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EPISODE 17: How to Know When Your Message Needs a Revamp

by Jan 19, 2021Podcast

In this episode we will cover:

  • Identifying situations that cause your messaging to need a revamp
  • Updating your messaging in light of changes to the world or your industry
  • Updating your messaging in light of changes to your audience
  • Updating your messaging to reflect your vision and values

Having clear, consistent messaging is crucial to your brand’s success.

But there’s actually such a thing as being TOO consistent. There are three key times your messaging could use a revamp. When things change around you {or when YOU change} your messaging needs to shift too.

 

In this episode, we’ll discuss 3 types of changes that mean your content needs a revamp, including:

  • Changes to the world, your community, and your industry
  • Changes to your audience
  • Changes to your own brand’s vision or values

Remember, it’s all about being flexible and responding to change! And while you can’t always plan for changes in the world or your audience, you CAN keep track of the changes in your business. A lot of business owners only think about their vision and values when they first establish their brand. But you’re always growing and evolving — make sure your messaging grows and evolves with you!

After you listen to the episode, tag us on Instagram @northstarmessaging and tell us about a change that inspired you to revamp your messaging!

Additional notes: This episode references Ask. by Ryan Levesque.

 

TRANSCRIPT

Jessi:
Welcome to the Brand Your Voice Podcast, where we’re digging into how you can create personality-driven content that connects and converts. I’m Jessi…

Marie:
…and I’m Marie. We’re the co-founders of North Star Messaging + Strategy, where we support business owners in outsourcing content without sacrificing authenticity.

Jessi:
Every brand has a unique voice that sets it apart. We're digging into how to capture the way your brand communicates from the words you use to the stories you tell so you can create more compelling content that strategically helps you meet your business goals.

Marie:
And if you choose to outsource that content, you'll be able to do so with confidence, knowing your brand voice is in good hands and you can reclaim your time. We're so glad you're here and hope you enjoy this episode.
Okay, welcome to another episode where we're going to be talking about how to know when your message needs a revamp. Of course, this is top of mind for us in our coronavirus world because everybody's brands seemed to go through at least a little bit of a change, but this happens more often than global pandemic so we wanted to cover that kind of instance, but also others where it may be a time for you to take a look at that message and reevaluate it a little bit.

Jessi:
Exactly, so today we're going to talk about three different situations where your message might need a revamp. And before we dive into those three instances, I want to back up and talk about your message as a whole because your core message, which we've talked about in previous episodes, really doesn't change very often. So these three instances that we're going to talk about today, they're not the sort of thing that you're going to run into every day or every other week. So don't worry that the message that you have, you're going to have to change it next month, you're going to have to change it for your next launch or for your next promotion. The core message will probably stay the same and remain consistent for a while.
However, there are times when it does make sense to update that message and really just check in on it, even if no updates end up being needed. It's important to just check in on that message periodically and make sure that it's still resonating with you, make sure it's still resonating with your audience, make sure it still aligns with your offers and with the content that you're putting out there.

Marie:
Exactly. So the three situations that we're going to talk about today is the world has changed, the world could also be a stand-in for something like your industry or your field. It doesn't have to be the entire globe. If your audience has changed, or if you and your brand have changed, so let's dive in first on high level to if the world has changed around you. So this could totally be something like COVID-19 where everything was changing and it did make sense to take a look at the messaging and just make sure that it still resonated, that it was still accurate, that it was compassionate and that it wasn't from a previous time.
Obviously it took everyone a little bit of time to transition. There's a bit of a grace period on something like this where there's global attention and that's great. The other side of this though is what if something's happening, a big shift, a big seismic shift in your industry or your community. So this could be, for instance, maybe there's a big shift in the health and wellness and nutrition space towards a certain new trend or awareness of some harmful practices that need to be stamped down, or some new understanding of science that's going to be integrated. So something like this really could cause a big shift for the industry as a whole, and in order to be seen as up-to-date and an expert in the field, your message needs to be responsive to that.

Jessi:
Yeah, absolutely, and going back to COVID-19, and this does sort of dovetail into the next point which is talking about your audience changing, but I think we saw a lot of the world changing and how the world changing impacted individual industries with COVID. So the prime example that I see brought up a lot is in education, and in the education space that entire space has gone through massive changes as a result of COVID-19 which meant that across at least the United States, many students of all ages are in very different situations. Everything from kindergarten to college looks very different which means that businesses serving those students or the students' parents also are looking different and their message has to adapt to this complete change in the industry.
And in this case where it is a very large scale change across the globe, odds are that pieces of those changes are going to stick around even after COVID goes away. And so really keeping your finger on the pulse of your industry, as well as on the pulse of the world at large, is going to be helpful for when you need to make tweaks to your message that are responsive to whatever reality we're living in at any given time because it does change and current events can impact our individual industries, sometimes substantially.

Marie:
[inaudible] it could be that you are seeing or have caused even yourself an innovation in the industry and want to respond to that, so it's not necessarily only applicable in some kind of tragedy or big global problem.

Jessi:
Yeah, absolutely. So the world has changed and that may mean that your message has to change. The next thing that may result in a shift in your message is if your audience has changed and this can be two different things. It could be, like we mentioned earlier with education, where their needs have changed because their circumstances have changed. All of a sudden education is mostly online or a hybrid and so the parents who have children who are going to school have slightly different needs than they needed when their kid was in a classroom all day.
The other way your audience can change is in the people who you are directly wanting to serve. You could sometimes pivot or even add audiences to the original audience that your core message was founded around. Perfect example of this is a business that establishes itself doing a lot of one-on-one work. This is really common, especially in service-based industries. Take coaching, for example. You, as a coach, are working with clients one-on-one to help them achieve their goals and that's great, and it has a capacity. It has a limit to how many people you can help at any given time.
So if you, as a coach, get to the point in your business where you decide that you want to introduce other options, maybe a one-to-many model, maybe a course, maybe a membership community, your audience may shift as well because the person who is best for that membership may not be the same person who is best for your one-on-one done-for-you coaching. And they may be eventually ready for the one-on-one work. They may just be in a different place on that path and on that journey but the language that they use, the place that they're at in their own businesses or in their own lives is going to be a little different. And so recognizing that when you're introducing a new service or a new product that targets a slightly different audience, the message has to shift as well.

Marie:
Exactly. So as Jessi said, this can happen if either the audience themselves has experienced a change in their circumstances like parents of school children during coronavirus, or if you, as a business, are shifting to serve a different audience. And I mean, this is something we've gone through ourselves a number of times between focusing on certain industries or certain demographics or certain subsets of business owners over time, so honestly, we're not really going to dive too deeply into what to do in this case but if I had one word of advice here it would be just go for the new messaging. You're still going to be able to attract people that you would have been working with to help you transition most likely, but people are never going to know who you're shifting towards serving unless you tell them. Any words of wisdom to add there, Jessi?

Jessi:
Yeah, well, I think to your point, we will probably do an episode in the future that talks a little bit about the what and the how to really go along with evolving that message, how to do it effectively, but I also wanted to add that this is an area where conversations are really important and relationships that you've formed with your audience. Whether it's your current audience, your past audience or your future audience, all of those conversations are so important and all of those relationships are really important.
I know when Marie and I were switching our audience at one point from working with a lot of early stage entrepreneurs to entrepreneurs who were a little further along in their business, a lot of what informed that transition were the conversations that we were having with people at those various phases. And we could take from those conversations who could we really serve and who could we really have the biggest impact when we worked with them? And without those conversations, it did sort of feel like we were more uncertain with our messaging.
It was once we started having those conversations that we were able to feel confident in the idea that, yes, our message does need to change because the message that we've been putting out has been attracting people that we can't have as great of an impact on. And so we shifted our message to serve people who we knew we could impact more thoroughly and have a longer term impact on.

Marie:
Yeah, and it doesn't have to be complicated, right? A lot of times what you're doing at the end of the day may not be shifting because you're still an expert in that thing that you're an expert in and the delivery may not actually shift all that much, but it's just a matter of calling out empathy points that actually resonate with where your audience is as you shift that.
So the next piece of the consideration of three situations where you might need a revamp for your messaging, and the final piece that we're going to talk about in this episode is you yourself, you the business, you the brand, have changed. So, honestly, answer for us how often do you sit down and think about your vision and your values? It could be very often, right? I know a lot of our peers and friends have regular CEO days with themselves and leadership within their team, and other folks they kind of think about it when they're asked about it, maybe by a coach or someone who's interviewing them on a podcast or something like that but otherwise it may not come up that often.
And that's okay if that's you but oftentimes if we're not taking an intentional look at the long, mid and short term vision for the company and re-evaluating our values, which probably aren't going to have an enormous shift but probably will shift at least somewhat or get more refined over time, then we're not reflecting our message to be up-to-date. And a lot of times we see this with clients who come to us and they say, "We did have this website copy, for instance, written for us four years ago but it hasn't grown with us. We've evolved past it and it's time for us to update it."

Jessi:
Yeah. I mean, as a business owner, there is a constant state of evolution. There's constant adaptation to changes in the industry, changes in your audience and changes in yourself. You, when you started your business, are not at the same place three years into it, five years into it, 15 years into it, and so it's so important to sit down and evaluate, and if you have a team to evaluate with your team, whether your message is reflecting not just where you are currently, but also where you want to go, keeping that vision in mind, rather than having a message that's actually pulling you backwards.
And so just taking the time to sit down either by yourself or with a team, or if you are a solopreneur maybe with an accountability buddy, and talk through your vision and talk through the content that you're putting out there to represent your vision, the message that is showing up through your content, through your homepage, through your services, through all of these pieces, that form your business's ecosystem. What is the message that is being conveyed? Is it clear and is it accurate to what your brand wants to represent at any given time?

Marie:
Yeah, and not just what the brand wants to represent. I think all of that's true, and what your brand wants to offer. We actually had a conversation with a client earlier today who we were asking, "What do you most want to communicate about this one-on-one service?" And she was like, "You know, I don't actually really want to offer it anymore." And so then we were able to say, "Okay, great. There's nothing stopping you from offering that behind the scenes to somebody who is still a really great fit. You could offer it privately for them. You already have a PayPal page set up or whatever, but let's not talk about it in terms of [inaudible] face messaging because we actually want to siphon people away from that and over to this other thing that you're more interested and has a higher conversion rate and higher profitability rates for you, is more sustainable for your business model," whatever it is, right? So whenever you shift your offers, pieces of your business model, things like that, sometimes it's hard to remember all the little bits and bobs of your messaging that need to shift as well to make sure that you're really closing the loop on that.

Jessi:
Yeah, absolutely, and so this is why it's so important to create a regular check-in for yourself on your messaging because we get so stuck in the weeds sometimes. We have whatever is coming down the pipeline as far as content or launches or offers or work with our clients, and there's so much going on that this deep-seated core of what our business stands for and how it operates within the world may shift under our feet without us even realizing it, because we don't often have the time or the energy or the wherewithal to take a look at it.
And so that's why our homework for you today is to actually calendar this out. Go to your calendar and put a messaging evaluation on it for yourself or yourself and your team, if you have one, within the next three months. That way you can sit down and you can look at your messaging and you can see, is it chaotic? Is it scattered? Has it changed? How can we pull pieces together to be more consistent and to reflect where we are now and where we want to go? And then once you have that meeting, put another meeting on the calendar after that so that you can consistently be sitting down.
As we said at the beginning, this isn't something that's going to change on a weekly basis. This is something that, if you look at it a few times a year, maybe once or twice or three times a year, that's more than enough to just say, "Okay, yes, we're still on the same path," or, "No, we need to make some slight adjustments."

Marie:
Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Brand Your Voice Podcast. Make sure to visit our website northstarmessaging.com where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, and more.

Jessi:
If you found value in this episode, we'd love for you to leave us a review on iTunes and share it with your friends. Thank you and happy content creating.

For additional content strategy and branding tips, check out northstarmessaging.com/blog. Also, please tag us on Instagram and let us know you’re out there! @northstarmessaging 


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