It’s a busy, noisy world out there. Recent research by LinkedIn suggests that 4.6 billion pieces of content are produced every single day – and that’s just online.
It’s almost certain that you’re competing in that space to build brand awareness and grow your business. If your business is digital, you depend on this connected world to find and reach your customers. And even if your business is bricks-and-mortar-based, the internet is crucial for e-commerce, and even for attracting physical footfall.
The great news is that the internet gives you an enormous audience, without the large-scale print or broadcast advertising you’d have needed just a few years ago. Anyone can be a global brand.
But being out there isn’t enough. Communication and branding is but a means to an end – to serve your customers and make money, because without that, you don’t have a business. Don’t be squeamish about this – you’re in business to get results and be successful, right?
So why are people not buying from you – and what can you do about your communication and branding to address those reasons? Here’s a snapshot of just five possible reasons.
1. THEY DON’T KNOW THEY NEED YOU
Your potential customers may not recognise that they have a problem, or if they do they may not be able to articulate it enough to seek a solution.
They may have a good sense of where they want to be or what they want to achieve or have, but no picture of how to get to that. So, before they even have to choose from the many competitors offering the service or product you have, they first need to understand what they need and why they need it.
FIX IT: first of all, seek to understand your audience’s issues – ask them, and listen hard. Talk their language to show that you understand their problems and show them what they could achieve or where they could be. Show them their transformation rather than showing them your product – that’s the core of your value proposition and the heart of all your messaging and content.
2. YOU DON’T STAND OUT IN A CROWDED MARKET
OK, so now those potential customers can see the potential of the transformation you can help them achieve. They are probably now excited about the possibilities, and ready to buy the product or seek the expert help that will help them get what they want.
Most people will shop around at least a little bit, and compare the options available to them. Online, the social media algorithms are both your friend and your competitor – they put you in front of new audiences, but they actively show other providers to that audience too.
Do you stand out in that busy marketplace? Are you attracting people from your shop window into your shop (whether physical or online)?
FIX IT: before you reach for the gimmick or the big ad spend, take some time to look within. Ask yourself some searching questions and, again, listen hard. Are you speaking up with confidence? Are your words as strong as they could be, with positive framing and high-energy tone of voice? Are you communicating in the right places and using the right mix of media? Are you showing up consistently? Get your basics right, and then you can really scale up with a strategic communication plan.
3. THEY’RE TURNED OFF BY YOU
We know this sounds harsh. But it’s true. Some people seem to ‘speak’ to us while others don’t – even if they are saying the same things. Dig a little deeper and you might find it’s because of shared similarities, values, or just plain old human chemistry that you can’t explain in tangibles. But what if people are actively turned off by your communication?
It could be your tone of voice or simply the words you use, the way you respond to people on social media, or your level of formality. Most people have a finely honed antenna for (technical term here) ‘business bullshit’, which is why ‘bro marketing’ and fake hustles are such a turn-off for so many.
As well as language and credibility, the communication format and frequency can be damaging. Hands up, I’ll admit that if I get more than one email a day from someone, I’m clicking that ‘unsubscribe’ button, sorry. Too much already!
FIX IT: Remember that one size does not fit all. Listen to your head by checking your customer data and insights, but also listen to your heart and communicate in a way that feels right for you. Your integrity will attract the people who are right for you, and it will feed that self-confidence we talked about a moment ago. Use your communication plan to make sure your contact rate is well balanced.
4. THEY DON’T FEEL CONNECTED TO YOU
Standing out is not necessarily enough. A familiar name is just one you scroll past regularly! Of course it’s great news if people are not actively turned off by your communication, but it’s no better for your business if your audience feels no intrigue or enough interest to engage with you.
The words you choose might be the first sense someone gets of your brand, and audiences are extremely diverse in taste. For example, some people find urban language off-putting and over-familiar while others find it friendly and fresh. Some people find professional language stuffy and old-fashioned while others find it reassuring and appropriate. Not everyone will feel like your trusted expert, and not everyone is your tribe – but that’s okay.
FIX IT: Be authentic – find and use your real voice (and don’t feel you have to be like anyone else to do this). Focus on adding value in your content. The greatest power to your elbow is being reliable and predictable – use your value proposition and your communication plan to get your message, media and schedules consistent. Finally, do the work and be patient – it takes time for people to know, like and trust you (which is just one reason why we can’t get excited about any online promise of a get-rich-quick formula!).
5. THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO BUY FROM YOU
You could have a fantastic product or service, buckets of social proof, and customers desperate to buy from you and work with you. But all that is lost if your raving fans and ready customers can’t easily see how to work with you, or if you don’t have systems to make a transaction.
FIX IT: Audit your website, with fresh eyes if possible, and check – is the signposting clear? Are there clear steps (and preferably few clicks) between that transformation you describe and the call to action? Are your contact details easy to find and up to date? Are your products clearly described? Does a purchase trigger a series of communications that give your customers a fantastic experience from the very start?
There you have it – some practical things you can think about to convert non-buyers into buyers, and scale up your communication to get more of the results you want and deserve.
We hope you will let us know how you get on with these. And let us know if you’d like to get our FREE weekly blogs / teach-ins straight to your inbox – just click the ‘FOLLOW’ button to the right or below, and never miss a thing.
Until next week – have a great week!
Lucy & Emma | The Communication Coaches