We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” If only that were true in business. Carefully-designed “covers“ are essential to attracting potential buyers to commit to purchasing products and services.
Covers in business are not just on books. They include everything that acts as an impression (or as I term them: Critical Non Essentials) – websites, social media, newsletters, presentation and marketing collateral, e-mails, business cards, networking, and sales conversations. Poorly-presented covers destroy businesses every day.
The most effective stories communicate through a powerful combination of visual, verbal and literal, content that articulates a focused and compelling message. How one appears conveys just as much as what one says.
Below are fundamental dos and don’ts that will empower you to communicate with impact.
1) Be aware of your audience
Successful storytelling relies on connecting with your target audiences. Make sure you know exactly who they are and what makes them tick. Have a customised approach to each audience that speaks directly to them, not at them. Don’t speak to everyone in the exact same way.
2) Be relevant
Respect your audience by preemptively answering questions and telling your specific story. Don’t be generic, superficial, or waste people’s time.
3) Be focused
Time is valuable and attention spans are short. Prioritise your primary intention. Edit your message and break text apart into intuitive, easily-digestible pieces.
4) Be compelling
Make a meaningful connection that attracts your ideal audience. Provide an interesting entry point that will get them to want to learn more.
5) Be unique
Stand out from the crowd and be memorable. Don’t look, sound, feel, or present yourself like everyone else.
6) Be authentic
Honesty is the best policy. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Inject your personality and point of view in order to resonate and be relatable.
7) Be consistent
Create and maintain a relationship with your audience that is built on trust and reliability. Don’t present yourself in a way that is out of alignment with your values, products, and services.