Be Smart and Make it Simple

July 9, 2013 by

Kristi Piehl Media Minefield Founder and CEO

 By Kristi Piehl
 Founder/CEO Media Minefield, Inc.

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

I love this quote by Albert Einstein. It’s the best way I’ve ever heard to describe a clear and concise message.

At Media Minefield, we talk about messaging every day. If you know your message, you can easily use it to describe your business and approach to your clients on your website, on social media, in online videos, mailings and television news interviews.

Why does messaging matter? In your area, there are probably dozens, maybe even hundreds, of people who have the same licenses and education as you. External communication focuses on potential customers who haven’t heard of you or your business before. Your message is what separates you from your competition. It is especially important to people who may not understand what you do or how you can help them.

While using words like “annuity” and “fixed-index” are commonplace inside your industry, not everyone outside your industry is familiar with those terms or jargon.  When you use “insider” language in your message, you run the risk of associating yourself with something that may be perceived as difficult, complicated or negative. Replace “insider” language with simple easily understood words. This may feel like you are diluting your work, but it is better to simplify it than to communicate it in a way that is not understandable.

Consider your message your elevator pitch; in a couple sentences, you want to give someone enough positive information so they understand what you do while giving them the opportunity to ask questions.

Here is a sample message: “I love helping families with their retirement so they can spend time with their grandkids or on the golf course and feel reassured about their retirement strategies.”

Here is an even simpler message: “I help people with retirement strategies so they have enough money to live on when they quit working.”

While these sample messages are clear, neither is personal. An effective and memorable message will set you apart from others in your industry. Think about your background, or what inspired you to get into the business, and incorporate that into your message. If someone visits your website, what piece of information could you share so your business will be associated with something positive and unique?

Remember, an effective message is clear, simple, memorable and even a first grader should be able to understand it.



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