Once you have identified your ideal client, where they hang out, and how they like to consume information, you need to craft a marketing message that will resonate with them.
By resonate, I don’t mean that people will smack their foreheads and exclaim, “Eureka, I have found exactly what I have needed all my life!” although that would, of course, be lovely. But your message needs to appeal to your people in a personal or emotional way.
So how can you make sure your marketing message appeals to your target audience? You need to address their pain points in a way that shows them that you understand their situation. You also need to demonstrate that you have the solution (or transformation) that will solve their issue. Finally, you must tell them what to do to get that solution; give them a call to action that will move them forward.
Those are the mechanical, logical pieces. Remember, people buy on emotion and justify their purchase with logic. To appeal to people on the all-important emotional level, the magic comes in the words that you use.
Even if you’re creating a simple, bullet point ad, you need to make sure you’re using words that your target audience is not only comfortable with, but attracted to. Anyone who has been in a relationship knows that men and women communicate differently. In my book, Marketing in 4 Hours a Week, I discuss the differences in the language—the actual words—that men and women use. You don’t want your word choice to turn off the very person you’re trying to attract.
Go Beyond the Usual “Magic Marketing Words”
Think about it. Most likely, there are words and phrases that cause you to roll your eyes or inwardly cringe. Sometimes they are over-used marketing phrases, like “crush it” or “ninja hacks.” Other times, it is slang coming from someone who isn’t, shall we say, the age, race, or gender appropriate person to say it. Do you really want to hear your 93 year old nana telling you to “Suck it up, Buttercup”? Or maybe a word or phrase is someone’s personal pet peeve. (Sorry, you can’t do much about that.)
Just as there are phrases that repel, there are certain words that attract. Yes, “chocolate” springs to mind, but we could go with the old standbys of “free,” “special,” “new,” “miracle,” and so on. There is a reason why they are old standbys—they still work.
Those words will attract the eye, momentarily at least, of just about everyone. But, as my clients know, their target market is not everyone. Include the old standbys, then elevate your messaging to specifically target your ideal client.
Speaking to Men vs. Women
I was sitting in a live seminar and the people seated around me happened to be women. The speaker was a 30-something motivational speaker who was—obviously—a competitive type. His talk was filled with male-oriented language: Explode your sales, dominate the competition, winning is the only thing that matters. I whispered a side comment about it and the women nodded. From that point on, every time he used a typically male conquer-the-world expression, there would be suppressed giggles from our little group. He was doing a hard sell and we weren’t buying. But the men in the room ate it up.
Men and women use different language. What I’m about to say is somewhat generalized and stereotypical, but stereotypes exist for a reason. So understand that this does not apply to every man or every woman. You’re not marketing to everyone.
Men use words and phrases that are warlike and competitive (and sometimes sexual):
- Annihilate/Incinerate Your Competition
- More Bang for the Buck
- Be on Top/Be Number One
- Hard Core
It’s all about winning, and coming in second is another way of saying losing.
Women use words and phrases that are more inclusive and cooperative:
- Share, Connect/Connection
- Baby Steps
- Life Balance
Yes, there are alpha women, but most of us, whether innately or through culture, tend to see the value in cooperation and look for equitable solutions.
If your ideal client is an alpha female, single, making high six figures and aiming for seven or eight figures and her avatar is Xena, Warrior Princess, then by all means, use the “male words” in your marketing. But if your ideal client is a female entrepreneur who has a husband, kids, dog, and possibly a ferret that is currently missing somewhere in the house, she is most likely going to resonate with the phrase “life balance” (and possibly wine).
Become the Client Whisperer
You can put your marketing message in front of your target audience all day long, but if you’re not speaking their language, they won’t hear it, no matter how loudly you shout. We all laugh at the person who speaks louder to someone who doesn’t speak their language, somehow thinking it will make them understand. That’s exactly what marketers do when their message isn’t getting through to their prospects. I don’t know about you, but I don’t do business with people who yell at me.
It can take seven to ten “exposures” or impressions for something to move from our subconscious to our conscious brain. Using the actual words that resonate with your target audience helps those impressions stick and shorten the time frame of your sales cycle.
It’s time to start speaking your clients’ language. There’s no need to shout. A well-worded whisper will do.