There’s a new “What’s Missing From This Message?” video up this week. So, what is missing? A clean, clear path for audiences with different pain points to proceed towards purchase.
Lydia Lee is an entrepreneur who helps other entrepreneurs design a business that’s built for them. When she sent me her site to review, she asked a question a lot of folks ask:
What’s the best way to adapt a message for different audiences that are at different points on the same journey?
For example, Lydia serves both people transitioning out of corporate jobs and people who already own their own business. The person just starting to think about becoming an entrepreneur would be interested in Lydia’s work because it could help them start a business they want to stick with. Someone who’s already started their business might be interested in Lydia’s work if they’re struggling to make it really work for them.
Even though they’re at different stages of entrepreneurship, both audiences may be attracted to Lydia’s approach of designing businesses around someone’s individual strengths, values, and personality.
How can she use one site to appeal to both?
One clue to the answer applies to anyone in a similar situation with what to say on a landing, “about us,” or homepage: Remember the path your audience took to get to you.
Think of websites and landing pages like stores (they often are that, anyway!). You go to a specific store because you’re already fairly sure they might have what you’re looking for. People come to your website for a similar reason. They saw or heard something already that made them think you might have the answer they’re looking for.
That means your website doesn’t have to convince them you’re a match, at least not at first. No, your website’s first job is to confirm that you have what they want “in stock.”
If people can’t tell — quickly — whether or not you have an answer to their question (that you sell what they want to buy), nothing else matters. It’s only once people know you have the kind of thing they want that they’ll dig further to see if they like your version of that thing.
Lydia does a great job of this, by the way. The line at the top of her site is a great “opening shot.” Here it is:
“I help you build a business that’s designed from your strengths, values, and personality.“
In that one line she has both elements of what I call the “Irresistible Idea Formula”. It contains
- Something both audiences want (“to build a business”)
- Via a means they don’t expect (“designed from your strengths, values, and personality”)
It confirms for the corporate transitioner that Lydia may have an answer. The same is true for someone who’s looking to build their business into something stronger. It would even confirm she’s the answer from someone who’s already looking for someone to help them design a business designed around what they do best. Check. Check. Check.
But one line does not a website make, I know. To figure out how to adapt a core message for various audiences:
- Define the question each audience wants to answer next (a.k.a. their pain points)
- Arrange those questions along the path of your customer’s journey (so your audience can get a sense of what the next step in their process with you might be)
- Pose and answer those questions on your site
There are a number of ways to do the last step. I’m a fan of literally putting the questions on a site (e.g., “What’s the first step in building a business that’s built around you?”). You can also frame pain points as statements your different audiences would say (you can see how I do this on my own site — just scroll to the middle of the page and look at the three grey boxes that flip as you hover over them). You can also list products that serve as the first step for each group, as Lydia does.
Whichever approach you choose, connect where they are to what you have that will get them to the next step. This process to do that mimics the one I mentioned earlier:
- Have something at the top of your page that confirms for each audience that you have what they’re looking for (a headline is a great way to do this)
- Connect that initial confirmation with a starting point that speaks to each audience (questions, statements, products, a la the examples I gave above)
- Tie those starting points to specific steps to take with you (take an assessment, watch this webinar, start with this service, etc.)
Do you see it? Your message is a map. While your audiences may seem disconnected from each other, as long as they all come from you, what you do and what you offer is not. You took a mental journey to get to your idea and the products and services that result from it — that’s your Red Thread®. It served as your guide, and it can serve as your audiences’ guide, too.Your message is a map. Click To Tweet
Please note that many of the links are affiliate links, which means if you buy a thing I link to, I get a percentage of the cost, and then donate it to charity.
This time on What’s Missing From This Message, we look at Lydia Lee’s homepage and how she articulates, right off the bat, what she does well and differently from anybody else. What could make that message stronger? Just a little bit of reframing from the audience’s perspective.
Let’s take a look at Lydia’s site. All right. Top marks right out of the gate, because right here, above the fold, you see, “Hi, I’m Lydia. I help you build a business that’s designed from your strengths, values, and personality.” Now this meets that magical requirement that I find that every one sentence or short description of your idea needs to have, and that is it has first, something that people want, and second, something people didn’t expect. It’s both relevant and remarkable. So here’s what I mean with Lydia’s. She helps you build a business. So if you want to build a business, then you’re in the right place because it’s relevant. That’s the thing that I want. The thing that’s remarkable is this idea it’s from your strengths, values, and personality.
Now that could be an extension of what you want. You may have landed on Lydia’s page already knowing that she does that. But even if you don’t and you land here and you’re like, “Huh. Well, I want to build a business, but from my strengths, values, and personality, I haven’t seen that before,” it automatically starts to set Lydia a little bit apart here. I also love the fact that right here on the homepage, she’s got “Find Out How. So we know exactly where we can go next. When we click on that, we go to this page, which gives us a little bit more information, but I really want to focus on the homepage. So let’s go back there.
All right. So we’ve landed on her page. We’ve clicked on find out how maybe, but let’s say we’re not doing that yet. We still want to scroll. So I like the fact that it’s still above the fold, she’s got some references, some credible credibility builders, credentials seen in The Guardian, Huffington Post, Forbes, Telegraph, Virgin, Elle. Excellent.
All right. So the next thing that we would scan here, “There’s a better way to work.” I see “genius-zone” highlighted. I see “business you can love.” So a couple things here. If you’re familiar with the language of the genius-zone and that’s something that resonates for you, then she’s highlighted it. So you can just, even when you scan it, you’re like, “Oh, this is about working in my genius-zone.” And again, this outcome that people are looking for, a business that you love. So it’s not just build a business, but build a business that you love.
Now let’s read this part a little bit more deeply. So “there’s a better way to work. If you’re ready to experience meaningful work, it’s time to intentionally design your business with your genius-zone, so that you’re building a business you’d love and wants to keep for years to come.” Now reading it a little bit more deeply, I kind of expect reading it, that genius-zone actually can click on it in case somebody doesn’t necessarily know what it is. So one thing that would make this super strong thing just a little bit stronger is define genius-zone for people who don’t know it. Yes, she’s kind of using language that somebody would recognize it, but she’s done such a good job so far of capturing people who may not already know that she’s the right fit, that I wouldn’t want them to miss out and feel like they’re not smart enough or not clued in enough to understand what she means by genius-zone. So I think just a little description there of what she means by that.
Her “approach provides an intuitive understanding of strengths, personal values, and the impact that you want to make to help you deliver and enjoy your best work with a business you can love.” So I think it’s building on what she said earlier. Give me a little bit more information. When we get down to this “Who Am I?” Button, that’s one thing where I think we could be a little bit clearer there because when I first see that, I think she’s talking about me because people are self-centered, but she’s really talking about who is she? And if you click on this, you get to more about Lydia. So I would just suggest a little tweak of language here that allows me to know either know, so learn more about Lydia, learn more about me, or about Lydia or something like that. And even though it’s all written in first person, there is just something that’s just not working quite right for me there. I love the fact that she’s asking people to go deeper on her, but I just want to make sure that that language is clear.
“See How I Can Help” goes, again, to that work with me page was, which is what she was linking to up front on the find out how. Okay. So “Kickstart Your Journey.” This is the next piece. “Start with my personally curated resources to reinvent your work and start a business you’ll love.” And then she’s got three choices here. And I really, really like, by the way, the fact that she’s got these as outcome oriented. “Reinvent Your Life and Work,” Start the Right Business.” “Five Mindset Shifts … Five Mindset Shifts …” Oh my gosh. I can’t say it. “Five Mindset Shifts to Start Your Business.” I think that each of these is kind of a nice way to kind of to set apart some of the three major areas of where she might help you work. And then she’s got things like “Learn More,” “Get Started,” and “Five Shifts.”
So one thing that strikes me as I’m reading this is it’s a little odd to me that each of those is different because that starts to get me confused. And particularly the “Get Started” one about what’s the first piece of information. She actually could use this as a way to solve the problem I was talking about in the section above, which is she could use this section to help me identify a little bit more if I’m the right person, if I’m going on the right path for her and with her offerings. So one thing that Lydia asked me when she sent me her website to review was she said she’s not sure she’s clear enough to people who are at different phases of readiness, at different phases of doing the work that she could help. I think this is an opportunity to do that because if it’s, for instance, “Start the Right Business,” I would want to put that on the left because that’s kind of procedurally where you go, right?
The first thing you would do is start that right business and then kind of keep going. Then you would “Reinvent Your Life and Work,” then something else. She may see it differently, but kind of, I would want to see these go in the, kind of the order of progression that of people that she works with. So if we were to start there, “Start the Right Business. Learn how you can repurpose your experience and skills to discover a business that’s right for you.” You can see if you kind of hover over here, it goes down to a webinar that helps you decide that. This “Reinvent Your Life and Work.” So “In the midst of a career change, learn how to live out your version of meaningful life and work.” So this one is, seems to be more clearly for folks that are not necessarily trying to start their own business, but they really want to feel differently about the work they’re doing.
And this last one, “Five Mindset Shifts to Start Your Business. Overcome your self limiting beliefs, gain momentum, and start building a profitable business you can love.” So it feels like two of these are about starting a business. And one of them is about reinvention. If she really has three audiences, I’d love to see an offer or some pathway for each of those three audiences. Otherwise, I would separate them more so that it’s either I want to start my business or I want to do something that helps me re-engage with the work that I’m doing now. And then I would subsume, I would put the five mindset shifts somehow within that path of the “Start the Right Business,” so that you basically say, “Okay, the first step is get your mindset right, then you’re going to do this.”
So I would actually, if she’s got three, I would make sure that these are three different audiences. Make sure these three things cover three different audiences. If she only has really two audiences, I would simplify this so it’s two.
All right, let’s keep going. Get Started. Lydia has … So we’ve got a great testimonial here. Again, the first person language on the buttons throws me off a bit because now I think I’m going to work with Daniel. I know I’m not, but you know what I’m talking about? So, and then “Connect With Me.” That makes sense. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and then we’re at the bottom of her page. So let’s look back and think back to everything we’ve got here. I think we’ve got a good, clear idea of what Lydia does. I think she, the strongest part of this page is “Build a business that’s designed from your strengths, values, and personality.” Reading further in the page, if she really is looking for people to reinvent life and work, I would love to see her tweak that headline a little bit to somehow incorporate those people as well. “I help you do the work right or design the work.” “I help you design the work you love and maybe even the business you love from the strengths, values, and personality.” That may be too long, trying to get something along those lines.
I think she’s got a great use of call to action. “Find out how.” “Free strategy call.” Great ways to lead people further. Nice use of what she’s highlighting. I would think about changing the language on the buttons, just to line up with how people read. I would consider making her “Kickstart Your Journey,” really opportunity for her potential audiences to self-select based on the problems that they have and the ones that she solves.
And otherwise, I think this is super, super strong, and I would love to see what she does next. My thanks to Lydia for sending me her great website to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want me to take a look at your message, let’s say, “Hey, it’s what you’re thinking about your book or a keynote description,” or it’s a pitch deck or something like that, just send it to me to the same address.
Thanks so much for watching. I’ll see you next time on What’s Missing from This Message.
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