There are two quick questions that can help make your messages even stronger:
It’s a good test, especially when your message or copy is short, like on a website or tagline. In fact, that’s the test I used throughout my review of Loudmouse.com’s home page on this episode of “What’s Missing From this Message?”
Loudmouse is a brand strategy firm that works with people “in the relentless pursuit of something bigger.” They do a great job on their site with defining outcomes and processes, all with beautifully crisp, clean, and clear copy and design.
Since all of that is so strong, there’s an opportunity to differentiate themselves even more by asking those two questions I mention above. That’s because those two questions do two important things:
- They anchor your message in what people actually want to buy (which means you can help them)
- They force you to be specific about what you do, why, and how (which shows how you can help them better than anyone else)
Give the video a quick watch and see if you see what I saw… and if you see the same opportunities for making your message even stronger.Make your message even stronger by asking yourself these two questions. Click To Tweet
How can you make a website strong on outcomes and action even stronger? That’s what we’re talking about on this episode of “What’s Missing from This Message?” I’m Tamsen Webster of tamsenwebster.com. On this week’s episode of “What’s Missing from This Message?” I’m reviewing Marc Ensign and his loudmouse.com website landing page. Let’s take a look.
All right, let’s start taking a look at loudmouse.com’s actual site. When you first get there, you see this. You see a beautiful, clean minimalist site, beautifully positioned, everything above the fold. I get a nice big headline that leads with an outcome of “Be the next big thing.” There’s also a subtitle there that helps me understand a bit more about who this is for, “Branding and digital marketing for people who are in the relentless pursuit of something bigger.”
I like that because it does a lot of what I’m always looking for, which is does it give me something that I want via means I don’t expect? If I’m looking for branding and digital marketing and I want to be the next big thing, and I self-identify as someone who is in the relentless pursuit of something bigger, this is all a good match for me.
Two quick things that I think could make that stronger. I would love to know what kind of people, but then again, LoudMouse might be appealing to all sorts of folks. Is it thinkers, is it actors, speakers, authors? What’s actually happening there? The second thing is I love to see right up front something that’s a little bit different, a different approach.
Yet at the same time, I can argue that what LoudMouse and Marc are doing really well here is showing the difference. It’s already being treated very differently than before. Second, third … I don’t know, I lost count … a thing that I really like right on the landing page is that there’s a very, very clear call to action, and that’s to take the first step. That takes you to a brand assessment that Marc and LoudMouse is offering.
All right, so let’s do what most people would do from here and start to scan a little bit. I like the fact that if I’m just scanning it through, I see “Get the attention you deserve.” If I skip the next batch of copy, as most people can, we’re going to get, “We can change that.” That’s one of those things where it’s assuming that people are going to read the copy in between. I can make the connection that you’re changing the attention that I want for the better in this case. I do like that “Get the attention you deserve” is another outcome that people would get on scanning.
Another thing that we’re going to see, just scanning the website, that “Taking the first step can be hard. We make it easy.” Then, I love how they simplify it here with a process diagram of step one, “Brand assessment,” which is very clearly marked multiple times, step two, “Schedule a personal review,” and then set step three, “Execute your custom strategy.” They certainly make it feel super, super simple to get started and achieve the outcomes that they’re looking for.
The next piece here, that “You want attention, we get it,” on first scan of the site it feels a little bit redundant. It feels like there’s an opportunity there to either reinforce a slightly different message or introduce one. A simple, quick thought here on something that could change this perhaps for the better is, “You want attention. We got it for these people,” right? Like, “We’ve got it,” or something that just leads in more to this pretty impressive client lists that he’s got rolling underneath.
I like next we’ve got a great testimonial so I can see, okay, great. I knew this. I can see that somebody’s super happy with them. I like that they’re answering this question, “what does it cost,” right off the bat, so I know I can come back, and I can see if I’m going all the way through that there’s a very easy way to connect. I’m not sure on this first scan that I understand what “Make a wish” is all about because unless there’s some wish language in the deeper copy up above, I’m not sure that makes much sense.
Last thing really, towards the bottom of this page is the five-minute branding challenge, which from what I can tell is the assessment. What’s strange about it to me is that all of a sudden the colors change. We’re calling it something different than what it’s been before, and it’s not clear that this to me is step one, because there’ve been so many other references to the first step and all the times it’s been called a brand assessment.
One quick thing that I think could make that stronger is just change some of the language here so that I understand that this is the brand assessment you’ve been talking about on the whole page. Again, I think just linking with color would make an improvement there as people are thinking through it.
All right, so that’s the scan of it. Let’s go through a little bit more. I already talked a bit about that tagline. “Get the attention you deserve. Are you the best-kept secret in your industry, someone who isn’t reaching as many people as you want or making as big of an impact as you should?” I like that they are calling out clearly some of the pain points that some of their potential clients would be experiencing, and framing it in the form of the question that they’re asking right now. I think that’s super solid.
Now we see why the “We can change that” sets in place, because it’s like, “Oh, we can change the fact that I’m not getting the attention that I want.” This means that if we go back to the comment I made on the scan, one thing that they could do is, instead of making it a statement up top here, we could turn it into a question. “Are you getting the attention you deserve? Are you the best-kept,” right? Then, if you answer no in your head, then the scan brings you to “We can change that.” It’s also consistent if you’re going to read it all the way through.
Once they’ve said they can change that, I like how they go in and they talk about what they then do. “At LoudMouse, we specialize in rallying people around your brand by developing a buzz-worthy message, creating a shockingly beautiful design, and executing a custom strategy that puts you in front of the people you need most.” Again, really attractive outcomes there. I think it’s very clear what they deliver. If those are the things that you want, then you’re feeling like you’ve got a good match here.
The one thing that could make this even stronger is telling me something about your approach or your philosophy or your point of view that’s different than the other people who can tell me they’d get me a buzz-worthy message, shockingly beautiful design, and a custom strategy, especially since I don’t know that you serve my person specifically, other than “Relentlessly in pursuit of something bigger.”
All right, let’s go to the “Take the first step” piece a little bit more in-depth. Not much to see here, but that’s good because it’s super simple. “Nobody cares more about the impact you want to make more than you do, but we’re a pretty close second. Take the first step and we’ll prove it to you.” Again, I like this, and I like the fact that they are not making hyperbolic statements, saying that they care more than you do about anything else, which sometimes I see.
“Take the first step and we’ll prove it to you,” I just want a little bit more. I don’t know, I’m the resident skeptic, I guess. I want a little bit more to know why and how. I know that they’re putting a lot of emphasis on the brand assessment, and I think that works pretty well.
I want to know a little bit more about what this “Personal review” and the “Execute the custom strategy” are, just so that I can understand how these steps prove it to me. I love that it’s so simple, but I would just love to see a little bit more explanation, particularly since I think at the bottom of the site is where they give a little bit more explanation of the brand assessment.
On this “Case study” piece, I love the fact that it says, “LoudMouse has been phenomenal to work with on our rebrand. You’d be crazy not to work with them.” I’d love a little bit more information just on why, like just give me a little piece of, “You’d be crazy not to work with them because they have a great process,” or “Our rebrand produced these kinds of results.” Those are the kinds of things that I’d love to see there.
I like, though, that there’s an opportunity to click through to the case study, which I won’t do right now, but it’s an opportunity. I just like seeing that there’s an opportunity to go deeper where you want to. This was a thing, by the way, that I think might be useful up here on the “Taking the first step can be hard,” and here are the three steps.” If I want a chance to go deeper on any of these steps, let me know what those are, or give me a way to do that.
Finally, “What does it cost? Having a brand that doesn’t position you in front of the right people is costing you more than you realize, and we’re not just talking money. It’s costing you time, your reputation, and your freedom as well. How many people aren’t clear about what you do and who you do it for?” Okay, so “Isn’t it time you do something?”
This is not what I thought I’d be getting in this section, and I’m not sure that I like that, because what I thought I’d be getting in this section is an actual answer to what does it cost to work with them. I get what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to raise the stakes and they’re trying to say, “Hey, you’re losing money by not doing this, so fix that quick.” When you put these on the website and you’ve already talked about your process and you’ve given a case study, that generally is a time where people are ready to start asking the more specific questions like, “Okay, well, what would it cost me?”
I’m trying to figure out what I can say quickly that would make this stronger. I would think that one way to make it stronger is to take it to something where you can calculate that for people, or answer the question that people actually think this is going to be, so actually answer. Follow up this, “Hey, it’s costing you more than you realize,” with, “Most of our projects are in the X to Y range,” or reframe that question in such a way that it actually talks about what you’re talking about here.
Something along the lines of, “Can you afford to wait?” That at least is I think truer to the content that’s underneath and doesn’t feel like a bait-and-switch. I don’t think it’s an intentional bait-and-switch. I just think there’s a disconnect between how Marc and LoudMouse thought that that would be read and how a first-time viewer actually reads that.
I already talked about the “Make a wish” piece. I like the fact that there’s a phone number, and then we’re back to the five-minute branding challenge, which we talked about before. One quick point, I’m not sure on the spelling of “instance” there. I would think that it would be “instant,” singular, but I think that’s a super easy fix to make. If we’re going to talk about what are the big things to take away from … oh, look. See, there’s Scott Lesnick, a client, as is Marc Ensign. I should be clear about that.
What are the big takeaways on what makes this message strong and what would make it stronger? First, Marc and LoudMouse are fantastic about being super specific about two things. One, the outcome that you’re going to get, and two, the first step that you need to take to get there. Very, very great places to start. Very great.
I think the thing that would make this even stronger is bringing in some of their own differentiation into the copy, into the language that’s there. There are a couple of small things that I would ask them to switch up, just to make the scanning a little bit stronger and to fulfill the expectations of their headlines. Overall, this is a super site that’s very, very clear on what it delivers for its potential clients.
As always, you can send your own short-form content here to me at email@example.com. Thanks so much for watching. I hope to see you on the next episode.
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