Expert advice on message-first branding to rise above the noise of a billion websites.
Want to become the “go to” creative brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights? Then you need to go way beyond logos, graphics and sites like Marisa Murgatroyd, founder of Live Your Message. She helps entrepreneurs create a business brand that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.
But First, You Need A Tribe
The problem most entrepreneurs run into, when trying to locate said tribe has everything to do with inaccurate, inconsistent, or inauthentic messaging. Your tribe is emotional. They want to be spoken to in a way that resonates deep, to wonder how you knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling. They want to trust you, and in order for that to happen, you have to be authentic and memorable. And being authentic means you are genuine, accurate, and reliable. Not an easy feat, but not impossible either.
TRIBE: The intersection of who you serve and how you’re different.
NICHE: The intersection of who you serve and what you do.
Based on these wonderful breakdowns from Marisa, it’s so easy to see why you should be putting more emphasis on your tribe before your niche. The who and the why should come before anything else.
We Show More Than We Tell
The internet has shifted from a place of copy to a place of imagery, and imagery can be incredibly powerful in showing, not only what you do, but also what you believe in. When your beliefs align with what you do, your potential customers are drawn to the message because it feels good to them, it feels whole. This is why it is so important for your message to be absolutely clear. From there, once you are clear on your messaging, your job of conveying that message will become much easier, because you aren’t guessing, or making wasted attempts. You also are being clear with your customer base, which, as it turns out, is also really good for business.
Did I Mention That You Must ‘Show’ In Less Time Than Ever Before?
I remember pouring through the pages of ‘Blink’ when it first came out, intrigued by the theory of thin-slicing; the mental process that works rapidly and automatically from relatively little information, allowing us to make snap decisions, and judgments. Human beings’ attention spans are shrinking and I wonder if the fraction-of-a-second theories around thin-slicing are even less now.
As it stands right now, we know that you have mere seconds to grab and hold the attention of a potential tribe member. Either you’ve got it exactly right, or you’ve lost them. Your message needs to be focused on capturing the hearts and then the minds of people. Go for the strong emotional connection first, and follow with the information and the content giving them more of what they need. That message is how you get their foot in the door, which is incredibly important, but remember that the rest has to be good enough for them to stay. Consistency is key.
Do You Hear That?
The noise of the internet is getting louder every single day, and being heard over the noise of a billion websites requires a detailed approach. You can’t just slap up a website, add a few icons and your best headshot, and expect to change the world. Your message, coming from your heart, built into a platform that represents everything you believe in is the minimal requirement in all this noise. As you build your business, and grow your message, you should always take into serious consideration whether you are speaking genuinely to your tribe, or adding to the noise.
Don’t Get Lost In The Mire
More than letterhead (Is that still a thing?) or any tangible pattern you can design into your business, your message is in it for the long-haul, a mainstay in the ever-changing landscape of your business and every other. Start your branding with your message, one that’s clear and authentic, and be amazed at the connections to follow.
Read the original INC article published on May 23, 2017.