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If I asked you to tell me your core message, what would you say?
Could you articulate the big idea at the heart of your work? Or would you be left fumbling for words, unable to communicate the real power and meaning behind what you do?
Firstly, let's chat about what a core message is.
Your core message is an idea that captures the essence of your business, helping your customers “get” your work. It reflects why you do what you do, what you stand for, and the difference you make in your customers’ lives.
So why do you need a core message? Let’s say you’re an accountant, or a chiropractor, or a service provider in a small town. Aside from referrals, what would make new customers choose you over your local competitors?
Potential customers want to feel that they can trust you. They want to understand your approach to your work and they want to know that you have the experience to help with the challenge they are facing.
Maybe your work as an accountant is all about demystifying taxes and finances and empowering solopreneurs to take charge of their financial future. Or you could be a behind-the-scenes whizz, who takes care of finance for clients who just want the job done.
But if your website copy and your marketing is safe, generic and just like every other accountant in town, then you’re not communicating your core message. You’re wasting an opportunity to attract the right clients and help potential customers make the best choice for them.
When you are clear on your core message, you can set yourself apart from others in your field. By showing your potential customers that you understand their struggles and speaking to what they truly desire, you will immediately appear more human and approachable.
When you share your core message with heart, you create marketing that ‘sticks’. Stories, meaningful anecdotes, quotes and testimonials are powerful ways to share your message and help potential customers understand what they can expect when they work with you. These tools are memorable, engaging and evoke curiosity in those who seek a similar experience or results. You’re also starting to build a relationship before that customer even picks up the phone or walk through the door.
Sure, some people won’t resonate with your message – and that’s okay. Your core message helps to filter out those customers who are not a great fit for you, or want something different from what you have to offer. Simultaneously, it helps you attract more of your ‘true’ customers – those who align with your approach and with whom you do your very best work.
Once you’ve nailed your core message, it becomes the foundation of all your marketing. All your social media content, your videos and blogs, your newsletters and your advertisements should align with this big central idea in some way. This makes it easy to be consistent and to reinforce the idea for your customers.
Your core message also becomes a filter for new projects, collaborations and products. It’s easy to get excited by fresh ideas, or feel flattered by invitations to collaborate, but such projects can end up distracting us from our true goals. When new opportunities arise, ask yourself “how does this align with my core message?” If it does not, consider letting the opportunity go. Or if it’s sufficiently important, consider realigning your business (and your message) to accommodate this new idea.
So how do you find your core message? One of the most powerful tools I use with my clients is the ‘60 seconds and a microphone’ visualisation.
Imagine yourself in a room full of your ideal clients. They are all struggling with the same problem. Sit for a minute or so with your eyes closed, and feel the pain, fear or frustration all around you. Get really clear on what it feels like to walk in their shoes.
Then open your eyes and imagine that you have 60 seconds and a microphone. What would you say to reassure these ideal clients that you can solve their problem?
Take out your journal and scribble down everything that comes to mind. Put it aside for a day or so to allow those ideas to percolate, before looking for a common thread or theme.
People want to be part of something that is more than a transaction. By finding your core message and sharing it with heart, you not only attract the right clients, you elevate a simple purchase into something powerful and meaningful – and ultimately more satisfying for both parties.
Want to go deeper into your core message? Download my FREE Write to the Heart of Your Message Workbook – 12 essential questions you must answer before you write your site, create a product or do ANYTHING in your business.
Christine Sheehy is a messaging coach, copywriter and author who will help you refine your core message, find your authentic voice and show up boldly online, so you can grow your tribe of loyal followers AND your business. She teaches entrepreneurs how to consistently create engaging content and stand out in a noisy online world, through messaging coaching, journalling programmes and writing retreats. Christine writes, dreams (and persistently tries and fails to give up coffee) from a seaside village near Matakana, New Zealand. You can find Christine at www.christinesheehy.co.