Getting your tagline right is one of the essential steps to connecting your business with the clients looking for what you do. That means when potential clients read it, they know they are in the right place and they are curious to find out more.
Here’s what I’ve learned about getting your tagline right from helping my clients. The advice itself it simple. However, implementing it is not always straightforward. So, to help you make the task easier, here’s my guideline to the essential Dos and Don’ts.
Your Tagline tells the reader, “This is for YOU!”
What exactly is your tagline?
Whether it’s on your website, your social media channels, or PR material, it’s the short message that tells the reader, “This is for You”! On your website it’s the banner beside your company name and logo. Getting the tagline right is all about getting these three elements synchronised to communicate the same message, to expand on and compliment each other and to create a clear, unified visual and written message about your business.
The essential Don’ts
A few warning shots on what to avoid when trying to get your tagline right
Let’s begin by removing those elements that muddle and confuse the reader.
- Drop the jargon and the buzzwords. We’ve heard these terms millions of times already and they numb our senses. Listen to how your potential clients describe what they want. That’s your best guide to knowing what will resonate with them when they read it.
- Don’t try to be clever or catchy. Instead of trying to impress, go for clear, simple words that make it easy for the audience to immediately understand the message.
- The shorter the better! A tagline should be between 3 and 7 words. (8 is not a crime!). Remember the wise words of Francois Fenelon: “The more you say, the less people remember.”
- Avoid vagueness. That means avoid a general slogan-type tagline, such as this one from a Health Coach: Enrich your life, health and well-being. (How do I know what this person offers: fitness classes, dietary advice, mindfulness courses, etc.?) Or this one from a graphic designer: Helping you run a successful business. (There are many skills needed to run a successful business, e.g. financial planning, marketing strategies to technical organisation, etc.)
The purpose of your tagline is to connect you with potential clients and start a conversation
The essential ingredients of your tagline
Your tagline is there to let the visitors know that they’re in the right place, i.e. you are the person or company that will help them get what they want. Like every message, its purpose is to connect you with potential clients and start a conversation.
To do that successfully your tagline has to answer the following questions the visitors are asking as they click and scroll. Remember, they want the answers immediately!
1. Who is this person/company?
2. What does this person/company do exactly?
3. Do they solve a problem that I have and/or provide an outcome that I want?
The name and logo (and in some cases the photo) should provide a basic answer to the first question.
Your tagline (together with complimentary images and headlines on your website) answers the other two, which also defines your ideal client.
How to get your tagline right
There are formulas that help you get started, that get you thinking about what exactly you do and for whom. They provide you with the raw material that you then tweak and edit to make it resonate with your potential clients and make it easy for them to feel it’s about them.
I use this simple formula to get the thinking juices flowing for my clients:
I help ______________ (define your ideal clients) who struggle with _________________ (state the problem you solve for them) get this outcome (describe the benefit of working with you).
Here are a few examples of simple, specific taglines, tweaked for the message and the audience, that skip the guessing games:
From a chiropractor’s website: Backpain relief for those who sit at work
It’s simple, clear and catches the attention of someone who needs this kind of therapy.
A dating site for women: Finding your soul-mate for divorced women over 50
A website designer: Websites that work! It’s short and it captures what everyone wants from their website – it does the job it’s designed to do.
This speaks to a specific kind of clients who can recognise themselves in the tagline instantly.
A final word on getting your tagline right
Like you business, your tagline is always evolving, so make sure to revise and update it as required.Learn More
How to Pitch?
The #1 strategy for success is simple and very effective. Make you Audience Care.
What’s Wrong with the Pitch?
How many pitches have you heard/read in the last six months? How many of those do you remember?
One? Two? None? Why so few, if even any? What was wrong with the pitch?
This is the question that kicked off our workshop recently on how to move beyond the standard ‘pitch’ and engage your audience.
According to the participants, here’s what was wrong with the standard pitch and needed fixing. Almost all the pitches were too long, complex, confusing, jargon-filled, boring, predictable, general, self-promotional … They all agreed that they were completely indifferent to what was being pitched because it didn’t matter to them.
How to pitch?
We could answer the question, How to Pitch?, with a quick cheat-sheet that addresses some of the above issues, e.g. boring, confusing, etc. It’s been done – hundreds of times. It’s time to stop pruning the leaves and do a root and branch job that will not only make real improvements, but will also create a pitch template. To get to that place where your audience cares, let’s start with with a simple and effective strategy to improve a ‘bad’ pitch.
To make your audience care about your pitch it has to be engaging for them. And the way to engage your audience is to make your pitch about THEM – not you, as I’ve already talked about. It’s simple and here’s how you do that.
Your Pitch Should be a Dialogue
The answer the question, How to Pitch?, is to make your pitch a dialogue between you and your audience – instead of the conventional monologue-pitch. Forget the sales pitch! It repels an audience because they’ve heard it before and they’re looking for an alternative to the sales pitch, as I pointed out here.
Here’s an example of the typical monologue-pitch. It start something like this: “Hi, I’m Jack/Jill. I’m a Business Consultant/Financial Advisor/ Life Coach … with 5/6/7/ years experience…
And the monologue continues by being way too general and supplying irrelevant details about you and your service or product.
The Golden Rule: The simplest way to create a dialogue with the people you want to reach is to talk to them about what they care about – themselves!
Start with the audience not with you. Let them know you know who they are, what they struggle with, what their goals are and how you are going to help them solve that problem/reach that goal. The rules for a successful pitch apply to all forms of audience interaction, from in- house to virtual presentations – it’s about creating a relationship, not a sales opportunity. My advice about making presentations interactive also applies to your pitch.
The #1 Strategy
The #1 strategy for a successful pitch is have them respond 3 times with “Yes!”.
The beginning of any successful conversation is to make it easy for people to know that you are talking to them. So call them by their name! Not their personal first name, but the name they use to define themselves in business. Instead of using a generic term, e.g. business owner, coaches, professionals, working women, etc. name your niche, (one niche per pitch), e.g. career coaches, working women over 40 stuck on the career ladder, service-based micro-business owners, etc.
1. Can they say, “Yes, that’s me!”? If so, you’ve got their attention and they are responding – silently.
But audience attention is a fleeting phenomenon.
You now need to move beyond grabbing their attention to engaging them.
What’s the most effective way to engage your audience?
Describe a challenge they know they have in their own words. Dump the jargon, the hype, the buzz-words. Have you listened to how they describe their problems? Use those words instead of your fancy phrases – if you want your words to resonate. How do they describe the problem of not being able to find enough customers, or the right customers, or to get their offers right, etc.
2. If they can respond to your description with “Yes, that’s my problem right now!”, you’re gaining trust.
Now take it a step further and pull them into a deeper dialogue with you and describe the consequences of these problems, i.e. where it hurts exactly. Have they cash-flow issues because they can’t find enough clients, or is their business stagnating because they don’t have a business plan, etc.?
3. Can they respond to your description with, “Yes, that’s what this problem is costing me!”? If so, you have engaged them in your pitch because they can easily recognise themselves in it.
Can you now provide them with a way forward?
Once you have elicited “Yes!” three times from your audience, it’s now time to go for the bonus “Yes!”. That will make them want to know more about you and connect with you post-pitch.
For example, you have developed a state-of-the-art data base system or a new app, etc., that you know could solve the challenges they face right now. Avoid a self-promotional monologue about your product here. No one (except you) is interested in the technical specifics right now. Tell them instead how your system/app will solve THEIR problem, e.g. increase sales, make it easier to find better clients, improve automation efficiency by 50%, etc.
If they can say, “Yes, I want to hear more about that!”, your made that post-pitch connection.
And when they follow up, remember it’s because you talked to them about what matters to them in a way that showed them tht you know their problems and you can provide them with the next step. Build on that.
Don’t ruin it now by turning the conversation into a monologue!
A Final Word on How to Pitch
Times are changing. Your pitch is also part of your message, your tagline, your website headline, your sales letter introduction, your profile text, etc. It’s on all your social media content. it’s an important work-in-progress until you get it right.Learn More