5 Ways to Make Your Marketing Message Stand Out – Episode 63

ways to make your marketing message stand out

In the cluttered world of social media and advertising today, some business owners struggle to stand out, get the people to pay attention and, eventually, make them clients. But with brilliant marketing messages, you can do all this! Melinda Kitto, an Online Business & Messaging Strategist, is going to walk us through the basics of making your message stand out amongst the crowd with her five top tips. She’s also going to share helpful information on the benefits of having clear messaging strategies for your brand, common mistakes businesses are making when it comes to marketing messaging and real-life examples of how we can apply these in our own business.

Important Links Mentioned in the Show:

Melinda Kitto YouTube

Melinda Kitto LinkedIn

Melinda Kitto Website

Business Masterclass – The Ultimate 4-Step Framework for Creating a Sustainable and Profitable Business

Australian Business Collaborative Facebook Group

Finding Balance in Business Women’s Retreat

Angela Henderson Website

Angela Henderson Active Business Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Facebook Business Page

Angela Henderson Instagram

Prefer to read 5 Ways to Make Your Marketing Message Stand Out? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Episode 63.

Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. My name is Angela Henderson and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both. By having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life and in business.

Well, hey there and welcome back to another episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. I’m your host, Angela, from Angela Henderson Consulting, where I am a business consultant helping women in business to develop the foundational framework and strategy they need to grow sustainable and profitable businesses.

Now, I can only assume, and it’s actually never good to assume, but in this instance, I’m going to assume that those of you listening to this episode have either used their smartphone at some stage today and/or have also been on at least one social media platform. I mean some heck; you’ve probably scrolled so much, your fingers are already hurting. You’ve read a ton of headlines, advertisements; but did any of those really stand out? You see, as the business owner, we need to be catching the eyes and ears of our clients long enough to make an impression. However, in a world where there’s so much clutter, it’s getting harder and harder to hold people’s attention. Because everywhere we turn, we are constantly being bombarded with advertisements, and each trying to outshine the rest. 

So in order for you to have a successful business, you’re going to need to stand out from the crowd. And you’re going to have to deliver a marketing message in a way that none of your competitors are doing. If you’re starting to rock in the corner because you realized you might not have a very strong marketing message, don’t worry, because in today’s episode, I’m bringing on Melinda, who’s going to share some awesome information about what is a marketing message, what are the benefits of having a clear messaging strategy, some of the mistakes businesses are making when it comes to market messaging. And she’s also going to give us some tips on how you can start to make your own message stand out. 

But before we jump into this episode, I just want to let you know that this episode is sponsored by my new on-demand business Masterclass, The Ultimate 4-Step Framework for Creating a Sustainable and Profitable Business. In my 60-minute jam-packed Masterclass, you will learn my signature four-step framework for creating a sustainable and profitable business without sacrificing time with your kids, without the overwhelm or without wasting more cash. I’m also going to dive deep into the four big business mistakes that everyone in business makes and why they’re keeping you from growing the sustainable and profitable business you want. And what is working for businesses now and why most of what you’re being taught about growing your business is outdated and are wrong. To sign up for my on-demand Masterclass, simply head to bit.ly/masterclasswithangelahenderson. And we’ll also have this link in the show notes.

Alright. But for now, let’s jump into this amazing episode with Melinda. Welcome to the show, Melinda.

MELINDA:

Hello, Anj. It’s awesome to be here.

ANGELA:

Yes. Awesome to have you here. I mean, we’ve only really; I think we both kind of known each other but we’ve only really recently connected when you reached out to me about a particular question. We hopped on a Zoom call; had a quick chat. But it was through that Zoom call that I know I had to have you on the podcast. I love your vibe. And it’s one of those things, I guess, about the beauty of making human connections with people and actually having conversations with people is the internet does amazing things. But if you’re just riding back and forth, and don’t actually get to know each other, then I think missed opportunity comes out. And it was a wonderful thing to hop on a Zoom call with you a couple of weeks ago. And yes, now, our friendship and our relationship is forming. So, yes. So I’m super excited to have you on board today.

MELINDA:

Awesome. You’re so right. Like I’ve actually reached out to a few people that I’ve been in the same circles with online. And maybe we know each other’s names but we’ve never had conversations. And just reaching out and saying hello and letting them know that you appreciate their work and asking a question if you have one, I’m just amazed how well people really respond to that. And you were so willing to jump on a call and answer my question in more depth and I’ve had other people do the same recently. And it’s just; we kind of ignored that value of really connecting with actual humans rather than just profile pictures online.

ANGELA:

Totally. And I also think there’s an element, too, of just, sometimes, you just have to ask, right? Like, too often I think, people are afraid, “Well, if I ask them this question, what’s going to happen? Are they not going to respond? Are they not going to do this?” But so many times, I mean people; there’s really actually a lot of good in the world. And I was just reading recently and that was just on Instagram this week. And I cannot remember who it was. I can’t give credit where credit is due. So I’m going to preview that. But anyways, this particular lady; I think it’s Alex, actually. She was going to Business Chicks, and it was definitely the Business Chick Event that she was going to. When one of the things was, is that she just send them an email and it’s like, “Hey, do you guys have a photographer for this particular event?” And they’re like, “No, actually, we don’t.” She was like, “Well, I’d love to take images for you.” 

And so, just by her asking and reaching out and starting a conversation, she’s now been able to start to form a relationship with Business Chicks and take their photos. And, I mean, whenever you start to build relationships, you’re going to ultimately see growth; both for yourself; personally, internally and for your business. But equally, you’re going to be able to help others grow, too. So I think there’s a lot of magic, again, I talk a lot about human connection and H2H marketing. People probably get sick of it by now, including; I just had my event here in Brisbane yesterday where that was one of the core things that I talked about. And I think there’s something to be said about – just ask; just reach out. Because you never know what magic will form.

MELINDA:

Absolutely. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if it weren’t for that. 

ANGELA:

Exactly right. So now, one of the things that I do with all my guests before we jump straight into the nitty-gritty, is I ask them a fun question. And so, yesterday, I was on Instagram because everyone is freaking out yesterday here in Australia, anyway. Because they’re testing, where, in Australia, we’ll no longer see the likes; the like count. So I just thought it was interesting to kind of observe and see people quietly freak out and have their two cents about it. And I’ll just have my little two cents right now. I’ll just have a little rant about it.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, in my opinion, I’ve been asked this a couple of times; what is it? And my opinion is this: It’s ultimately; Facebook, Instagram; it is a freaking business, people. And organic reach is on the decon, okay? So to me, I believe this is just another way for Facebook to continue to be a business; again, very strategic on them, as far as I’m concerned. I know there’s a lot of talk about the mental health side of things. And what does this mean for people and this is going to help teenagers with their anxiety and stuff. I think that’s a component. But I think, despite all of that, this is a very strategic business decision by Instagram.

So anyways, side note. I was on Instagram yesterday watching all hell break loose. And you stopped me in my feed because…

MELINDA:

Oh, really?

ANGELA:

Yes. So I was like, “There’s Melinda.” I was like, “What is she doing?” And you had a; it looked like an apple. But then, I looked closely. And you were inhaling an entire tomato. So I had to do like a double-take, because, “What is she doing?” So my question for you is, despite when you’re inhaling an entire tomato like an apple; what is your favourite all-time comfort food?

MELINDA:

Oh, gosh. Such a random post for it to connect with you. But alright, I’ll go with it.

ANGELA:

Yes.

MELINDA:

Look, I have a really guilty indulgence, which; so my all-time favourite comfort food and I’m almost ashamed to admit it but it’s going to be a good like quarter chicken and chips.

ANGELA:

Okay.

MELINDA:

Charcoaled chicken; leg piece. It’s going to be the leg piece. But yes, that would be my guilty…

ANGELA:

That would be your guilty comfort food. Okay. Cool. No worries.

MELINDA:

I’d also say it’s a green smoothie. Yes. It’s totally a green smoothie.

ANGELA:

Totally the green smoothie. So no one ever, really. But it is funny that your photo stopped me yesterday. And because again, in a world, and this is what we’re going to talk about and what I talked about a little bit in my intro, right, was about clutter. And we’ll get into that in a little bit more. But I do want to come back to your photo because it is disruptive marketing, alright? And that even though, again, it wasn’t necessarily a message; marketing message, per se, you still stuck out in a cluttered, noisy environment. So we’ll come back to that in a minute.

But before we jump into five ways to make your marketing message stand out, tell us a little bit more about Melinda. What do you do? Just a little bit journey about you so that the listeners get to know a little bit more about you before we get into this.

MELINDA:

Sure. Absolutely. So I work with online business owners, particularly like in service-based businesses; coaches, consultants and online service providers who know that they are brilliant at what they do. They’re the kind of people who know that they’re a bit different and know that they’ve got what it takes to make it in this online world. But they’re struggling with how to articulate the brilliance of what they do in a really strong and compelling marketing message. So, how do I capture the brilliance of what I do and put it into words that’s going to make the right people sit up and pay attention? So, I basically help them to find the right words like what they were trying to say; only better. And yes, just get them to stand out exactly like you said. Standout in a crowded market place and attract the right people who are going to be their ultimate raving fans and ultimate clients.

ANGELA:

And do you think; and we can talk about this more later, too, but I guess, you talked about specifically around service-based; and I know that’s like your specialty and your niche. But do you think e-commerce platforms and product-based businesses are just equally as important with their messaging?

MELINDA:

Yes, absolutely. I think the strategies that you would use to message around a product-based business would be different to a service-based business. But you still need to be able to connect with your audience. You’re still writing product descriptions and all that kind of thing. I don’t think you would necessarily apply the same strategies that I might use for a service, for example, because we don’t need to convince people that they need to buy this candle because it will change their entire life; you’re not going to try and solve their problems and overcome their pain with the candle. 

But we still need to have that connection. And I think you’re a testament to that with Finlee and Me that you were able to build a brand where you connected with women; you connected with Mothers, and you connected with more than just selling products. You made it an entire experience. So I think you’re an extremely awesome example of how messaging and connecting with people; knowing what’s actually going to make them tick and what’s going to pull and push those different levers that motivate them to want to take that next step with you. That’s messaging to me. So any business needs it; it’s just how you actually apply it. 

ANGELA:

100%. And I know, again, with Finlee and Me, it was one of those things that when we first started, we didn’t have very great messaging. But as I got to know my ideal clients a little bit better, what got them ticking; what didn’t. Because, yes, they were buying for their kids. But the person that was buying was the Moms, right? So I’ve already had to take a different approach and really go, “Hold on, if I’m building this community,” which at one stage, we had up to about 70,000 people on Facebook, and we had 20,000 people on our Facebook communities and things like that, that I had two people I was really selling to. I was selling not only to the kids, right? But I was also selling to the moms. 

So I had to think about a way that I was not just a baby store. And that’s where again, focusing on Finlee and Me, which is ultimately creating childhood memories through play, love and travel, is that it wasn’t just about selling the product. It was about how they connect as a family, what memories are they creating. And through that, I was able to sprinkle in the products. But I was also equally able to speak about things like mental health. Because again, I realized, I can’t just keep writing blog articles about the Top 10 Educational Toys. It’s not going to work all the time. So yes. But it took time, though, right? It’s like, again, you really have to understand your ideal client; what ticks, what doesn’t, all of these spots, which I’m sure we’ll talk more about probably throughout this episode. 

MELINDA:

Yes.

ANGELA:

So, in regards to getting really into then the five ways to make your messaging stand out; it’s great and it’s going to be practical. And I think, though, we need to kind of back it up a little bit before we get into the actual five ways. And I also talked about in my introduction; the world currently is that; it is clutter everywhere; it is. And it’s getting harder and harder to hold people’s attention.  And because of this, as you know, and you would agree, and I agree with you, is you must have a strong marketing message. So I guess, for me, so that we can kind of lay the parameter for everyone; can you describe for me what is a marketing message? Just so that we’re on the same page moving forward for the episode.

MELINDA

Awesome. Yes.  So, to me, I think there’s a really important distinction that I need to make because there’s a real blurring of the line sometimes when we consider what a message is. And I remember early in my business journey, I had this one particular coach who would beat her drums and almost want to shake me, going, “Yes, but what is the message you want to shake the world with?” And I was like, “I don’t know.” I didn’t really feel like I had a message because, at the time, I wasn’t out there to transform the world. Like, I started my business to change my world; to create an income for my family, to create a kind of lifestyle that would work for us. And so, when I was hearing this, “What’s your message? What’s on your heart to share?” I was like, “Well, I don’t really…” Like, felt like anything that I could use to answer that question would either be totally disingenuous or shallow. 

ANGELA:

Yes.

MELINDA:

So I really got a bit paralyzed by that in the early days and thinking, “Well, I don’t really have anything to share.” And I’ve realized over time that what was happening there is there was a real blurring of the lines between your mission and your message. 

ANGELA:

Yes.

MELINDA:

So I think she was really wanting me to uncover my mission like what is it that’s driving me and motivating me in my business. But I was mixing that up and I think she was mixing that up as well as to what is it that I’m actually trying to communicate.

ANGELA:

To everyone.

MELINDA:

So here’s the distinction that I like to make now. Your messaging doesn’t have to be this earth-shattering, soul-crumbling thing. It is simply the way that you articulate what you do in a way that makes the right people sit up and pay attention. And most importantly, in a way that actually compels them to take action. 

ANGELA:

Yes. And do you think that there’s different types; I know we’ll blanket into this in a minute, but it just come to me then. It’s just like, that your marketing message, I’ve seen some lines on your website. You’ve got your kind of hero image and you’ve got a really strong message right there. But would you also say for those that are out there, are there different types of marketing messages that they need to be looking at?

MELINDA:

Well, I would say, again, here’s where people can get a little bit confused. Sometimes when people think about messaging, they immediately go to copywriting. 

ANGELA:

Okay. Yes. This is what I’m trying to get at because people go, “Copy messaging, copy messaging.” So that’s good, let’s have a distinction then between that marketing message versus copy.

MELINDA:

Yes. Okay. So, when I think of messaging, I think of the entire way that you communicate what it is that you do. So messaging to me, it’s obviously in your copywriting. That’s a big part of it. But messaging comes through in your branding, in your images, in the way that you show up on a Facebook Live. It’s in the way that you present your offer on a sales call. Like, messaging is infused into all of those things. To communicate, “Well, this is who I am. This is what I’m about. This is what I’ve got to offer and this is why you would want it.” So to me, it’s this like foundational thing that you have to feel really clear about. Because it literally infuses everything that you do and it tells so much of a story to the people that you want to make pay attention.

ANGELA:

Right. Perfect. It’s like, again, it’s this more, and this is what I was trying to get at, it’s more than just a simple little message. It is actually, collectively, as you used the word, infused in how you present your business, correct?

MELINDA:

Yes. Exactly. And I would say; to round it off with the whole mission versus message thing, I think your message can be informed by your mission and probably your message is also again, infused a little bit with your mission. But, to me, they’re very distinct things and I think your mission is what drives you and your message is how you communicate why anybody should give a shit, basically.

ANGELA:

Yes. And you could also go, I guess and say that your mission is a lot more about you.

MELINDA:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Whereas your marketing message is more about like the people you’re trying to reach.

MELINDA:

Absolutely. Because that’s one of the mistakes I see people making, and I know we’ll get to that a little bit later, but some people will lead their communication online going, “I’m so passionate about this because I believe in me.” And I get the desire to do that. But one of the primary questions that most of our audience; whether they’re consciously thinking this or not; they’re constantly looking for that, “Well, why should I give a shit factor. Yes, but what’s in it for me?” And it’s great that you’re passionate about it. Thumbs up. Good job. But, “What’s in it for me?” And that’s where your messaging really needs to take that turn to consider, “Well, what does this person care about? What will make them sit up and pay attention and help them to realize that I’m the answer for them?” Instead of me just going, “Hey, look at all the reasons why I’m amazing.” We need to look at the reasons why this person would care.

ANGELA:

And care but also convert.

MELINDA:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Really. Because at the end of it, you’re not just doing this for shits and giggles, really. Let’s be honest. Because if that’s the case, I guess either we all be millionaires or we all just be making no money, really. Like, there’s more to it. So I guess my next question is why do you think businesses are missing this really crucial key step?

MELINDA:

To me, and I’m using my own experience largely in this, but also, what I see a lot of my clients doing; it’s this intense desire to want to rush ahead. We are bombarded by all these webinars and podcast and all these stuff that talk about the six and seven-figure business strategies like, “Here’s how you make seven figures.” And we’re trying to apply those six and seven-figure business strategies to our zero-figure businesses. And I know for me, I came from a background of being a really high achiever in my career. And so, I didn’t really want to start at the beginning. When I stepped across into this online business world, I was like, “Yes. But I’m already successful. I know what I’m doing. I’m just going to skip right ahead to step 7, 8 and 9.” Again, not a conscious thing; a totally unconscious thing. But it’s like, “Yes, yes, yes. Ideal client. Yes, got it. Yes, messaging. Yes, got it.” And so, I think there’s this desire to rush ahead and just go, “Okay, but how do I make the money?” 

ANGELA:

And it’s also that; it’s not just about that; sometimes it’s like, almost an emergency situation like, “I got to make money to feed my family.” And I think, again, like you said, they’re bypassing some of these crucial elements.

MELINDA:

Yes. And I was so focused on, “How do I make the money?” Like, “What’s the strategy? Is it YouTube? Is it webinars? Is it funnels? What is it?” And so, I was trying to rush ahead to get to the answer. But when I stopped and just went, “Hang on a minute. I don’t even know what I’m saying here. I don’t even know why people; like, what is it that I’m even selling?” 

It wasn’t until I really stopped and paid it right back to the absolute fundamentals; that was the thing I’ve been skipping over in a rush to make money. But that was the thing that when I stopped and came back to it, made the entire difference. I went from struggling to sell single sessions; like, forget packages; I was struggling to even sell single coaching sessions at the time. But the minute that I went back to those fundamentals; and for me, it’s three things: it’s your messaging, it’s having a really irresistible offer that people can’t say no to, and it’s feeling comfortable and confident selling it. 

When I focused back on those three fundamentals, I went from struggling to sell single sessions, to, I did this one 2-minute live stream, where I just shared a message that I had worked on. I’m like, “I’m really excited. This is what I’m going to focus on.” 2-minute live stream; totally unplanned. I was rushing out the door to get my kids from school. But that live stream, all of a sudden, people in the comments were saying, “Oh my God. That’s exactly what I need help with.” “Oh my God. I need to talk to you.” And that 2-minute live stream turned into my first ever three-premium level clients and seven and a half thousand dollars in five days. And I was like, “Oh, okay. So if I want to make money, this is where I need to focus.”

ANGELA:

And listen, you’re preaching to me; because I couldn’t agree more here. I mean, that’s one of the core things as you now. For example, you’ve got a lot of business coaches; business coach, business coach, business coach. But again, what’s the differentials, right? Like again, what is it that you do? And I think this is why I believe a lot of people get screwed over by business coaches, is that (A) I don’t think a lot of them have ever had experience; (B) I don’t think they actually know what they do. Right? 

And that’s why again, for me, I’ve worked really hard because I believe, I’m a firm believer, there’s a lot of coaches out there that are all about, “You don’t need a website. You don’t need this. You don’t need that. You just needed your product. Just start selling.” I’m like, “Well, how are you going to sell to them? How are you going to create content? How are you going to do all these if you don’t actually know what it is?” Like, that’s going to cut through the noise. Like, it confuses me. 

So I’m a firm believer and that’s what I’m known for, is that you’re the business coach that focuses on developing the foundational framework and strategies to grow the business up. Because far too many businesses, I think, what probably you experienced, too, is that they’ll come to me and their business made of hay or a business made of straws, similar to like the three little pigs; they’re standing and the structure is there. But it wouldn’t take much for the ship to crumble.

MELINDA:

Yes. And be done.

ANGELA:

And so the way I work with all my clients is we do, we go back to exactly what you’re talking about. And it’s even things like, “What is your why? Why are you passionate?” And then we look at, “Do you actually have a product that’s viable?” But then, looking at your ideal client. But then, again, messaging is a huge part of that also. Because if you’re not clear from that, then I don’t know how you do sales funnels, email sequences and anything else if you don’t have clear messaging. 

MELINDA:

I tell you what, the number of calls that I’ve had with people, where they’re like, “Oh. I just need some help with my funnel.” Or, “I just want some ideas to get this offer selling.” And I’m like, “Okay, so tell me why I’d want this.” And they can’t answer it. Like, “Tell me what you do.” “Oh, umm, uh, well, I kind of…” And like, they can’t answer those kind of questions. And that’s not to be disrespectful or judgmental because so many people just skip over it. 

ANGELA:

Yes.

MELINDA:

And it’s so telling when you’re trying to apply this strategy but you can’t answer a simple question of, “Okay. But tell me what am I going to get out of this? Why would I want it?” And that’s where, a lot of the time, I’m bringing my clients back from, like they’ve been charging ahead and it’s really bringing people back from that charge and just saying, “The way to make that funnel work, the way to make that strategy work, the way to make people click on anything on your website is to get clear on these basic fundamentals of it.”

ANGELA:

Yes. 100%. So what are some of the key mistakes then; so we know, for example; so we’ve talked about why are businesses missing this key step. I guess what I would like to know then, is that if they’re missing this key step because they’re wanting to go too quickly ahead and that is forgetting it, can you talk to people out there that are going, “Yes, that’s probably me.” I’m not seeing them face-to-face, but I’m shaking my head as I’m driving the car or whatever. Can you talk to people about then why they need to go back to those foundations? And what are some of the benefits of having a clear message for your brand? 

MELINDA:

Sure. Well, I mean, the biggest benefit is people are actually going to get what you do. You hang out at networking events and they’re like, “So what do you do?” And you give them an answer and they say, “Oh, that’s nice.” So they’ll quietly back away to the drinks table so they don’t have to continue the conversation. People will actually get what it is that you do. And most importantly, if you have a really strong and compelling message, the right people will want it. 

My group coaching program is called, “OMG. I NEED THAT,” because that is what a strong and compelling message will get your dream people to say about your offer. If you have people saying, “Oh my God. That’s exactly what I need,” then you’re on the money, right?

So people will get what you do. And it is exhausting with the amount of content and strategies and all the stuff that we’re trying to do. It’s like we’re on this, the hands are on the wheel, right? You are pouring so much time and energy into creating content and putting offers out there and if your messaging isn’t on point, then all you hear is crickets. Or, you get a lot of great engagement but it doesn’t turn into sales. 

ANGELA:

It’s the wrong people. You’re not meeting their needs.

MELINDA:

Yes. Or you’re just not helping them realize how they actually need you and why they need to take that next step. Like, my early content, I used to get so much engagement with people saying, “Oh, this is so inspirational. Thank you so much.” And I was like, “Great. But are you going to buy anything?” I was missing that step of how do I actually engage with people and get them to connect with me. But then, show them why this next step is exactly the one that they need to take. That was what was missing for me, for sure.

ANGELA:

So that’s the benefits, then, in your experience, obviously, both; you can draw on your own or with the people that you’ve been working with it is you’ve just touched upon a minute ago. But what are you seeing, I guess, as maybe a pattern or just in general, some of the key mistakes people make with their messaging for those that are doing it and not skipping over it?

MELINDA:

Sure. Probably one of the biggest, which is a struggle for a lot of people is trying to appeal to too many; wanting to have a message that appeals to the masses. And I’m sure you talk about a lot and I’m sure some people are really sick of hearing it, but there is a real need; if you are not getting the kind of traction that you want in your business, there is a real need to niche down and get more specific about what it is that you do. And you touched on this before because, in my early days of business, I was like, “I’m a business coach. I’m a business coach.” And I was a business coach who didn’t really have a business, which is embarrassing to admit. 

But at the time I was like, “But I know I can help people,” but I had nothing of substance; not nothing of substance. But I didn’t have enough substance to really be making that claim. But when I dialled down and went, “Okay. So forget business coaching overall because it’s very crowded and nobody is hearing me. What is something that I can specialize in? What is a focus that I can narrow down in?” 

And then, for me, at the time, it was messaging. And that; as soon as I narrowed down my focus and became a bit more niche, that’s when people all of a sudden got it. They might have vaguely thought they needed a business coach. But when I say, “Hey do you struggle with this?” They went, “Oh yes. That’s what I need help with.” So I think trying to appeal to too many people is one of the biggest mistakes I see people making. 

ANGELA:

Yes.

MELINDA:

And then, another would probably be being really vague. Claiming outcomes and benefits like, “When you do this, you’ll feel so much happier and you’ll have a better life or you’ll be able to take your business to the next level.” That all sounds great, but it’s not tangible. It’s not something that I can try on and look at myself in the mirror and go, “How does this feel?” Like, it’s really hard for me to contextualize what that outcome would look like. So if you can stop being vague and actually give more specific examples like, “When you do this, you will be able to put a post up there and get these flood of likes and comments from the right kind of people who are going to become buyers.” 

That’s not a great example but just something that is specific that I could actually see happening. I could imagine that and I could go, “Wow. That would be amazing if I could actually have that outcome.”

ANGELA:

Yes. And I think, too, it’s like you said, there is, it’s just so vague out there. Like even though they’re shaking their head going, “Yes, I want to go next level,” again, who doesn’t want to go next level, right?

MELINDA:

And what would that look like? What does that feel like? What would be specific examples of what next level would look like for me so that I’d know if I even want that?

ANGELA:

Exactly right. And so if people are going, shaking their heads, “Yes, I think I do. Oh, no. Okay. Maybe I don’t.” And then, it’s like, “Okay, whatever. I just won’t do anything.” Right? And I also think people look at the external factors as to why people might buy, like the next level. But when you really look at the internal factors that are meeting with your ideal clients, it’s like, “Yes, that will allow me to be able to actually go to school and volunteer at my kid’s class every single week because I’ve been missing out because I’m in a corporate world.”

People can then see that and paint that picture and go, “Actually, yes. That is what I want.” That is very specific. Because that’s just an example of my ideal client market is that Moms feel that they’re missing out on being able to be active within their kid’s day to day activities because of XYZ. So for me, that’s kind of peel the layer one more step and go, “What is it exactly that you could see?”

MELINDA:

That’s it. Because so many people sit right at that surface level. And that’s why when you go into Facebook groups that allow promotion, you’ll see all these promo posts that start with almost the identical phrase, “Do you feel stuck? Are you frustrated? Are you tired and exhausted of…” And it’s the same shit repeated in different ways. And it doesn’t cut through because (A) it sounds like everybody else and people go, “I mean, sure. Yes, I feel stuck.” But it doesn’t hit me where; I don’t like to say it this way, but hit me where it hurts. Like, it doesn’t actually dig into what’s really going on for me.

But when you dig down one or even two more layers of; okay, let’s look at stuck. How is that feeling of being stuck showing up for this person? What is that making them do? What’s it making them think? What’s it making them say to themselves? Like, what is the internal conversation that’s going on in their mind when they’re lying awake at night? And they’re like, “Man, if I could just…” What’s that fill in the blank? “If I could just…” If you can join that conversation, that’s when your messaging really starts to connect. 

It doesn’t connect to that surface level because that’s where everyone plays. The minute you drill down and give me a specific example, where, if I’m your ideal client, I go, “Oh my God. That’ like you’re in my head. How did you know? Now you’ve got me. Now you’ve got my attention.” And there’s that immediate sense that, “Wow, if you know what I’m going through, you must know what to do about it.” Right?

ANGELA:

Yes. 100%. And so, if you’re looking at those key mistakes, so again, they’re not niche down and they’re being a bit too vague, are there any other common trends with those mistakes that you see?

MELINDA

Probably the final one is people try to get a bit too clever. Sometimes people want to come up with, I’ll ask like; I talk a lot about your core message statement. Like, what is that answer to the question, “Hey, so what do you do?” Some people try and make that sound really fancy. Like, I want to come up with this really unique and inspiring, or radically different way of saying that. And so, we’re trying to be clever. But so many people sacrifice being clear for being clever.

ANGELA:

Yes.

MELINDA:

And you don’t need to talk about how you’re this transformologist; you don’t have to have this fancy way of saying it. Just say, “I help women who are really struggling with their business to know exactly the steps that they need to take to get moving.” Like, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Just clear over clever wins every single time.

ANGELA:

Yes. And again, so that’s what the key mistakes you’re seeing is people trying to be super cheeky or super clever, using even jargon that half the people don’t even understand. Whereas, again, if you’re just clear and precise, and even if you have some of those other elements, you’re probably still further in the game with a clear messaging than someone who isn’t.

MELINDA:

Yes. Absolutely. And I think, some people think that a clear statement like, “I help women who are struggling with their business.” Well, but that doesn’t sound impressive enough. 

ANGELA:

Right.

MELINDA:

You don’t have to sound impressive. It just has to sound like something that you need.

ANGELA:

Exactly right. And again, and even if they don’t need, they can go, “Oh yes. I was in this Facebook group. And someone said that they needed this. Who was that lady again? Oh yes. It was such and such. Let me just tag her.” It’s not just about the people who you’re talking to. It’s who they are going to talk it, too. Who are they promoting you about?

So then, let me ask you this. For those that are going, “Okay, yes.” Why do you think businesses are missing this? And what are the benefits? And we’ve talked about the mistakes. But for all those businesses, people that are listening today, are there any type of businesses that don’t need a clear message? 

MELINDA:

I was really wracking my brain with this question because I don’t think so. Like I said at the top of this interview, I think that messaging will vary from different businesses and the way that you go about it and the way that you aim to connect with your clients will vary. But I think, ultimately, if you don’t know how to articulate what you do in a way that makes the right people sit up and pay attention and compels them to take action, I don’t know that you have much of a business. 

ANGELA:

Yes. And I guess, too, if you think about the point that any business owner at some stage is going to have to answer the question, “What do you do?”

MELINDA:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Regardless if you’re selling cookies, candles, plants, pants; you still have to be able to articulate it in even of the most simplistic ways.

MELINDA:

Yes. Absolutely. And just, whatever I’m selling, “Well, why would I buy this? Why would I choose this candle over that candle?” There’s got to be some kind of clarity at least. You’ve got to be clear on what that message is yourself. Because I think, even for me, like, I know that once I got clear on my message, everything just started clicking into place. It was less about whether anybody else got it. When I felt really clear on it, that’s when my confidence went through the roof because I was like, “Okay. Now I’ve got this. Now I know what to put in that blog. Now I know what to say on that live stream. Now I know how to actually convey that offer on a sales call with confidence because I just felt like I embodied that message myself.” 

ANGELA:

Yes. Fantastic. So those businesses out there that are probably, maybe even in the fetal position, as we’re talking, going, “Okay. Yes. “ Alright. I always say about my Podcast, I don’t want people to ever feel bad. It’s about dropping inside and planting the seeds so that people can go, “Okay. Actually, I probably do need to make this a priority. Now, what do I need to do about it?” So I don’t want people to ever be in a fetal position even though some may be, alright? My goal with any of my podcast is to educate and be able to give people; people that can help them such as yourself.

So what are some of the ways; walk us through maybe four to five ways that businesses can make their marketing message stand out?

MELINDA:

Great. Well, to me, there’s really fives steps and five components of getting clear on this message and really honing it. So the first step is to always identify and understand who your ideal client is. And I think I just heard the sound of a thousand eyeballs rolling back in their sockets and like, “Yes. Yes. We know, ideal client. Skip to the good stuff.” But seriously, I have to be a bit; I can be a bit blunt sometimes with my clients. But sometimes, I’m like, “Really? If you knew this person, you wouldn’t be having this problem. If you knew this person and how to communicate to them, your business would be doing better than it is.” 

So, I don’t say that to be harsh. I say that to be honest and to really emphasize that you can’t skip over this part or think, “Yes. Yes. I’ve got it,” knowing who this person is. And in particular, one thing that I think get skipped over a lot with ideal client stuff is where along the journey are they? Because sometimes, we go, “Oh, she’s a Mom. She’s got a couple of kids. And she’s running a business.” Great. But where along the journey is she? How old are her kids? Are they in that toddler/infancy stage? Are they primary school? Are they high school? Are they about to leave and become adults themselves? Where along the journey of motherhood? Where along the journey of business? 

Because depending on where I am along that journey, you could be helping with a particular problem. But the way that I see that problem, the way that I experienced that problem, the way that it shows up for me, what it makes me think, and feel, and see, and imagine, and believe about myself will vary depending on how far along that journey I am. So, step number one is understanding who that person is and where along the journey they are right now.

ANGELA:

Okay. Yes. Fantastic. And again, I totally agree. It’s one of the first things, I, too. I’m like, it’s not just, “They’re between 50 and 84, they’ve got 8 cats, older kids, a couple older.” So it’s like, again, and this is why again, you can all roll your eyes because the majority of you will probably be soon going, “Shit. I’m out. I’ve just been found out.” Because it isn’t. Like, to me, it’s like, I even go as far as naming that ideal client. It’s almost like you’re having an intimate relationship to some degree with this person. Like, you should really know the ins and outs of who you’re talking to. 

Like, where are they consuming information? How are they consuming information? Where do they eat? Right? What do they do on holidays? Like, “Oh, yes. Well, they go on holiday.” Okay. Great. Are they adventurous? Like, they do quite a riding, they jump out of planes, they do this? Or they’re more a beachy-type of person?” Because again, it’s going to come back to, if you don’t have the clear messaging, you’re not going to get the sales, you’re going to be able to write content, the connection’s not going to be there, and eventually, you’re going to have to close up shop. So you all can roll your eyes, but I totally agree, you have to know and understand who your ideal client is. So what’s step number two, then?

MELINDA:

Before we move on to that, I might just clarify one thing because; and I’m not meaning to disagree with you here, but I just want to add another flavour.

ANGELA:

Sure. 100%.

MELINDA:

What I feel; I think the reason why so many people roll their eyes about ideal client stuff, is that there are a lot of questionnaires that dig into things that a lot of people see as irrelevant. Like, what colour their eyes are, what kind of underpants they wear? And so, we’ve filled out these thousands of questionnaires to try and dig into our ideal client but then, we’re left going, “But, what do I actually do with that?” And so, for me, the really important things to understand, which comes into step two, anyway, is given that this is where they are along the journey, what’s going on for them right now? 

So I’ll use a quick analogy. I want you to imagine that this is really a long canyon and there’s super tall cliffs either side. Your ideal client is standing on one of those cliffs right now, and that cliff represents their current hell. So the shitty place they find themselves in, that the experience that they’re having, the frustrations that they’re having; something is going on for them right now but they are not happy about. And I think, sometimes we can get somewhat distracted with, what you’re saying, the adventure, holidays, all the beachy-holidays. Sometimes we get caught up in that kind of information, which is only useful in forming this picture. But then, we get frustrated with it and we’re glossing over what actually matters.

So if this person is standing on that cliff, which I would consider their hell, okay, what’s going on for them? What does life look like? How is that problem showing up for them? What’s it making them think? What’s it making them feel? All of that kind of thing. And they are gazing across that canyon at the other side of the cliff. And that side of the cliff represents their heaven. What do they want life to look like instead? If they could wave their magic wand and teleport over to that side, how would they want life to look? 

Now, what’s going on for them? Now, how do they feel? Now, what do they say to themselves when they’re lying awake at night? What has shifted for them? And so, I think if you’re doing the absolute bare minimum of ideal client stuff, that’s the conversation that you need to be connecting with. What does their hell look like on a specific and tangible level? And what does their heaven look like? And it’s not, “I’ll lose weight and I’ll feel better. I’ll have more energy.” No, give me more than that. Like, specific examples of what does life look like on a daily basis now. What do I say to myself? All of that sort of thing.

ANGELA:

Yes. And that’s again, where I think about, is that, and I agree that a lot of the ideal clients will touch on that very superficial external, but they’re not going into the internal stuff about how. And you did use the keyword there: SHIFT. Right? How is your product or services going to take them from one in shifting to the next to get them there? And that’s where again, that internal unpacking needs to happen.

MELINDA:

Absolutely. And that’s where step three comes in because if they are on one side of the cliff on their hell and they want to get on the other side of the cliff; their heaven, your offer becomes the bridge between the two. And another mistake I see a lot of people making with their messaging is they want to lead with that bridge. “Here’s my amazing approach. Here’s this awesome modality that I use. Here’s my 10-session coaching package.” They are leading with the bridge, but you haven’t yet connected with. If this is where you are and this is where you want to be, that’s why you would need my bridge. So we’re getting that whole process just flipped upside down.

So step one is understanding who this person is and where along the journey they are. Step two is getting a really clear picture of what their hell looks like and what their heaven looks like. Step three is understanding how to really position your service as the thing that’s going to take them from one side of the cliff to the other.

ANGELA:

Yes. And what are some of the things that people could, again, what’s a good position, as an example, and what’s a bad position that you see of people when they’re trying to position themselves?

MELINDA:

As in their offer?

ANGELA:

Right. Yes. So give an example of a bad offer. Because people might be going, “Well, how do I know?” And obviously, each business is going to be very individualized. But if they need to understand what’s the position that they need to have and what it is that they’re offering, can you give us an example of either like, how maybe they would go by doing that or how do they know? Because some people listening are going to go, “No, I’m set. I’m good. I’m awesome.” So how do they even identify if they are understanding how to position themselves correctly or not?

MELINDA:

Great. So again, this is a question that comes up on most of my discovery calls, where I say, “Okay. So tell me about your offer. Like, what have you actually got to sell?” And they’ll say, “Well, so it’s a 10-session package. We meet weekly and we have 45-minute sessions over Zoom. And they get email support.” I’m like, “Hang on a minute.” Because that’s not how you position an offer. I’m not investing in work with you because you do 10 sessions. I’m not thinking, “Yes. She does them over Zoom. That’s awesome. Because I hate Skype.” Like, that’s not a selling factor to me. 

And so, I would say, if you want to position your offer, you need to show me how (A) that this is going to take me from one side of the cliff to the other there; (B) I need to understand that your approach is the way that I want to do it. That what are the outcomes I’m going to get from working with you. And we need to make sure that we’re first of all clear on what the outcomes are. Then, how to articulate them in a way that people want it. So if somebody says to me, “Okay. Tell me about working with you.” I’m going to tell them, “Alright. Well, first we’re going to get really clear on this because that’s going to allow you to this.” So I’m breaking down instead of going Module 1, Module 2, Module 3; or getting caught in logistics. I’m talking about this is the outcome that you’re going to get from this. And here’s why that outcome is really important for you.

ANGELA:

Yes. Perfect. So if you go back to the example though, of the discovery call, right? And they’ve gone, “Yes.” So it’s not, again, I just want to make sure that people are understanding it. So it’s not so much about like, “Yes, you get 45 minutes. High fives. We’ll get Zoom. And we’re going to meet for two hours.” Like you said, you really want to be able to position yourself as again, taking them from that hell to that heaven and what are those positive outcomes going to look like.

MELINDA:

Yes. And it’s making sure that I’m positioning it in a way that this person will care about. And again, this is why you have to understand your ideal client. Because what matters to the Mom of the toddler is very different to what matters to the 65-year old Mom whose children live well and truly left home. The outcomes that I am going to get or the reason I would want those outcomes really varies. So you can’t skip over step one because that’s going to inform all the rest of these steps as well. 

But it’s making sure that you get; that you understand what is this outcome and that you get how it’s going to benefit you. And that that’s really connecting with what you ultimately want. 

ANGELA:

Yes. Fantastic. So that’s step three. And then, what leads us to step four?

MELINDA

So step four is one that I think a lot of people either unaware of or don’t consider enough, and this is understanding; well, I call it your through-line. And your through line is essentially the thing that you need your potential clients to understand or buy into or believe in order to feel like your service is the answer for them. What I mean by that is, if I use myself as an example, I need my ideal clients to understand that it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a pretty website, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a funnel, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got this most amazing branding shoot; if you can’t articulate what you do in compelling and juicy language, then none of that other stuff is going to work.

So that’s my through-line; for people to buy into my work, they need to believe that too. I need to convince them that this is what they need to believe. So have a bit of a think about what that through-line needs to be for you. What is the perspective shift that people need to have? Maybe you’re a weight loss coach. But maybe you don’t worry about diet or exercise; you just worry about the mindset. Okay. So what’s your through-line? What do people need to understand to buy into your approach? And with your through-line, when you’re clear on that; I call it a through-line because that means this is essentially the central theme of your work. Anytime you do a live stream, anytime you do a blog, you need to be bringing it back to this through-line because, “Hey, in order for you to get on board with me, this is what you ultimately need to understand. This is what it’s truly about.” So it becomes this little central line that we use its way through everything that you do to help people get on board with your particular approach. Does that make sense?

ANGELA:

Yes. 100%. And again, you can’t really get the through-line if we don’t go back to knowing who your ideal client is and understanding what they need.

MELINDA:

Yes. Because if they are at this point on their journey, they might not be in a position to accept your offer, so we need to educate them on, “This is what you need to understand. This is what you need to believe.” And for some people, that would be an instant, “Oh my God. That makes so much sense. I’m so in.” And for other people, it’s a bit of a slower burn where they need to see a number of your blogs or posts to really get around what you’re trying to position yourself as. 

ANGELA:

Fantastic. And the last step that people need to take to make their marketing message stand out?


MELINDA:

Yes. I mean, the last step to really get clear on this message and to make sure it stands out is to share it, speak it, over and over and over again. Because I will have a lot of people, like I’ll help people write a promo post for, “Here’s how you book this call.” So we’ll craft this promo post and they’ll take it out there, then they’ll go, “It was really good but I just heard crickets. Like nobody snapped it up.” And then, they’ll go, “What do I need to change about it.” It’s like, “Hang on a minute.” We don’t post something once and then go, “Okay. Great. So what do I need to do change?” We need to practice and practice and share and share our message. We need to get really comfortable saying the same thing in a thousand different ways because something will catch to people. Something will grab their attention. And we need to use that feedback to inform how we then shift our message.

So, I have examples of people who, they’ll put an offer out there and they might get clients who book their introductory call and also go back to me and just go, “Oh, wow. They were totally not the right client.” And I’ll go, “Great. Well, let’s have a look at that post again.” And you can see it plain as day. Well, no wonder that kind of person applied for the call because look at what we said here. Like, we essentially invited them. And sometimes, you can’t see that stuff and who you get the feedback from an audience. So you can’t sit in your cave trying to perfect and tweak your messaging. The only way to perfect it is to share it and say it over and over and over again. And get feedback; get interaction from that live audience. See what comes back to you and then let that inform, then you need to make any tweaks. 

ANGELA:

And again, I think, the fact that algorithms pay a huge thing and sometimes, we’re lucky if probably 1% of people are even seeing what we’re posting, right? Like, it’s that repetitiveness. And I can appreciate that. Because in the beginning, I used to like, “Yehey.” And jump right in. When I’m like, “Hey, this is me. This is what I do. This is how I help.” Right? So it’s kind of like one of those things that you have to constantly be reminding people and sometimes they might not be ready for you now. But then, they also get a light bulb moment and they’re like, “Oh, now, I get it. That works.”

MELINDA:

This is a long term game with anything; any strategy that you use, you have to be prepared to go at it. And I do see people who try something and they don’t get that immediate traction, they think they need to flip to something else. So, you need to actually commit to sharing that message and having that be the thing that you just speak to over and over again until people start to respond.

ANGELA:

Or not respond. They’ll test. And that’s what I say all the time, too, is that it might work now, but it might not work later. We can never; it’s an evolution. You never stopping, testing, trying, tweaking doing this. Because as your business grows, also and you grow, your ideal client sometimes will start to shift, too. So you have to constantly be almost reassessing step one again on a regular basis. Is that message is now still equivalent to the person you initially said that you wanted to work with?

MELINDA:

Exactly. Yes.

ANGELA:

It always changes. So for those out there are going, “Okay, clearly my market messaging is not standing out the way it needs to be,” where can they find you to be able to again, kind of stalk you. All that mini stalk; where can they stalk you, find you and be able to connect with you so they can get to see more a little bit about Melinda?

MELINDA:

I would actually love people to come across YouTube, that’s where I love hanging out at the moment. And I’ve got a bunch of videos on there that really dive into more specific topics around messaging and the more individual components of it. And I’m just having a ball over on YouTube. So that would be the best place. You can search for Melinda Kitto on YouTube and have a bit of a Netflix-style; binge-watch some of my videos there. And if you find the right one that appeals to you, there’s often like a download attached to those videos as well so can kind of get a little bit more absorbed in my world if that’s what you want to do. 

ANGELA:

Fantastic. And YouTube is a very hot spot at the moment. So yes. So head over there. We’ll have that link in the show notes also.

And before we sign off though, just a reminder that my team and I will also be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at angelahenderson.com.au. And of course, I cover all sorts of related business and life topics inside my very active Facebook Community, The Australian Business Collaborative. So head over there and join the community. But for the rest of you, have a fabulous day and I look forward to you joining me next week for another amazing episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. 

Thanks again, today, Melinda, for everything. I really, really appreciate it and I’m sure so many of the listeners do, too.

MELINDA:

Thank you so much for having me, Angela.

ANGELA:

Bye.

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, ways to make your marketing message stand out. www.angelahenderson.com.au 

Angel Henderson Consulting

I'm Ange... proud Canadian, Nutella eating lover and pink is my favorite colour with a splash of glitter. I'm a business consultant/coach who has helped hundreds of business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent 5-figure months and multiple 6-figure years... without burning out in the process.