We are all in the business of communication. Whether you’re communicating with external customers, internal clients, or prospective employers, you need to be sure that your message is clear, relevant, and compels the action you desire. Here are my top tips for improving your messaging so that you get the results you want.
Know your audience. Without a doubt, this is the most important one. If you’re giving a presentation to your company’s CEO, don’t waste your time talking about things such as click-through rates or other minutiae. The CEO is a big-picture role. Talk about the big picture and don’t get bogged down in the details.
Context is king. Your content might be great, but are you sharing it within the right context? Be sure it aligns with your target’s environment, values, and activity.
Define the business goal of your message. What do you want to get out of the communication? A call back? A purchase? An invitation for an interview?
Evaluate your frequency. Don’t bombard the same people with your messages. You know how you automatically delete the emails you get from the retailer you once purchased from? The same thing will happen if your messaging is constant and irrelevant. However, avoid the urge to engage in sporadic or infrequent contact. It’s a fine line to walk, and you must do so with relevant content.
Create compelling content. Content that fails to engage is content that fails. Whomever you’re targeting likely has a preponderance of dull, irrelevant content that they are required to consume. If you want them to consume your content on top of that, you need to seriously up your game.
Watch your tone. Does your message seem genuine? Or does it seem opportunistic, as if you’re looking for something from the recipient?
Use a human voice. Business jargon needs to die. We can all agree on that. How many resumes do you think a hiring manager gets from motivated, proactive self-starters who are expert at creating synergies to increase engagement among peers and clients? Hint: more than a few. Use plain, clear language whenever possible. You will stand out on this alone!
Make it memorable. There is no point in communicating if your message doesn’t stick. Be sure your content is easily comprehended, and that it asks for whatever outcome you’re looking to achieve.
Show your personality. Your recipients should know that the content they’re receiving is from another human being, and not from some faceless void.
Make it about them. I always counsel people that a job interview is not about them; it is about the hiring manager and the specific business needs at hand. This is something true of all your messaging. Don’t make it about you. Make it about your audience. People react more favorably when they feel empathy from others.