What do we mean by ‘clarifying your message’?
When we talk about “clarifying your message,” what we mean is the process of making your communication crystal clear and compelling to your target audience. The goal is to ensure that your message resonates with your ideal customers and motivates them to take action, such as booking an appointment or making an enquiry.
The concepts around clarifying your message that we speak about in this article are derived from the StoryBrand Framework developed by Donal Miller. We use this framework for clients to achieve websites that convert more visitors into leads and clients.
The process of clarifying your website message can be broken down into three steps:
- Identify and understand your customer’s problem – so you can speak their language
- Position yourself as the guide – empower your clients to solve their own problems
- Create a clear call-to-action – so your client knows exactly what to do next
Now let’s dive further into each step.
Step 1: Identify your client’s problem
The first step in clarifying your message is to identify the problem that your ideal customer is facing. What are they struggling with, what are their pain points, and how does it make them feel?
Now, this may sound obvious and basic, but the more details you can know and understand about your ideal client, the better you’ll be able to speak to those problems and position yourself as the practitioner who can provide the solution they need.
Here are some basic steps that you as a practitioner can use to identify, understand and speak to your potential clients’ problems:
Define your ideal client (customer avatar):
Before you can identify your client’s problems, you need to have a clear understanding of who your ideal client is. Who are the people you want to work with, and what are their specific needs and challenges? This is where building a client avatar can help.
An exercise physiologist may be able to treat a whole range of health and mobility problems, across a wide segment of the population. While this can be helpful from a treatment perspective, it’s not so helpful when it comes to communicating effectively with your target audience. This is why it’s important that you get specific with who you want to work with.
A basic example of a target audience for an exercise psychologist may look like this:
“Our ideal client is a 40-60 year old, middle-income individual who is currently experiencing chronic pain or a chronic condition and is looking for a safe and effective exercise program that can improve their overall health and quality of life. He generally stays within a small geographical area around his home, and is most likely to search for information online through Google and social media.”
By identifying these specific details that outline your client’s liefestyle, you can really get to understand what drives this particular persona to make decisions, which makes it easier to connect with them through your website messaging and content.
Conduct market research:
Once you have defined your ideal client, you can conduct market research to understand their external and internal problems. This can involve surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews. You can ask questions about their current challenges, pain points, and frustrations (listed below).
Identify external problems:
External problems are tangible issues that your ideal clients are facing on the surface.
Using our above example, the external problems might be the fact that our persona is currently experiencing chronic pain or a chronic condition that’s physically stopping him from being able to live the life he wants – such as going for exercise, picking up his children, getting out of bed etc.
Connect with internal problems
Internal problems are how these external problems make your clients feel.
To continue our example from above, our persona is experiencing physical issues that are stopping him from
- Exercising – making him feel frustrated
- Picking up his children – making him feel helpless
- Getting out of bed – making him feel defeated
Connecting with your clients’ internal feelings is important because it helps you understand what is driving their behaviour and decision-making. People are often more motivated by emotions than by facts or data, so most of your client’s decision making will be made based on the emotional level.
Address both external and internal problems in your messaging
When communicating your message, it’s important to address both the external and internal problems that your clients are facing. By doing so, you can demonstrate that you understand their needs and are positioned to help them overcome their challenges. You can also connect with their internal feelings, which can motivate them to take action and seek your services.
To connect with your clients’ internal feelings, it’s important to use language that resonates with them on an emotional level. This could involve sharing stories or testimonials from past clients who have overcome similar challenges, or using language that speaks directly to their feelings of frustration, helplessness, or defeat. By doing so, you can position yourself as the guide who can help them overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
In this example below by one of our clients, Results Based Physio. You can see how they speak to the client’s pain points on both an emotional (internal) and physical (external) level:
Identifying your potential clients’ problems is an important step in clarifying your message and positioning yourself as the guide who can help them overcome their challenges. This will allow you to build trust and credibility with your clients and increase your chances of converting website visitors into clients.
Example questions to uncover internal and external problems:
- What physical symptoms are you experiencing?
- What activities have you had to give up or modify due to your condition?
- How has your condition impacted your daily life?
- What treatments have you tried in the past, and what were the results?
- What other healthcare providers have you seen for your condition?
- How does your condition make you feel emotionally?
- How has your condition impacted your mental health or well-being?
- What are your fears or concerns about your condition?
- How has your condition affected your relationships or social life?
- What impact has your condition had on your self-esteem or confidence?
Once you’ve got a thorough understanding of these common issues your ideal client is facing, and the impacts the issues have on their life, you can start using the right type of messaging that will resonate with them on your website.
Step 2: Position yourself as the guide, and your client as the hero
In the StoryBrand framework, the “hero” is the customer, and the “guide” is the business or brand that helps the hero overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. The hero (your client) is the main character in the story, and the guide (you) is the supporting character who provides the hero with the tools, knowledge, and support they need to succeed.
One of the most common mistakes that we see allied health practices make when communicating their message is positioning themselves as the hero, rather than the guide. This can happen when businesses focus too much on their own accomplishments, expertise, or features, rather than on the needs and challenges of their customers. By doing this, you can miss the opportunity to position yourself as the ally that your customers need to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
On the other hand, when your practice positions itself as the guide, it sends a clear message to clients that you understand their needs and are committed to helping them succeed. The guide has the knowledge and expertise to help the hero overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. By positioning yourself as the guide, you can build trust and credibility with your customers, which can lead to increased engagement, loyalty, and conversions.
To position yourself as the guide, you need to focus on your customer’s needs and challenges, rather than on your own accomplishments or expertise. Your messaging should communicate how you can help your customers overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. This could involve highlighting your experience, your approach, your services, and your results, all in a way that positions you as the ally that your customers need to succeed.
A good example of positioning as a guide can be seen below. Janine Waddell from Weight Gone 4 Good is a Nutritionist that helps women regain control over their diet and food cravings., and ultimately manage their weight. Janine is able to position herself as the guide, who has been through the same struggles that her target audience are currently going through, which allows her to relate to them and and establish credibility with that audience because she’s been through the same issues they’re facing.
By following the StoryBrand framework and positioning yourself as the guide, you can create a message that resonates with your customers and positions your business as the solution to their needs and challenges. This can lead to increased engagement, loyalty, and conversions, and help you build a stronger relationship with your customers over time.
Step 3: Create a clear call-to-action
The final step in clarifying your message is to create a clear call-to-action that tells visitors to your website what they should do next. A call-to-action could be something as simple as “schedule an appointment” or “contact us for a free consultation.” Whatever it is, make sure it’s clear, compelling, and easy to find on your website. By giving visitors a clear next step, you’ll make it more likely that they’ll take action and become a client.
In the below example, our client Performance ExPhys clearly outlines the next steps the client needs to take, with a clear all-to-action. This makes it easy and obvious for your client to understand what the next step needs to be if they’re going to solve their problem, and how to get there:
By following these three steps and using the StoryBrand framework to clarify your message, you can turn your website visitors into clients and grow your allied health business. Remember to focus on your customer’s problem, position yourself as the guide, and create a clear call-to-action. With these steps in place, you’ll be well on your way to attracting and converting more clients through your website.