When you try to message your milestone, it’s easy to mistake the milestone for the message. It’s important to realize that what’s meaningful to us internally isn’t necessarily meaningful externally. You still need to show your audience, clients, or customers that you’re helping them get a goal that they want: achieve something, solve a problem, or meet an unmet need.
What you need to do is to figure out how recognition of your milestone actually affects the people you’re talking to. Lead with how you can help them get their goal, and then message your milestone in relation to that. Your milestone carries meaning, but the meaning that matters is what matters to the market.
Coincidentally, this is episode 100 of Find the Red Thread. Going forward, we’re going to shift our focus to when messages work and when they don’t. We want to show you how to give your message a makeover. If you have one in mind, send it our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Focus on the GOAL: Why Your Audience Needs an “Irresistible Outcome” – EP053
- Focus on the GOAL: Putting the “Feel” in “Think, Feel, Do” – EP058
- How to Make Sure Your Target Audience Hears Your Message – EP077
– Want to know something nobody cares about? Your organization’s milestone or anniversary. It’s the hard truth, I know. But that’s what we’re talking about this week on what just happens to be the 100th episode of Find the Red Thread. I’m your host, Tamsen Webster of TamsenWebster.com. Don’t forget to like and subscribe.
I get how it happens. Somebody somewhere in the organization starts to notice that the organization is about to cross a number. A number that ends in a five or a zero. Now I have no idea why fives and zeros have such deep power over us. Particularly if we’re in marketing and communications, but they do.
These fives and zeros seem to set off this deep reflection and internal celebration. Frankly, a lot of handwringing about how we can use that milestone in the marketplace. Now I can’t stand it when this question comes up, and it’s come up just about every organization I’ve worked with or for. Because, you know, zeros and fives happen every five years. So, it’s kind of easy to find one.
When we take a milestone and try to use it as a foundation of a message, we’re confusing what’s meaningful to us internally with what’s meaningful to people externally. See, the milestone is important. I’m not taking that away from you.
]It’s incredible that you have been in business that long. That you have had someone serve that long. That you’ve served that many people, that you’ve recorded that many episodes. That’s great. And yes, it’s increasingly rare that that kind of perseverance exists in the marketplace, incredibly important for you.
But let’s remember that messages carry meaning. It’s not just your meaning that matters, it’s the meaning to the marketplace. It’s the meaning to your customers, your clients, all of those people whom you’re meaning to serve. What’s most meaningful to them is not your milestone. What’s most meaningful to them are the things that help them. But more specifically, the things that help them achieve a goal.
Now that goal might be to achieve something that they haven’t achieved so far. It could be to solve an unsolved problem. It could be to answer an unanswered question. It could be to meet an unmet need. But when you look at your milestone through that lens, it suddenly becomes pretty darn clear that your milestone isn’t all that meaningful to them.
So, what does that mean for your milestone and these messages that you want to put in the market? Frankly, I wish you just wouldn’t put them out in the market. But I get that that’s not always possible. If you really do want to celebrate and take this internal pride externally to the marketplace, figure out how recognition of that milestone actually affects the people that you’re talking to. If it doesn’t, it really does not belong in the marketplace.
But if it does, then even then, I want you to lead with the meaning for the market. Lead with how it helps them solve a problem, meet an unmet need, achieve an unmet goal, answer an unanswered question.
Lead with that. Then you can add on later, “Hey, by the way, this happened to be caused by the fact that we’re realizing we’re achieving this particular milestone.” So, they understand some of the reasoning behind it. But at least what they’ve heard first is something that’s useful to them.
Your milestone is absolutely important, and it does carry meaning. But the meaning that matters is the meaning that matters to the market. That’s not always your milestone.
That’s this week’s episode of Find the Red Thread. And yes, it is 100th anniversary of it. Aw. But I’m going to use this as an opportunity to change this direction of what we’re doing in Find the Red Thread from here on out.
After my own reflection on 100 episodes, I realized that where I can have most meaning for you is to show you when messages work and when they don’t. I want to really show you what it looks like to give a message a makeover.
As you’re listening to this, as you’re thinking about this for your own business and your own organization, send me examples of messages that need that makeover or need that tuneup. I’m going to be relaunching fairly soon with that new direction. If you want to catch up on what this direction has been through the 100 episodes, please do that. You can always see that on YouTube. Please do subscribe and like. Otherwise, see you with the message makeovers next time.