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#164: Messaging for Your Course: Keep it Simple

Introduction

Welcome back to the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast!

In the past few episodes, we have been talking all about how I work with my one-on-one clients to help them actually get their course created and out into the world, because we know that there are lots of opportunities out there to learn how to create a course. But the fact of the matter is, there are so many moving parts that it can be difficult to do this on your own.

Now, I know that not everyone is in a position or in a time in their life where they are ready for one-on-one coaching like I offer to my clients. So I am using an opportunity through this podcast to share with you some of the things that I work on with my one-on-one clients, so that you can take these lessons and implement them in your own business as you work on your course and get it out into the world.

So we have talked about vision, we’ve talked about values, we have talked about course objectives and explaining what it is you do. We have talked about validating your course idea, and then last week we actually took a step back and said, you know what? Sometimes in order to get that creativity flowing, in order to take really good care of ourselves, we actually need to take a break. We need to rest and allow ourselves to just kind of percolate a little bit. We want to create the space for these ideas to come through and to maintain our enthusiasm and energy for the course that we’re creating. 

So today, after a short rest, we are coming back to our intention of really moving forward with the course and getting it out there. And the next step is to start thinking about how you are going to create your messaging so that when you post on social media, when you send an email, when you create a website, when you create your sales page, you know what to say, how to say it in a way that will get attention and have people saying, yes, I need this course.

Messaging for your Course

A lot of times when we think about messaging, we think, oh my gosh, this is so big, this is so complicated. It’s so scary sometimes. And one of the things that I love about messaging is that it actually can be really, really simple. As a StoryBrand certified guide, one of the things I love the most about StoryBrand is the simplicity in which we talk about our businesses, our products, our offers, our services. 

In that simplicity, what happens is our potential clients can feel welcomed. They don’t have to wade through the complicated mess of our messaging. They know exactly what it is we offer, why it’s important, and how to take action. So when you start to think about messaging, the first thing that I want you to start telling yourself is that it can be simple.

And time and time again, whenever I talk with someone new, I mention that I’m a StoryBrand certified guide, and I say, I actually really like messaging, and I like StoryBrand because it made me realize that messaging isn’t complicated, that it’s really fewer words, clear words, so concise and clear, right? And just getting to the point, you don’t need fluff.

You don’t need any convoluted ways to get into your messaging. Just be open, honest, and straightforward. And when you keep these ideas at the center of everything that you’re creating, whether it is a social media post, it’s a reel, it’s a YouTube video. It’s a podcast episode. As a host or a guest, whether it’s your sales page or just writing your regular website or a lead magnet, simplicity is going to reign supreme. That’s the key to your messaging simplicity. Now, let’s take it a little bit further here. 

One of the things that StoryBrand does beautifully well is we create what’s called a brand script. And that brand script is kind of a mad lib style way of talking about your business. And in order to get all of the information for that, what you do is lay a groundwork of concepts and ideas that you need to incorporate into whatever it is you’re creating. We always start with who are we actually serving? And we answer a question, what do they want? A lot of times, and you’ve heard me talk about this on the podcast before, you’ve, we, we think about, well, they may want one thing, but what they really need is, and we fill in this thing that we’re creating, right? 

But the problem is we don’t go to Google and search what we need, because a lot of times we don’t know what we need. We know what we want, and so we go to Google and search for what we want.

So when you are creating messaging, you have to understand where your potential client is actually coming from. You have to take the initiative to walk alongside them. And this comes from my coaching days when I’m training coaches. I always used to say, you know, it’s like linking arms. We walk alongside our client. We’re not walking in front of them and pulling them.

We’re not walking behind them and pushing them in the right direction. We are walking just right beside them, linking arms and walking their journey with them. And really good messaging, really good foundation for your messaging is going to keep that concept in mind. We are not pushing, pulling, shoving, tripping our clients into choosing our course. What we’re doing is walking alongside them and letting them know,

I understand what you want. I’m here with you, and we’re gonna take what you want, and we’re gonna move through this journey together. And along the way, I’m going to incorporate pieces that will help you get to where it is you are envisioning. Because at the heart and soul, I know what you need to get there. So you see, we walk alongside our clients with what they want, that’s where we start. So you absolutely must begin your messaging foundation with a clear understanding of what your client wants. Go to Google, go to Reddit, to Quora, to Facebook, to Instagram, do some searches. Go to Amazon. That was one of my favorite tips from Ryan Levesque, is to go to Amazon and actually search your concept and see what books are out there. See what, what is already being published. If it matches what you’re thinking, great. If it doesn’t, that lets you know that maybe you’re not hitting on quite the right thing with your wording. It’s a really easy way to do some quick tests to see if you are zoning in, honing in on what your client wants.

Once you know what they want, it’s important to take it the next step further. And what we do is figure out what problems they are experiencing. And this goes beyond just, well, they don’t sleep at night. Well, they don’t do this well, they’re struggling too. It’s actually a lot more complex than that. And in the same breath, simple, because what happens is they’re experiencing external problems. They’re experiencing internal or intrinsic problems. And then there’s just kind of this big, in the StoryBrand world, it’s called a philosophical problem. This is the thing that is just kind of wrong. It’s wrong that your client has to experience something most, most. So for instance, let me give you an example of that philosophical problem. It’s just wrong that people don’t have enough food to eat. That’s the philosophical problem. 

The external problem might be that food costs are going up. It’s really tricky to find a place to buy food where you can get enough food for your budget. The internal problem is that it makes you feel stressed. It makes you feel very sad that maybe you’re not able to give your family the nourishment that they need, or maybe the quality of the food that you would like to get them. You’re having to buy less expensive food in order to get enough. So it leaves you feeling unsatisfied, stressed, anxious, that they’re not getting what they need. All of these internal feelings, right? So when we think about what our client wants, we’re thinking about what’s, what are the problems behind that?

What is driving that want? In this example that I gave you with food, you know, think about what it is they want is to be able to feed their families enough and feed their families good food. And that’s really what they want. They want to be able to sit down at the table and feel really good about what they’ve put on the table for their family and know that everyone has enough to eat.

No one’s gonna go to bed with hungry bellies. And so that external problem is that food costs are really high. It’s hard to find quality food for a really small price. Maybe you’re shopping at four or five stores to find the best deals, and it’s taking up time. The internal, again, is intrinsic to that person, and it’s how they’re feeling, what’s kind of going through their head, how are they feeling about this situation? And then the philosophical problem is, at the end of the day, it’s wrong that not everyone has enough to eat and quality food to eat. I think we can, that philosophical problem is something that we can all agree to, is wrong. It’s wrong that not everyone has enough to eat.

Now you can see we’re building this foundation. We’re really understanding where our clients are coming from. And when you really know what their problems are, you can actually talk to them and say, you know, when you go to the store and you look at the price of that whole wheat pasta and it’s gone up five times the normal price, it just leaves you feeling frustrated and unsure how you’re even going to be able to make this work. How are you gonna fit this food into your budget? See, now they’re picturing themselves in the grocery store. They used to buy whole wheat pasta because that’s what their family enjoyed. They liked the flavor, they liked the benefits, but now it’s five times the price. It used to be, and maybe they’re choosing a different type of pasta, but they can picture themselves in the grocery store because you’ve pulled that out. That’s why we have to have a messaging foundation. Notice there’s nothing fancy here. I’m saying you’re standing at the grocery store aisle looking at the whole wheat pasta and noticing the price is five times what you used to pay for it.

There’s nothing complicated fancy about that. It’s very, very simple. We’re not hiding anything. We’re not being sneaky. We’re just flat out saying, I understand where you’re at. I’m ready to walk alongside you. The next step of that messaging foundation is really to think about how are you going to show them that you are in fact linking arms, that you do understand what they’re going through, what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, what they’re doing, where they’re struggling. You can show how you then not only have the empathy and you’re walking alongside them, but what expertise do you have that’s going to allow them to feel comfortable and confident in trusting you with this problem with what it is they want?

And for some of you, that might mean a certification you hold. It might mean years of experience. It might mean having worked with X number of clients on this exact same thing. It might mean a combination of this stuff. But we want to show that you have the expertise necessary to help them move through this problem to get to what it is they want.

And the other piece, the other kind of piece of this is that we want to paint a picture of what it feels like to actually get what it, what they want. What are they thinking, doing, and feeling because they have gotten what it is they wanted, and in parentheses what they need, right? Because you’re gonna help them with what they need as well.

So what does it look like when they figured out in our example that we’re using today, figured out how to get quality food, enough food on their minimal budget? What does that look like? It means that their kids are happy and running around and playing. They have the energy to play. It means that you, it means that they don’t have to worry about where lunch is going to come from the next day.

Maybe they were able to make extras for dinner and it became a heat up lunch the next day. So they’re not worried about having to eat out and trying to budget so that they can bring leftovers from home. Maybe it means that everyone’s growing exactly how they’re supposed to grow. If they’re, if they have kids because they’re getting the nutrients they need, maybe it means when they fall asleep at night, they’re not having nightmares because they’re worried about how they’re going to feed their kids or their family the next day. And we also want to understand what it looks like if nothing changes. And this is not a point where we are doom and gloom and we try to scare people. This is not a scare tactic. It is very much a, I want you to understand that I know where you’re at, and if nothing changes, you know, there’s the quote, if nothing changes, nothing changes, right? 

We want to show them what happens if nothing changes in their life, and that we have a plan to help them be able to experience that success. So even our plan, when I’m looking, when I’m working with clients, a lot of times when we talk messaging, they come up with this really detailed plan of how to work with them, what it looks like. And I say, no, no, we have to keep it simple. Three steps. What does it look like? It means that you have a consultation call, then you go through the course. So let’s use our course example.

Let’s say we have a course on how to create really high nutrient meals, nutrient dense meals on a, on a minimal budget. So the plan is to sign up for the course, learn how to create your meal plans within your budget, and then enjoy your family. Getting excited to sit down for each meal together, right? So that’s a simple plan.

I didn’t go into all of the things we have to know about planning your meals and choosing your ingredients with a mind toward a minimal budget. What I talked about was kind of the overarching process for sign up experience, the course experience, the success, right? 

Everything we’re doing here, everything that I’ve been talking about for the last few minutes with your messaging, it provides a foundation. And when I say foundation, I want you to think about a home that’s built on a concrete foundation. That foundation keeps everything secure and anchored. It allows for your walls to stay upright and not crack and move and fall in. That foundation truly provides the basis for everything that you do. And the same is true of your messaging.

This messaging foundation lets you know how to speak to your potential client, whether it’s on social media, in a post, in a reel, in a live video. Maybe it’s in an email sequence that you create for your lead magnet, right? Or your freebie. You now know how to speak to your client so that they go, oh my gosh, I have to have this. To the point that if we’re thinking about our example of a minimal food budget, we know that this individual is already on a very tight budget. We want them to realize that this course can change their life, that they’re willing to invest in your course because they know that what they’ll gain out of it will help them to actually use their budget more effectively.

When you really understand your client, and when they understand that you understand them, think about that for a minute. when you understand your client and they understand that you understand them, that’s when they’re invested. That’s when they say yes. That’s when they are signing up for your course. Because they know that to say no to your course, nothing changes. They are at a point where something has to change. 

When I’m working with clients, after we get this good idea of a course, when they validate that and they’ve started listening to how their potential clients are talking about the problems that they’re having, this is usually when I guide them to start creating their messaging foundation. Because from here on out, everything that they put out into the world, social media, email, podcasts, YouTube videos, whatever it is, needs to have this same feel. The messaging needs to be consistent. And the only way you get to consistency with your message is to start putting it out there with this foundation in place and then making adjustments to it. The truth about messaging is that you’re never going to knock it outta the park on take one.

In fact, messaging always has to evolve. And one of my mentors, Brandon Lucero, often says, you know, 75%, get it out there when it’s once it’s 75% there, put it out into the world. Because that’s how you’re actually going to learn and to hone your messaging, is that you’ve got to actually test and see what resonates with people.

As things in the world shift, guess what? Your messaging will need to shift. It will need to stay in the truth of the moment. So getting your foundation built early is good, because then you can make little adjustments and tweaks as you start moving into the future, as the world changes, as new problems pop up, as new realities sink in, they are able to, you’re able to, with your messaging, adjust and adapt so that you continue to link arms with your potential client, walk right next to them so that they know you’re with them.

Action Item

This week’s action item, because having a really strong messaging foundation is really critical. I want you to spend some time on understanding these key concepts of your messaging.

And there’s a really great resource out there. It’s called My StoryBrand dot com. You can create a free, you’ve heard me talk about this before. If you’ve been around the podcast, you can create a free account here. My favorite kind of account. And you can see this kind of map of your messaging that I’ve been talking you through today and start filling out your own messaging map.

And my invitation to you is to actually do this and then start testing. So your action item is to go to my StoryBrand dot com, create an account, create your messaging map that has your brand script, that has what the client wants, their problems, the empathy that you’re going to show, the expertise that you have, the plan that you can give them, the success that they’ll experience in working with you. And even what happens if nothing changes, because this is your foundation. I honestly keep one of these from my business on my desk pretty much at all times, because I always go back to it and I think, ah, I haven’t talked about that for a little while. Let me go back and talk about that and bring it up again in a different way.

Keep your messaging simple. Start with this very basic map. It honestly creates the foundation for everything.

Conclusions

Let’s wrap up real quick here so that you can get to https://mystorybrand.com/ and create your foundation. We have been talking about the process that I take my one-on-one clients through in course creation. 

We’ve talked about vision, values, course objectives, how to talk about what it is you’re offering. We’ve talked about validating your course idea, and today we took that next step in thinking about creating messaging that really surrounds your course idea in a simple and concise way. So, clear, easy, not too many words. 

Keep it simple, because that’s what your people need. They don’t need to try and dig through 30 words to find the meaning of three. They don’t need to try and interpret what it is you’re saying. They just want the end picture. They just want to know what it is you truly mean, and go from there. 

This week’s action item was to go to https://mystorybrand.com/, create a basic foundation for your messaging, and then start testing it. When you create your messaging map, you’ll be able to share that. And I would love for you to grab a link to your messaging map and share it with me via DM, either on Facebook or Instagram at Entrepreneurs in Flow so that I can provide you some feedback, cheer you along, or just be there to walk alongside you on your journey. 

And if at any point you decide, you know what? This is too much for me. I would like some one-on-one help. I’m here for you. Just again, send me a dm, let me know you heard this podcast and that you are interested in one-on-one coaching. I do have a couple of spaces open at the time of this recording, so that does vary and fluctuate over time.

So just reach out, let me know that you’re interested in one-on-one coaching. We’ll get on a call and then we will get to work.

I’ll see you back here next week for another episode of the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast, where we focus on mentoring, community and implementation. It’s all about taking action so that we can remove the overwhelm of building a successful and profitable business and add in a little dose of momentum.

Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week.

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