You put a lot of work into your messages. You spend a lot of time and effort on building, writing and sharing your content, your presentations, maybe even your book.
At a high level, there are reasons all that work is worth it. If your messages work the way you want them to, they’ll help you build awareness, drive business, and create change.
But how often do you stop and ask yourself, “What does this particular message need to do?”
I’ll tell you right now: answering that question is everything. It’s everything because, once you have an answer, you’ll be able to make your message measurable. And if you have a good answer? You’ll make your messages (even more) mighty.
Might is power, obviously. So you want that.
But measurability is important, too. Measurability shows you whether or not your message is working as intended. So, yeah, one of the reasons I find people don’t ask themselves that question, is that they, deep down, don’t actually want to know if their message is working or not.
I’m going to assume that’s not you.
So, think of a particular message or piece of content you’re working on right now, and write down what you want that message to accomplish. What should the outcome be? What should it do for you? What should it do for the audience?
Almost any answer to that question will help you start giving shape to your idea. So that’s a start.
But you may have noticed I made a distinction between an answer to that question and a good answer.
I’m going to assume you want the good one.
Here’s how to identify a good answer (thanks to my friends at WW for this “STAR” acronym):
- Specific (rather than “raise awareness,” choose something like, “drive newsletter signups”)
- Truly doable (rather than “change the world,” choose something like, “help people identify the real problem to solve”)
- Achieve (rather than “stop buying from our competitors,” choose something like, “establish us as the most helpful voice in the space” — this is the “positive want” idea I wrote about a while back)
- Relevant (rather than “turn people into brand advocates, even though they just met us, ” choose something like, “give those unfamiliar with us a way to explain our services to others”)
And to make your answer great? Eliminate “understand” from your answer options. (E.g., “Have the audience understand why we’re the best option.”)
Here’s why: the only way to measure understanding is through application. People have to do something to show that they understand. And you can only measure what people do.
That means that the best way to articulate how you’ll measure your message is to choose action words — words that demonstrate understanding. You don’t have to look far for those words, either. Not only did I just give you a bunch of examples, above, but educators have a great list in the form of something known as “Bloom’s Taxonomy.” I even put it into a fancy PDF for you, so you can keep it handy. It’s how I found most of the words I used in the examples.
So here’s what I’d love for you to do:
- Choose a piece of content you need to write
- Write your “STAR” outcome for it
- Send it to me
That way I’ll know that this message did what I intended it to do.
So meta. So measurable. And hopefully? A mighty tool for you and your message.Measurability shows you whether or not your message is working as intended. Click To Tweet
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