Why isn’t this working? Have you ever asked yourself that? Maybe you’re trying to get a new venture off the ground–and it just doesn’t seem to be able to take off. Maybe you’re in an existing business, and all of a sudden, sales seem to fall off. Frustrated, you stand there, looking at everything: numbers, marketing strategies, clients, and for the life of yourself, you can’t figure out what’s wrong, let alone how to fix it.
Well, you’re not alone. Thousands of creatives have asked themselves that same question, time and time again, myself included. The answer is always elusive, but a quick overview of a couple of questions can help:
- Is your messaging clear? Powerful brands are built on the framework of strong, consistent messaging. If you’re messaging isn’t clear, it doesn’t matter how strong your social media strategy is, or how pretty your logo is.
- Is your message compelling? Don’t tell me what you do, tell me why you do it. And don’t tell me that you just like to take pictures, or you just like to design, or that you just love paper, or just like planning events. Telling me that you LIKE to do what you do isn’t compelling. Tell me WHY.
- Is your message being communicated? You can’t have a business and not tell anyone about it. If you’re not shouting from the rooftops of social media in a clear and compelling way, it’s not going to give a customer anything to connect with. And if there is no connection, there won’t be any sales. Consistently put your message out there so that you can measure results.
- Is your message consistent? Or is it spotty? Are you throwing it out there at least once a month, once a week, once a day? If you are telling yourself that you can’t start communicating it until you get it refined, you’re wrong. Marketing is not a science. It’s an experiment. Marketing and advertising agencies the world over are constantly being challenged to analyze their brand strategies through the eyes of constantly evolving social media. And if they can figure it out, you can, too.
There can be other reasons your business “isn’t working”. Larger businesses can spin out of control, fueled by too much disorganized momentum, and face different challenges than small businesses, or start-ups. Does the team understand the purpose behind the operation? Are they all on board with executing according to that message? If you’re in the middle of a big business that feels like it just isn’t working, those can be hard questions to ask and answer. Smaller businesses have an advantage from this standpoint.
When you nail down your messaging, you’ll find that marketing strategies and sales will start to fall into place. Work on getting the messaging in place, and then start to fix more surface issues. Creating a clear, compelling message is STEP ONE, if you’re building a branded business. Consistently communicating that message both internally (within the business) and externally (through marketing strategies) is STEP TWO.
If you’re having trouble figuring out how to create a clear, compelling statement that communicates who you are, how you operate, and then lastly, what you do, I encourage you to try to join us for Authenticate in Dallas on December 8th. If you can’t join us in Dallas, I’m currently scheduling Authenticate Brand Critique calls for January!