The Message Itself

So now that I have barraged you over the last few days with content that does and does not work and why, let’s talk a little about how to develop the actual message.

When developing your message you need a short and long version. Often it will help to develop some additional supporting statements that follow the same theme. What comes first depends entirely on the situation and how you like to work.

Sometimes you might get on a roll with a story that goes for pages and pages and from that can pluck your basic message. Other times the message may be right there in front of you and from it you can create the larger story. Your message may be based on the reason for your business’s entire existence.

However it will work best for you, here are a few things that you will need to do:

  • Keep your basic message to 7 words or less, and less is better
  • Have a longer story (or several) that brings that message to life, that creates an image in people’s minds pushing them to action
  • Create additional supporting statements that tie your message and story together
  • Get to the point in your message (this is becoming a mantra); talking around it or creating fluff to sound good dilutes the real message and may even keep you from actually stating it

Here’s an example of what doesn’t work:

Basic Message

[We are] a global leader in content management solutions.

Supporting Statement

[Our] software and services enable organizations to effectively leverage content to drive business growth by improving the customer experience, increasing collaboration, and streamlining business processes in dynamic environments.

Yawn…

It really doesn’t say anything of value. I’ve read it at least three times now, and I’m still not sure what they are selling. Maybe their product isn’t for me, but maybe it is. Or would be great for one of my clients.

Let me take a stab at fixing it:

Basic Message

Your customers will get the message.

Supporting Statement

Our tools deliver your message to the people you want, when you want and how you want.

I know it’s not perfect, but you get the idea.

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