You’ve heard me say it many times before – your marketing messages should be simple and clear! If you confuse people, they are not going to waste their time trying to figure you and your business out. They need to get it right away so they can act and become your customer, follower, and fan.

So how do you know if your messages are clear enough? Consider these 4 signs that your marketing message is too complicated, and see if any apply to you!

1. You can’t tell someone what you do in one or two succinct sentences.

Yes, you read that right – one or two sentences! Preferably one. This sentence goes by many different names (elevator pitch, brand statement, tag line). Whatever you want to call it, it should roll off your tongue anytime someone asks you that most common question – what do you do?

If you don’t have that down in a super clear and concise way, you may be over complicating it.

2. When you meet a prospective client or customer, they ask a LOT of questions to try to understand your business.

Do you get a lot of clarifying questions when you answer the question “what do you do?”? If it seems like nice people are trying really hard to understand your business, then you need to make it more clear for them up front.  The goal is to see people’s eyes light up after you explain your business, because they GET it. They might want to know more, but the questions should not be about trying to just understand the basics. You want them to move onto how they can engage with you and what action you want them to take.

3. You find yourself saying something like “we have a lot of different things we do,” or “we are just unique, it’s hard to sum it up.”

I know, some organizations really are complex. They have a lot of departments or branches or initiatives.  But that is not an excuse to bring that complexity into your messaging. In this case, you need to boil down to the one or two things that are the most important, and that you most want to be known for.  The other things can come in secondary messaging, or after someone has engaged with you. If you try to tell them everything up front, you will lose them. And then they are missing out on the whole thing. So focus it down and tell a clear story to pull them in. The rest will come as they get to know you better.

4. You have started and stopped several branding efforts and now you have a hodgepodge of messages.

This is a common problem for an entrepreneur! You had a friend help you with this piece. You followed this formula to develop a tag line. But then you really like some other wording that you came up with.  And now, what are you left with? Messaging all over the place and it’s not cohesive. That is a sign that you are making it too complicated. It’s time to get all your ideas together and then work down to a simple and clear message.

Bottom line – it is important and possible to make your messaging clear.  It should be so clear that someone else can repeat it back after hearing it once. They can tell their friends and it can spread easily.  Take a look at what you’re putting out there – is it easily repeated? If not, let’s talk! A free strategy session is waiting for you.