Brand Messaging Essentials for Service-Based Creative Entrepreneurs

Oct 15, 2023 | messaging, marketing

Consistent and clear brand messaging helps showcase who you are as a business and connect you with your right audience. Read on to learn the basics of brand messaging and get the six steps for creating your own brand messaging framework.

If you’re a service-based business owner who operates in the digital space, I’m sure you have some experience with brand messaging. Even if you’re a little (or a lot) ambiguous on what brand messaging actually means, it’s relatively easy to see the influence it can have on how you communicate your business.

Whether you are active on social media, have a website, send out emails or attend virtual coffee chats, you’ve leveraged brand messaging to disperse your ideas.

Because messaging has its hands in literally every aspect of communicating your brand, it is a powerful tool that can either propel your business forward or hold you back from connecting with your right audience.

And today, we’re going to focus on the former by walking through a brand messaging framework that helps to create strong emotional connection, target audience engagement and a unique identity for your business.

What is brand messaging?

Your brand’s messaging is the specific way(s) in which you communicate the various aspects of your brand – elements like value proposition, values, vision, differentiator and experience – to your desired audience.

Internal vs external brand messaging

There are two types of brand messaging to consider.

Internal messaging is how you and your team communicate your brand to each other. This is often more informal, casual and can be filled with industry-specific jargon.

External messaging is how you and your team communicates to your market. This style is generally more curated and intentional, meets the audience where they’re at and uses less jargon (unless of course, that’s how they regularly communicate).

Top 5 reasons why brand messaging matters

Whether it’s a company slogan, tagline, or heading, the goal of brand messaging is to inspire customers to connect, engage and purchase from your business. But it’s not just about making the sale – your brand messaging serves as a catalyst for a variety of different business-supporting functions.

1. Turns the complex into easy-to-understand ideas

An effective brand message converts complex thoughts into an easy-to-understand idea that’s memorable. It summarizes what the brand stands for, why the brand (and its work) matters, and how the brand is different from is competitors.

2. Serves as an inspirational resource for you (and your team) to communicate the brand’s ideas

When you have a document that provides an overarching view of all the important messaging information, it becomes a foundational resource to consistently draw from. Whether you’re writing an email, posting to social media or coming up with new website copy, the brand message framework serves as a source for communicating your ideas, again and again.

3. Creates continuity and consistency in communicating your brand to your market

When you (and your team) are all drawing from the same framework, it creates consistency across every brand touch point. This consistency strengthens your overall brand image and enhances your brand’s reputation, perception and trustworthiness. Additionally, that consistency also helps to differentiate your brand from others in your space because it’s memorable and recognizable.

4. Establishes a clear brand identity and experience

When every piece of content is aligned, from the website header statement to the client welcome email to the quick social media caption, your brand experience gets stronger and stronger. Your audience is able to build an expectation around your brand, which in turn, strengthens the relationship they have with you and your work.

5. Allows you to communicate with connection at the core

Because you have a message framework that focuses on your market’s challenges, wants, needs and desires, you’re then able to create targeted messages that speak directly to your audience. This enables them to feel seen, heard and cared for, and strengthens the emotional connection your brand has with its audience.

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The 6 key components of an effective brand messaging framework

Your core brand message is the heart and soul of your messaging and the five other elements offer support and guidance. Together, these six components help you create powerful, connection-focused messaging that effectively conveys what your brand is all about to your right audience.

Graphic of the six steps of the brand message framework - core message, value proposition, message pillars, brand promise, problem, solution and result, and narrative shifts.

Core brand message

Your core brand message is the common thread statement that is woven into every piece of communication put out into the world on behalf of your brand. It summarizes what you do as a brand and what you want your market to most understand.

Brand message pillars

Brand message pillars are 3-5 overarching categories that are in alignment with your core message and business model. Think about these as the overarching topics you can draw from to create content for your audience.

Brand promise

The brand promise is the experience a client can expect to receive every time they interact with your brand. What are you committed to delivering, each and every time a client engages with your brand?

Problem, solution and result

The problem, solution and result is a summary of the transformation that a client can expect to go on because of the work and value that your brand has to offer. Who are they before, who are they after and what do they have?

Narrative shifts

Narrative shifts are the changes that your brand inspires because of your work and message. Think about this as what they currently believe and what they’re shifting to after engaging with the brand.

Value proposition

The unique value proposition is the value that you bring to the table when someone engages you for hire. Another way to think about this – without this one thing, your entire service offering would be a hot mess express and your clients wouldn’t see the same results.

What you need to create your own messaging framework

When you don’t know who you’re a great fit for, why you exist, what makes you different and how you communicate, it makes effective messaging nearly impossible. Which is why, in order to identify the six brand message components listed above, you absolutely must have clarity on The Who, The What, The Why and The How.

Who: The ideal client persona

Your ideal client persona or buyer persona is a summary of the type of person that you would like to work with again and again; it’s the person who is a great fit for your brand and can be based on past clients, current clients or someone you have yet to work with.

What: The positioning

Brand positioning is the art and strategy of creating an intentional perception that occupies a specific place in the mind of your ideal client and broader market, in relation to others in your same space. Said another way, positioning reiterates the connections that already exist within your audience’s mind and then describes how your brand is different.

Why: The core identity

Your brand’s core identity is comprised of five elements – purpose, vision, mission, values and beliefs – that make up the heart and soul of the brand. These elements work together to facilitate deep connection between you and your audience. They serve as the foundation for your brand, so that everything created thereafter – from your logo to a social media campaign – is consistent and meaningful.

How: The personality

Your brand’s personality is the set of human characteristics associated with a brand. I like to think of those characteristics as being in one of two buckets – behavior or aesthetic. The behavior part of a personality is how the brand acts and includes elements like tone of voice, engagement style, and common words and phrases used. The aesthetic part of the personality is the visual aspect of your brand and includes elements like logo, fonts and colors.

And with that, happy branding 🙂

All my best,

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