Communication is everything when it comes to growing your business. But despite our familiarity with the word, most of us behave as if we have no idea what communication really means. My definition of the word is as follows:
communicate (v.): to successfully transmit a message
Does this mean that writing and speaking are the same thing as communicating? No, not necessarily!
If you tell someone, “there’s a bad moon on the rise,” but they hear, “there’s a bathroom on the right,” you haven’t communicated anything — you’ve failed to transmit the information. You’ve said something … but you certainly haven’t communicated.
This Is Your Responsibility
So what does this have to do with business?
As an entrepreneur, it’s your responsibility to ensure that communication takes place. If you say one thing, and your target market interprets it differently, then your communication attempt has failed.
If you write on your website, “I help people reach their potential,” and someone’s response is, “I don’t want to reach my potential; I want to get a better job,” then you’ve failed as a copywriter.
When you market something — whether it’s industrial widgets or career coaching — you have to get in your customers’ heads. You have to understand how they think, and what words they use to describe their problem.
Then you have to speak to them using their own language, to ensure that effective communication takes place.
Pay attention to your customer’s emotions and motivations. Notice what common fears they share. Understand what brought them to your website in the first place and what result they want. Then use that language front and center on your site. Promise a result.
Your Service Is An Obstacle
Here’s another clue: people actually DON’T want books, videos, coaching, or software. All of these things are actually obstacles that stand in the way of the results they want.
Your customers don’t think, “I want career coaching.” They think, “I want a better job, so I guess I need to hire a coach or something.”
They don’t think, “I want a CRM that syncs with my iPhone.” They think, “I want to make more sales from my existing customers.”
Focus on the result. The benefit. This is powerful way to communicate because it speaks directly to their problem, using clear and common language.
Image by Marc Wathieu / Creative Commons