If you’re telling people what you do or how you do it, you’re wasting your time. What you want to tell people is WHY you’re doing it and WHAT the benefits are. You want your audience to understand what VALUE it is that you or your organization provides.
For many businesses, this is a tough concept to convey. Organizations are so busy dealing with what goes in to their businesses, they neglect to research — or feature — the fruits of their labor.
I’m currently part of a team working on a Taproot pro bono project. The scope is to create Branding and Key Messaging so that the non-profit’s staff can reach out to their audiences of potential donors and volunteers.
This is a two-part project; the first part is Brand Positioning: profiling the audiences that will write a check or volunteer to support this non-profit and clarifying what it is the organization offers. There could be a variety of audiences: corporations, foundations, individuals who will volunteer or those who may donate. What do the different audiences need to hear about the organization that will make them pay attention? What will resonate with them — enough to write a check or volunteer time to further the efforts of the non-profit?
The second part of this project is Brand Messaging. Like any organization marketing their products or services (either non-profit or for-profit), this particular organization needs to engage the listener with facts and figures reflecting the challenges the organization faces and the facts and figures showing their productivity or success. Add to that the brand’s stories: real-life examples of what challenges the organization and its constituents have met…and solved. What are the organizations successes? These “stories” or examples of an organization’s achievements can be told in-person and through interviews, testimonials, case studies, social media, customer survey results and on their website.
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Bottom line, this particular organization wants their prospects to write a check or volunteer their time. Their audiences, like any potential client, will make a time or monetary commitment if they can see the value in working with the organization. They want to know what they, and the organization’s constituents, “get” when a donor gives their money or their time. What will the benefits be?
The fallback brand messaging for so many businesses is telling potential clients what they do: make widgets, provide services, be cheaper, faster, bigger, newer, shinier.
For the most part, those things don’t matter. This is where the wrong messaging fails. What matters are the results; the benefits. For someone who wants to hire you, write you a check or volunteer their time, what’s in it for them? Bottom line: What will be the Return on Their Investment? If you can tell that story well, you’ll have an appreciative, responsive audience. An audience that volunteers their time, writes a check or hires you.
Let’s talk about your brand messaging: Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding, marketing and strategy expert. Using traditional and online marketing to start and grow businesses, she works with startups, entrepreneurs and small- to medium-size companies. Martha is the author of the content marketing book: The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog