Chances are good you have settled into 2020 and the new decade. Goals are set and you are optimistic about reaching them by planning your work and working your plan. You know what you offer and feel confident around your process for delivery. There’s only one problem: You don’t feel comfortable with how you communicate it.
The MOST IMPORTANT part of selling yourself, your organization, and your products and services is telling your story in a meaningful, concise and compelling manner. But how? Many of us feel unsure of how to accomplish this, and some of us are so daunted we leave it to our intern or website developer (probably not the best way to reach your dream customer).
What if you could rework what you want to say in a consistent way by following a simple formula? You could simplify and streamline your messaging, getting it out into the world quickly and building results by telling your story your way. Your brand voice is right there, waiting to come out! And the best part is, once you have determined the right language, tone, personality and style for communicating your message, anyone you delegate can use that framework to write in your brand voice on your behalf.
When you use the SMILES formula, you identify the parts of you that help make up your brand, whether you are one of a team or you are an entrepreneur who is solely responsible for creating it.
S Is for Superior
Begin by basing your brand on what makes you different and better than your competition. This is your Superiority. Maybe you are the fastest, or the most thorough. Name whatever makes you stand head and shoulders above anyone else in your industry.
M Is for Memorable
Now, ask yourself how people feel when you enter a room. How do they feel when you leave it? This is what leaves a lasting impression. It is what makes you memorable. Write down what people remember.
I Is for Individual
What makes you, YOU? Is it your quick laughter? Your inquisitive mind? Name it. This is THE THING that makes you stand out among your peers, your colleagues, your family and your community. It is why people seek your advice. Your signature quality is the banner flag for your individuality.
L Is for Long-Lasting
What quality of yours is the longest-lasting…that thing that people have said about you since you were a child? Did your parents’ friends comment on your tenacity? Did schoolmates call you out for daydreaming in class? Were you always in motion or thoughtfully aware and quiet? If you still find it true today, that is an inherent brand quality.
E Is for Expertise
What experience or expertise do you bring to the table? This may be your genius zone, your super-power or your view of the world at large. It may be your creativity or fine-tuned intuition. It could be an innate talent you were born with or knowledge and wisdom gained over a number of years in practice. Again, think one word or short phrase.
S Is for Solutions
What are the problems you solve for people? Focus on the solutions you provide for the specific decision maker who purchases your products or services. Real connections are made with real people! They need to know how they benefit personally. What obstacle will you remove for them? How will you impact their own performance in their position? How will you help them succeed?
Lastly, take the words and short phrases behind your smile and use them to create your brand voice. Write them down and re-order them to fit the appropriate categories of language, tone, personality and style. Once the words are in the right place, expand upon them by adding complementary words and phrases that help to round out the emotion you want to evoke in those who do business with you. Remember, a person buys from you, and people make buying decisions emotionally, justifying them intellectually. How do you want your dream customer to feel? Write to that and your message will resonate.
messages in simple, easy to understand language for the audience. Ask the reporter when the interview will appear and offer to answer any further questions as he is working on the story. In most cases, it’s not okay to ask to review a copy of the story before it appears.
Jeffri-Lynn Campbell is the CEO and Brand Architect for Blaze Experts, a branding agency that caters to businesses and organizations that value impact as much as income. Jeffri-Lynn Campbell is also currently director of communications and marketing for NAWBO Phoenix.