. So, they think they need to re-work their marketing, when maybe they need to focus on their messaging or copy. However, they often mistakenly think all three are the same.

So let's break it down:

  • Messaging: a system and a strategy made up of key messages that you want to consistently share, your positioning, your Three Word Rebellion. Basically messaging is that overall strategy that informs both your copy and your marketing.
  • Marketing: refers to any action a company takes to attract an audience to the company's product or services through high quality messaging.
  • Copywriting: the words you use and how you say them, also a sales conversion tool. Copywriting produces a physical deliverable that goes on your website, your email, and all other business collateral.

Tune into the full episode to learn more about how these three things work together to help move the needle in your business.

Listen in or read through the transcript below:

Resources mentioned in this episode

What the Hell is Messaging & Why Does Your Business Need It?
Hubspot on marketing
Schedule a call with me

On a scale of 1-10 of nerdiness, how nerdy is the following statement? “I take copywriting classes for fun.”

I give it about an eight. But here's the truth: I do take copy writing classes for fun. And although I never want to be a copywriter, I love learning about copy because it makes me. Better at what I do in messaging and it also lets me play with words.

And you know what's interesting is that in the online space, I see people hella confused about what copywriting is and how it is different from messaging and how is copywriting different from marketing? 

And I also see business owners investing in the wrong service at the wrong time, or they have misconceptions thinking that copywriters can do what marketers can do or marketers do what copywriters and messaging strategists can do, when they actually don't.

As a former college debater, I know it's always important to define terms so that everyone knows what we're talking about and we can start out on a level playing field. So let's clear up the confusion and end with some clear questions so you can decide if your business needs to focus on messaging, copywriting, or marketing. Let's do this!

You’re listening to the Rebel Uprising podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping passionate business owners become recognized leaders who make more money and impact the world by turning their messy, complicated ideas into thriving thought leadership businesses.

I’m your host Dr. Michelle Mazur, and I’ll be your no-BS guide in the art of building a business that gets noticed. Each week I share strategies, tools, and insights into how to turn your complicated ideas into great messaging and solid business structures.

Are you ready to create an uprising in your industry? Let’s do this.

Alright, I've already dedicated a whole show on messaging that you can check out. But as a quick refresher, let's talk about what messaging is very quickly. 

So there is common business wisdom that I can't trace back to any particular source, but what is often said is that messaging is the “what.” The “what do you say,” as in, if you're struggling to succinctly talk about what it is your business does and what to say to move people from strangers to clients or what to say to get people's attention -- that's what messaging helps you figure out. 

Overall, messaging is a system and a strategy that is made up of key messages that you want to consistently share your positioning -- AKA your Three Word Rebellion -- stories and customer research and voice of the customer. Basically, messaging is that overall strategy that informs both your copy and your marketing. It is the “what” you have to say. 

All right. So if that's messaging, what is copywriting? Simply put, copywriting is the “how you say it” so it converts into sales. And the “how you say it” usually produces a physical deliverable that goes on your website, your email, it describes your podcast, it's your bio, and so much more.

Copywriters are uniquely skilled and experienced. They are typically highly trained in what converts (this is called a conversion copywriter, and you should know that there are different types of copywriters out there, but conversion copy is what most of you want if you are selling).

Copywriters understand how to translate the message into words that inspire action. And most copywriters expect you to come with some knowledge of what to say. They expect you to understand your customers, how you help them, the big results that you produce, and some of your key messages.

Now, some copywriters do messaging work and, honestly, pay these people double because in my opinion, messaging is a completely separate project from writing the copy that goes on your website because copywriters who do messaging are now digging in to figure out what your key messages are and what your strategy is. So these copywriters are highly skilled and trained in how to say it on your website or your sales page or in an email sequence.

Alright So we've talked about what is messaging, what is copy. Now let's think about what is marketing?

And for this, I loved HubSpot's definition of marketing and they say “marketing refers to any action a company takes to attract an audience to the company's product or services through high quality messaging.”

So the first thing to realize is that marketing is made up of strategy and tactics and any good marketing strategy has three different components to it. Right?  

The first component is growth and discovery. So how do I get new people interested in what I'm doing? How do I get them to find my business? How do I build that brand awareness? The second part of a strategy is engage. Like how do you get people to raise their hand and say, “Yes, I'm interested in what you do. I have the problem that you solve.” And the third part of the strategy is offer. And so this is when we're making offers, we're making conversions and sales.

And then under each part of that basic marketing strategy, your tactics sit. And we spent a lot of time in online business talking about marketing tactics and treating that like strategy.  Tactics are not strategy. I cannot emphasize that enough... tactics are not strategy. So for instance, if you want to grow your audience, you're probably engaging in tactics like social media, Instagram, Facebook, SEO, being interviewed on other people's podcasts, borrowing other people's audiences. 

If you are focused on engagement and getting lead generation, you're nurturing people like a podcast like this one or your email list and the activities or tactics that go under making offers could be things like webinars, your email sequence, consultation.

So the second part of this definition from HubSpot is that we're attracting an audience through high quality messaging. So your message -- that strategy, that key messaging, that customer voice -- that powers your marketing, as your message tells you what to talk about to grow, generate leads, or make offers across all of these different tactics. And then copywriting is how you say it in these different tactics. So you need to know what to say and how to say it, and then apply it to the strategy and tactics of your marketing.

Alright. So let me boil this down. How do you know what your business needs to focus on? So let me leave you with three simple questions to help you sort all of that out.

Number one, if you don't know what to say, so you're not sure what to say, focus on your messaging. If you know what to say, what your positioning is, how you help your clients, those key messages that you need to get across consistently, but you don't know how to say it, how to write it up and translate it into words that sell, that, my friend, is copy. And finally, if you know what to say and how to say it, but you don't know how to use those words to grow your audience, generate leads, create sales, that's marketing. 

So be clear about what you need. It will stop you from investing in programs or marketing or copywriting or messaging before you're ready. And that is the goal to help you focus on what your business needs to focus on next in order to grow and thrive.

If you're stuck on what to say, let me help you create that messaging that demands attention, creates curiosity so clients clamor to work with you faster than before. I would love to chat with you about the Three Word Rebellion Messaging Intensive and whether or not it's right for your business. Do you need messaging or do you need copy? Do you need marketing? During this chat, we can figure out what it is you really need. So let's talk -- you can get all the details and request a chat with me at

And until next time, know the difference so that you can make wise investments in your business and focus on what it is your business needs to grow.  

Thank you for listening all the way to the end of the show. Your support means the world to me. Did you know the Rebel Uprising podcast has a quiz that can help you pinpoint your number one way to create an audience of superfans while staying true to your unique personality? We do! It’s called What’s Your Rebel Roadmap to Exponential impact and Influence and you can take it at

If you’re loving the podcast, do us a favor and rate and leave us a quick 5-star review wherever you listen to your podcasts. Until next time, remember, your ideas matter. And now get back out there and cause an uprising in your industry. You’ve got this!

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Your 3 Word Rebellion is the Key to Growing Your Business & Impact

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