How to define your communication goals
It may seem silly to have a goal in mind for every little bit of communication you have with your audience. But the truth is it can keep you on track, on brand and ensure that you’re delivering content of the highest quality that your audience is going to enjoy and/or act on.
Every bit of interaction you have with your audience will be laced with your unique brand voice. And it’s easy for you, at every turn, to know what you stand for and to see the big picture of your brand. But when your audience is only interacting sporadically (an IG caption here and there, a blog post a few times a month and perhaps a weekly email) they don’t have the same insight you do.
So, suffice to say it’s super important to stay clear and consistent across the board at all times. Your brand voice should infuse seamlessly from one platform to the other: verbal and visual, on- and offline.
One of the ways you can ensure you’re rocking this, is to make damn sure you know what your communication goals are and that everything that leaves your lips, phone or keyboard align with them.
What are communication goals and how do you go about defining what they are for you?
What feelings do you want to evoke in your audience when they interact with you? When they read your emails or scroll your IG? How do you want them to feel when they read your latest blog post? What about your comments and conversations with your peers and other entrepreneurs online?
How do these align with your brand values? How do they encourage interactions with an audience who has similar values?
So, for example, I want all my communication to make my audience feel a sense of belonging - connected to myself and my brand and part of something bigger than themselves. Part of a community of strong women in business are ready to encourage, uplift, teach and inspire. This ties directly into my brand value of community where my focus is on building personal and lasting connections.
Your clients aren’ going to act (click a link, make a purchase, enquire about services) unless you’re encouraging them to do so. So with that in mind, what do you want to encourage your audience to do/think/believe? Not in a super manipulative way. In a totally real, you and honest way.
So for me, one of my primary communication goals is to encourage my audience to enquire about my services and refer me to their peers. And they’ll only be likely to do that if my communication with them encourages it. This doesn’t always look like “get in touch with me so we can get you on the schedule”! Sometimes, it’s more like guiding through a story, encouraging them to take the next step (“learn about my story here”, “if this is something that interests you, read this blog post”, “I want to get to know you better on Instagram” etc.).
P.s. Encouraging your audience doesn’t have to be insincere or even sales driven.
What do you want to highlight about your industry, your unique processes and your work to raise awareness in your audience? How would them understanding the intricacies of these better help you achieve goals 1 and 2 above? Again, how do they tie in your values?
For me, I take many opportunities to make my audience aware of my design process and the full scope of my branding package, the main focus of which is translating their brand story into a visual language. This is drawn from (and feeds into) my values of nurture and creative expression. It’s important for me to share my philosophy of weaving meaning and choosing intent over superficial decoration. Not only does this attract other like-minded entrepreneurs, it shows them that they are at the heart of my design process.
You audience are only ever going to make a purchase or hire if they trust you. And one component of that trust is built on the foundation that you actually, and wholey, know what you’re talking about.
To that end, what do you want to invest time teaching them? What do they need educating on in order to connect and engage with you in a way that eventually converts?
So, for me, I spend a lot of time educating my audience on the value of branding and professional design. It pays for me to build an audience who not only understand what I do and how it benefits them, but also trust me as an expert in my field by sharing my knowledge with them.
Now that you know how you could define your communication goals, how can you work to infuse your marketing strategy with them? And how can they all work together to attract (and create) more of the right clients? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!