The Message Morass: Why your messaging is costing you big money (and how to turn it around)

Is the message you're sending the one they're getting

I know you believe from the bottom of your heart: If you could just get this elevator pitch thing figured out (as well as the messaging that lets you wow folks with what you do) everything in your business would take flight.

I know you think it will make people’s eyes light up. It will get them interested. And (most importantly) it will be the first step towards getting them to whip out their wallets.

And I’m here to tell you … nothing could be further from the truth.

Because when it comes to messaging, your “elevator pitch” is just the tip of the iceberg. But even more important, when 95% of you craft your elevator pitch and your other business messaging, you’re making a critical error that makes turning the prospect in front of you into a client almost impossible.

And the reason is this:  The message you believe you’re sending to your prospects isn’t the one they’re getting. So even when think you’ve nailed it, that quizzical, confused look on their faces (even when they’re trying to smile politely) tells you otherwise.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Most of us message our business based on what we do. The problem is: our prospects could care less about what we do, or how we do it (no matter how excited we are about it).

They only care about what we do FOR THEM.

And when we miss that crucial distinction, we can miss out on years of possible connection and profits. Because our audience is walking around with the wrong message in their heads.

Here’s an example of how that plays out … and how I walked around with the wrong idea for 25 years (true story!)

There’s a song I’ve heard on the radio for years, and I always believed the title of the song was “I Want to Be a Dog.”  That’s a weird title, but that’s what the lead signer says, over and over.

Now you may think I’m crazy … but give a listen for yourself:

And the thing is … I wasn’t only me. Some of the most popular comments on the video shared my confusion:



For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why this guy wanted to be a dog. I thought there must be some hidden meaning. Was it symbolism? Was it something from his childhood? Then one day I discovered the REAL title of the song was “I Want to Be Adored.”

Why is this important?

Because for over 25 years I was walking around with the wrong message

It sure would. Because while you believe in your heart of hearts you are telling them one thing, they are hearing something altogether different. Which is why so many of your prospects are saying “No!”. And you just can’t figure it out.

The biggest reason it’s happening is you’re not crystal clear about the tangible, concrete impact you have on the lives of the folks you work with. But more important … you’re messaging the wrong thing. Because when you talk about:

  1. What you do (I’m a life coach!)
  2. Why you do it (to create an army of emotionally empowered people, moving through obstacles, conquering new territory … )
  3. Your process (a five-step system that dissolves fear so we can liberate our confidence so that we can achieve mental clarity, so the we can … ).
  4. Or jargon that makes sense only to you ( I’m a passion-to-clarity confidence coherence expert).

They simply don’t hear you. I’m not talking metaphorically they don’t hear you. I mean the type of language that focuses on abstract ideas, processes, and lukewarm outcomes doesn’t  come close to awakening their excitement for what you offer and their desire to work with you.

And if they don’t want you, they’re not going to hire you.

How do you fix this?

You start by taking the focus of your messaging off what you feel is important (what you do, why you do it, how you do it, and catchy but meaningless names that describe it). And put the focus on the ONLY things your prospects care about.

The painful problems you solve for them,
and the highly desired outcomes you create for them.

Because when you become an expert at identifying and messaging the painful problems your market is suffering from – that you help solve – and the important outcomes they yearn for – that you help them experience – EVERYTHING changes. That’s the magic ticket.

So do it now:  Create a document on your laptop or tablet with one column for “painful problems I help my ideal prospects solve” and one column for “highly desired outcomes I help my ideal prospects achieve”. And keep the document open all the time.

So when inspiration strikes, you can add to your list.

And when you need to be able to message your business effectively, you have a ready-to-go resource to draw from, that won’t sound like abstract gobbledy gook to your prospects.

Even if you struggle at first, stick with it. Because knowing the specific problems you solve and the dreams you make real for your clients is a gold mine!  And ensuring the message you’re sending is the one that lights your target market on fire is your ticket to finally getting the response you know your products, programs and services deserve!

8 Responses to The Message Morass: Why your messaging is costing you big money (and how to turn it around)

  1. I cannot stop laughing, Rob. The Stone Roses were very popular. I have this song on a 45 rpm (yes, I haven’t thrown my collection out yet). The thought that a top hit had people singing that they wanted to be a dog is too nouveau even for me. 🙂

    On a more serious note, thank you for highlighting the need to have clarity on our message. Without it, our Ideal Client for whom we are manna from Heaven won’t even realize it and that’s never good for business.

    • Glad I gave you a laugh Vatsala! And yes, this is a true story, I really did think that’s what they were singing. And just like I was walking around with the wrong idea, if that our messaging isn’t clear and focused on results, that is exactly what our prospects will do!

  2. Thank you for the insight, Rob. And also the tip at the end. Love the way to you always seem to find an entertaining way to highlight the exact problems I am having, and also the solutions you come up with.

    • Glad that hit the spot, Amanda! Yep, a lot of folks really struggle with this one. Glad the tip was helpful.

    • Super Sandy! It’s always easier to have your list of “problems I help solve” and “dreams I help deliver” ready when you need it (for copy, emails, opt-in pages) instead of having to come up with them on the spot.

  3. Rob you are too funny! I love the thing where you are talking about the ‘abstract gobbledy gook” that had me rolling. But you are absolutely right, if they don’t understand what you are trying to say or who you are trying to reach, they will never believe its them and pass you by.