Studies show that brands consistently get better results (i.e. are effective in getting sales) from their marketing efforts if they’ve been careful to clearly communicate their intended message to their target audience.
That means effective website copy is about more than just writing that sounds good.
Effective marketing is about figuring out exactly what your ideal clients need to hear to get them to choose you over any other option available to them.
But how do you do that? In my experience, most business owners are too close to their businesses so they can’t get perspective on what matters (and what doesn’t) in their brand communications. One minute, it all feels important; the next, it feels like there’s nothing worth saying at all!
The key is to work with someone who’s one step removed from your business to help you get everything about your business out of your head and to sift through it to find the gems that will make you stand out from the crowd and attract your ideal clients – i.e. your brand messaging.
What is brand messaging?
I like to think of brand messaging as talking points about your business to use as building blocks for all your marketing communications.
Brand messaging can include a number of different pieces depending on who you work with, but the focus should be on understanding your ideal clients and developing language around your unique value.
I give my clients brand messaging reports that include things like…
- An analysis of their ideal clients, what they care about, and what makes my client the perfect designer for them
- Their brand values (the ones that matter to their ideal clients)
- Describing vocabulary for their aesthetic and the service experience they provide for their clients
- Their positioning statement
- Their key differentiators
- Statements that express their unique point of view on design, the home, serving their clients, etc.
- Their brand voice
- Short pieces of copy that bring all of those elements together to address things like the value of their service offerings, their process, their background, their team, etc.
Developing strategic messaging around all of these elements of my clients’ brands serves two important purposes: It allows us to get on the same page about how we should portray their brand in their website copy and it gives them well-thought-out, expertly written messaging they and their team members can use to communicate about their brands in writing (emails and other client-facing materials) and verbally (discovery calls, media interviews, etc.)
Brand messaging first, then website copy
I hate to start writing anything with nothing but a blank screen. It’s virtually impossible to come up with what to write on the fly like that! I want something already there to use as a jumping-off point that gets me headed in the right direction.
And my clients’ website copy is such an important part of their marketing. I don’t want to just write copy that sounds good but doesn’t really do anything to differentiate them from other designers.
By thinking through the most important talking points about my clients’ brands and determining how best to say them upfront, I have all the ingredients in place when I start writing their website copy (or anything else for their businesses, for that matter).
Having already made all the hard decisions with my clients about what needs to be said and how to say it reassures us both about where we’re headed with their copy. Even better, it ultimately makes the copywriting portion of their project relatively easy with fewer revisions and less frustration for everyone involved!
As it happens, working through the process of developing their brand messaging gives my clients more than just effective website copy.
It gives them clarity about themselves, their clients, and their work. Just getting everything out of their heads and talking it all through together is almost therapeutic in a way. And because I understand the interior design industry, I’m able to give them perspectives they’ve never been able to get on their own, including what makes them super special and unique as a designer.
A by-product of this clarity is confidence. Not only does their brand messaging allow them to see themselves and their businesses in a new light; it also gives them language for it all – language they know is on point and right for where they want their businesses to go. It’s like walking into the party in a killer new dress that makes them look amazing! They’re ready to talk to anyone and everyone about their brand. Bring on the new prospects, please!
Now how does that sound? If you feel stuck in your head about your interior design business and are craving a change in perspective that lets you communicate with prospects and clients clearly and confidently – whether you need new website copy or not – you can learn more about my Brand Messaging Development service here.