WHAT IS IT?
How to Create Basic Messaging for your Business
Creating your messaging is creating your groundwork. It’s making sure you have all the necessary ingredients to get started and ensuring you are preemptively solving for questions in your market, as well as for the media. This guide will walk you through how to create messaging that can be used across ALL communications such as press releases, pitches, social media, website copy and even sales copy, to make sure you are always “on message.”
There are five basic pillars to messaging:
- Mission Statement: This is your aspirational message
- Positioning Statement: This is exactly what you do
- What are you Solving For? People don’t want to know what you do – they want to know how you can help them
- How are you Different?: You don’t have to be first – you just have to Explain how you are different than your competition.
- Growth: Where are you going? How are you growing?
This is not what you do, rather what you want to be . Are you trying to disrupt an industry? Make change in a space? Change the world? Think about how your technology/type of business and your company impacts people.
The formula I like to use to determine this goes like this:
mission is to (x) for (y) so they can (z) x = what you provide, y = to whom, z = benefit. Here is an example mission statement from one of my former clients, ABC:
“ABC is transforming the diagnostics lab experience. Our vision is to empower people with their own health information so they can live healthier and happier lives.”’
Your Positioning statement is exactly what you do — what are you providing to the world and for who and why?
A positioning statement answers the following questions:
- What exactly does your company or brand do? Think about how you would explain it to friends
- Who you target?
- And what benefits do you provide?
The statement will generally be an internal document, although it should be used as a guide to ensure all your content is consistent. It can also be used as your Boiler Plate for the bottom of your press release.
Here is an example positioning statement from one of my former clients, ABC:
ABC provides at-home lab testing kits with beautifully redesigned results.The platform empowers consumers to order, self-collect, and understand their own physician-approved lab tests with the goal of improving health and reducing risk of future or chronic disease.
So in this case, the WHAT Everlywell does is “provides at-home lab testing kits”;
Everlywell targets “consumers”; and aims at “improving health and reducing risk.”
WHAT ARE YOU SOLVING FOR?
People don’t want to know what you DO, they want to know how you can help them. How are you making their life easier? What problems are you solving for them?
Think about why you created this product. You saw a problem, and you wanted to fix it. Why is there a need in the market for your product/service?
Using the ABC example: why did at-home lab diagnostic testing companies become all the rage? They were solving for the following:
- Lab testing is cumbersome
- It’s costly, time-consuming and the results are confusing to read
- And sometimes specialty tests are not covered by insurance.
“What are you solving for” is one of the first questions any reporter will ask you, so it’s important to have this jot down. It’s okay to have this simply as a list, or 3-5 supported bullets.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT?
You can be solving for a myriad of things, but if somebody else is doing the same thing you are – then what? Think about what sets you apart. When you created this product or service, we are sure you did a competitive analysis to see what you could do better. This is where you talk about that.
Supported bullets are a great way to organize this. Think about what you are disrupting, what uniquely sets you apart, and even what the best/most interesting aspect of what you do is, from your perspective.
Here is an example from ABC on how you could bullet out ways you are different.
- ABC is the only company that combines these three components, making it a unique offering on the market.
○ Consumer ordered tests
○ At home kits with no lab visit
○ Beautiful redesigned results
- ABC is the only company offering a suite of regulatory-compliant, physician-authorized, at-home lab tests, without a lab visit or an in-person doctor referral.
- ABC is the only at home lab testing company that has redesigned the experience around the consumer first.
In the first one, we discuss how ABC is the only company to combine three unique components. The second bullet focuses on how it is the only company offering a suite of benefits, and the last one talks about it’s unique redesign.
In the event that you are speaking with Investors or the Business press, they will want to know where you are going — and how you are growing. Here are a few example messaging points for you to consider/think about.
Note: this is not always externally facing, but important information for you to have on hand especially when talking to business reporters:
- [Company] raised a $500K convertible note in [month, year], as well as a $2.5M seed round closed in [month, year], allowing the company to expand in marketing, add product development and engineering talent, and move to [city].
- The company launched in beta in [month], and now has over XXX paying customers, averaging XX% month-over-month growth. The customer base is largely female and distributed in X states.
- The team has grown from two to six full time employees and four part time employees in the last six months.
- Product roadmap and expansion plans include: XXX
- [Company] is planning to enter X industries in the next X years Expansion plans
Other sections to consider:
Regulatory Messages (if needed)
Funding Messages (if/when needed)
Now you have created your backbone, the skeleton of your company.