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Say what you mean. Five top tips for effective messaging

Posted by Meredith Papas on 25 September 2017
Say what you mean. Five top tips for effective messaging

Say what you mean.


It's a simple notion; yet it can make or break a deal, partnership or business prospect.


The warmest of leads can crackle and frost over without clean and concise messaging. Without a delivery which is strategic and direct, you are left lost for words -  literally!


Time and again we are coached and counselled on the importance of good communication. It's a universally-accepted quality across the full spectrum of interaction, and it transcends platforms, industry, relationships and hierarchy.


But this is all rather easily said.


To deliver effectively is something quite different. Especially when you're starting out, keen as mustard but a little (or a lot) at sea when it comes to telling people what it is you actually do!


Knowing your message, understanding your organisational disposition (and your own, therein) is critical in being able to say what you mean, mean what you say and get your point across.


Every organisation and industry has its own "language". It's the dialect which comes from the wording of things like your organisational profile, capability statement, website, SEO, social media and even your back-of-house policies and procedures.


The trick is first, uncovering that language; then second, owning it.


There are words which will define your reason for being.


But the big question is how!


1. KISS Keeping it Simple and Sublime This is one of life's golden rules. In business, as in everything, the simplest most streamlined approaches are evidently the most sublime. Don't overthink, overcomplicate or overextend. Choose language and an organisational "dialect" which matches both your organisation's modus operandi and the skills and delivery style of your crew.

2. Know your stuff You know what you're doing. Chances are you're the best in the sector. But how do you sum it up? Set aside a half day (or whatever time will permit) and do some old-fashioned brainstorming. It works wonders! You'll be amazed at what a few words will do in the development of your mission, values and even your schedule of services.

3. Construct a solid core Take the words you have come up with and, from there, develop your organisational infrastructure. Mission statements, vision, values statement, organisational profile, capability statement, staff bios, web content, policies, professional letters you name it require consistency and should be loyal to that all important organisational language. This suite of documents underpins your operational and cultural direction.

4. Optimise! Know what people are looking for and get in their face! Pepper your web content with searchable words and phrases. Seek feedback from clients and others who have sought out your kind of services and make sure your content shows it. Use headings and sections effectively. Use your name and the most explicitly simple explanation of your offering everywhere! And Blog! The more frequently, the better.

5. Engage a professional. Good content is not something everyone can do themselves. Sure, no one knows what you do, better than you! But ever tried writing or telling someone something good about yourself? Unless you're a seasoned spruiker (or a narcissist by nature) that can be one of the hardest things to have a crack at. By engaging a professional and experienced specialist, who will spend the time sitting down with you, getting to know your business and not watching the clock on an hourly rate, you are investing in the deeper, more essential profile elements of your business. That makes for some pretty solid foundations.

 

Good words are wonderful. But only if you have the good housekeeping in place to make sure they're delivered well and hitting the mark. So, watch this space in the weeks to come for more on these Top Five tips.

Author: Meredith Papas
About: WORDS In business they are your most powerful tool; but use them poorly, and they'll be your undoing. Enter, Meredith Papas and iScribe Consulting. Words are Meredith's business. For the past 20 years Meredith has used the written word as her tool of trade. She cut her teeth as a journalist in Regional Queensland, where she specialised in business, agriculture and industry writing, as well as penning features and profiles on regional businesses and identities. She honed her skills as a sub-editor and proof reader, and then took on leadership roles as a newspaper editor in Mount Isa, Gladstone and Mackay. Add to that, roles as a regional editor and then senior group content editor for one of Asia-Pacific's largest regional media organisations, and it rounds out a solid skill set which spans the full gamut of high-level professional writing. Meredith has a simple philosophy: Everyone has a story to tell. But it's not what you have to say - it's how you say it. From professional bios, to business capability statements; CVs to business cases; funding submissions to content for your website, Meredith will work with you to make sure your clients know exactly what you're about. It's insight. It's experience. It's your story to tell. So, tell it.
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