6 Simple Questions For A Clear and Compelling Marketing Message

Stella Orange (Business Heroine Magazine)

A lot of Internet-Famous Super Coaches talk about how you need a message in your marketing. And they’re right. But from there, it always seems like they never quite tell you what the actual ingredients are in a money-making marketing message.

This can be frustrating, not to mention weirdly mysterious!

The truth is, there’s no need to keep the secret sauce to a clear and compelling marketing message a secret. Let’s take a look at the 6 simple questions you need to answer for your business – whether you’re just getting started or you find yourself ready to attract a more gourmet sort of client or customer.

One caveat before we get down to brass tacks:

If you are newer in business, don’t believe the internet hype about selling services or coaching exclusively through online marketing. If you have been trying for more than a month to get your first 10 clients through Facebook, an opt-in page, a buy now button on your website, or some slick internet marketer’s email campaign templates, you’ve been had.

Despite what slick internet marketers tell us, very, very, very few coaches and self-employed professionals will be able to successfully sell their free initial session, a recorded info product, or weirdly expensive coaching package by writing copy.

Mostly, this it’s not the 1990s and people want to be treated like human beings, not credit card numbers with a pulse. I have more to say on this, but for now, let’s just call this “magical thinking” and, unfortunately, still an all-too-effective (and unethical) way to get people to buy things.

Okay, so say that you are clear that you need to focus on copywriting for your business not for direct sales (as slick internet marketers want you to believe) but as a way to either:

A) Clarify your own thinking

B) Improve the results you get from all communications in your business

C) Expand the audience so your already-successful business can reach potential clients and customers, nationally and around the world

Then let’s roll up our sleeves and take a look under the hood of a moneymaking marketing message.

A marketing message is made up of 6 elements:

  1. The daily problem you solve
  2. The ideal client you serve
  3. The #1 result of your work
  4. Your powerful story
  5. Your distinctions
  6. Tribal language

One thing you should know is that I made this list up.

The other thing you should know is that I have taught more than 5,000 business owners how to find and dig into these 6 elements, so this idea is well tested and proven to improve clarity of one’s marketing message, for a range of businesses.

To take this one step further, you can get a feel for each of the 6 elements of your marketing message by asking the following questions:

  1. Problem. What’s the #1 day-to-day problem that causes people to work with you? Hint: this problem is WAY SIMPLER than you’d expect – and your ideal client has to already know it’s a problem.
  2. Ideal Client. Who is the group of people you love working with? Here, the goal is to profile 4-5 characteristics your ideal clients have in common, so you are clear on who you are talking to. (Hint: it’s okay to have 2-3 ideal client profiles for your business.)
  3. Result. What’s the #1 outcome, transformation or result that your clients get as a result of working with you? Hint: THEY have to want this for themselves.
  4. Your Powerful Story. What’s the story of how you came to do this work?
  5. Your Distinctions. What are 3 things that set you apart from other professionals? Write 2-3 bullet points for each about why this means better service or results for your ideal client. Hint: this is more about life experience and your point of view than your credentials or training.
  6. Tribal Language. What words and phrases do you use to teach and talk to your clients?

For each question, I suggest writing down your answers on a single sheet of paper, that we call your Message Playbook.

The reason writing it down is critical is that it forces you to make decisions, and not be wishy-washy and all over the place about who your ideal audience is and what they want from your work. (You know, the ole “I wrote last week’s blog post for college freshmen; but this week I need to craft a promotion to female C-level corporate executives” phenomenon. We’ve all been there.)

When I teach people how to put together a Message Playbook for their business, one thing I always talk about it how a marketing message is what’s beneath all the marketing and communications you do for your business.

If you’ve been feeling like you’re suffering from a “muddy message” or that your marketing is all over the place, it may be time to carve out 15 minutes to answer these 6 questions.

The other thing I always mention is that this message work is a slippery eel. The goal here is not rock solid perfection (though there are slick internet marketers out there who are more than willing to sell us that, too); it’s to make key decisions about who you are talking to in your communications.

There are some fantastic courses and teachers out there who are really good at getting you to pinpoint the specific demographics and behaviors of your ideal client.

But over here in Stella Orangeland, we are all about the messiness and the experimentation and the trying things out On Real People and seeing what works and Learning One Thing from what doesn’t.

At the end of the day, you really do need to know who your audience of most likely buyers are – especially if you are just getting started.

But my contribution to the process is something more along the lines of, “okay, got the basics? Good. So describe your favorite client and let’s figure out the words she uses, so you can get that into your copy.”

Where do you go from here?

Once you’ve got a ‘good enough’ marketing message, the next step is to write it into your next revenue-generating marketing project.

Let’s unpack this a bit, because it’s important.

One, your marketing message does not need to be perfect. Some of you will be able to answer these 6 questions in 15 minutes or less. Some of you will take longer. Doesn’t matter. Message work follows its own timing.

Once you have an unperfect but good enough marketing message, ask yourself, “what is my next revenue-generating marketing project?”

Your goal here is to look for your next opportunity to refine and polish this newly clarified message.

Be warned: many business owners want to take their new marketing message and update their website to align with it. I do my best to talk them out of it. Websites are rarely your fastest path to revenue. Instead, maybe you have a launch or an opt-in page that you are rolling out soon? Better to test out your message there, and get paid (and maybe even get a few clients) as you learn if what you’ve created resonates with the marketplace.

From there, it’s all about tweaking your message as you work on the next revenue-generating marketing project. Or maybe you don’t even need to write your message into your copy at this point. Maybe you just needed to get clear in your own mind. This often leads to more effective sales conversations and communications across the board, even if you don’t formally update any copy.


Stella Orange (Business Heroine Magazine)

Business Heroine Magazine


We’d love to hear from YOU…

Do you feel clear on your marketing message? What did you learn from answering these questions? Leave your answer in the comments below!



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