No matter who we are, what our business, craft, or cause, we can all agree on one thing. We want our message to be compelling. In other words, we want our message to work. That's what I want to talk about in this post.
In marketing terms, a compelling message is one that captures the attention of, and evokes a desired response from the recipient of that message. It's a message that sells your product, generates a donation, or conveys an emotion. For all of us, however, our goal is the same--to compel our listener to respond in some way.
In my line of work, I've picked up a few little golden nuggets in this area, and I want to share them with you! Here's 4 ninja keys to presenting a compelling message.
1.) Check Your Motives - Before you do anything else, you've got to get real with yourself. And I mean for REAL for real. Check yo self fo you wreck yo self. At the end of the day, are you in this to succeed, or are you in this to serve? And I don't just mean that you can statistically prove that there is a need for your product--but really, at your deepest heart level, are YOU truly doing what you're doing because you want to serve others? Because you really believe in the power of what you're selling? Not only because in today's world, your audience can smell a fake a mile off, but also because it's just RIGHT.
2.) Identify Your Target Audience - This is Marketing 101. The first step in presenting ANY--and I do mean ANY--message, is to KNOW your target audience. You've got to get so close to your target audience that you can see them, hear them, smell them…ok…getting a little creepy. But you get what I mean. Who are you DESPERATE to get your message to? If you could only pick ONE person in the ENTIRE world to share your message with, who would it be? Figure that out, then talk straight to that person, and don't worry too much about appealing to everyone else in the entire world. It just makes sense to focus the most time, energy, and resources on the people who will be the most interested in your message.
3.) Create Context - This one's huge. You can't just start yapping away about pickled tuna from Zambia and expect people to buy it. You've got to start by creating context. Start by highlighting a common problem that your target audience will relate to, which your product will solve. Or tell a story about someone whose life was on the brink of disaster, which your ministry helped to restore. Hard as it is to swallow, most people don't walk around all day lamenting their lack of pickled Zambian tuna. However, when you begin to highlight the nutrients most Americans lack without seafood in their diet, and when you tell them how toxic most local fish farms are, suddenly the wonders of natural fish oils imported from across the globe make a lot more sense. You've got to present the problems BEFORE you try to sell the solution.
4.) Make it Practical - Last but certainly not least, you need to leave people feeling confident that they have the road map to move forward. How many times have you heard a message, and after being truly moved by it, you had no idea where to go next. You thought, "Man, I'd love to know more about this," or "They make a good point, how can I get involved?" but the next practical step was either confusing or unclear. Create an imperative, or a crossroads, where you tell them exactly what to do, and how to do it. More than just providing an avenue to pursue a relationship with you further, you're actually helping them inwardly solidify the commitment in their mind that they have made a decision, and they are going to follow through.
Here's a couple videos I've produced that followed these 4 principles. See if you can identify all four in each of them!