Who’s your audience? What’s your purpose?
I teach Fundamentals of Business Communication to undergraduate business students at the University of Pittsburgh. In the first class, I tell students to answer those two questions before writing a single word. I also stress the importance of being clear and concise.
I’ve always practiced what I teach. For me, this is easy. However, I understand that others struggle with writing concisely.
ProFromGo recently completed the training to be a certified StoryBrand agency. This taught me that it’s more than just concise language that brings clarity to a website’s message. Now that consumers are bombarded with messages, the ability to clearly communicate your message is even more important. Without a clear message, a potential customer will quickly leave your website.
Here are three takeaways from the StoryBrand Framework that can help you write content on your website that is clear, concise and entices a person to work with you.
Make Your Customer the Hero of the Story
Too many websites focus on your accomplishments, which makes the company the hero. The StoryBrand Framework changes that focus. Making your message customer-centric positions the customer as the hero. The company, then, is the guide that helps them reach their goals. Here’s a simple example. If the messaging on your website’s homepage says, “Recipient of numerous awards” that doesn’t identify what your customer wants.
When you speak directly to what your customer wants and acknowledge their problems, you position yourself as a place where they can find the answers they are looking for.
Use Simple, Easy-to-Understand Language
Research tells us that if a visitor to your website doesn't comprehend the message on your website in just 5.59 seconds, they will leave.
So how do you make sure your main points are communicated quickly? Skip the industry jargon and big words. Use the Hemingway Editor to evaluate the reading level of your copy. You should aim for a 6th-grade level or even lower to make it easy for a person to quickly grasp your message.
Plus, you need to say how you will help customers solve their problems. After all, you do want to help your customers, right? Come out and say that. Don't assume customers will take the time to connect the dots between what you do and what they need. Remember the number above; you need to make your point in just 5.59 seconds.
Clearly State the Risk of Not Taking Action
People need to be motivated. And, one of the best ways to motivate someone is to tell them what might happen if they don’t act. Cause and effect can be powerful. Completing the StoryBrand certification process taught us the questions to ask our clients to help them identify and articulate the common pain point for their customers.
The Value of Clear Messages
Clarity eliminates confusion. Thus, a clear message will enable you to make a connection with those who need your help. This sounds easy. Unfortunately, we know this is harder than it sounds. If you would like help using the StoryBrand Framework to improve the clarity of your website, contact us! Or, check out our StoryBrand How-To Manual to guide you through the process.