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Is It The Message Or The Messenger?

Long before the stylish wedding garters and the small business blogging advice, when I was working in politics, there was a saying for when something wasn’t working. If there is a problem, it is either the message or the messenger. When something isn’t right in politics or in your small business, you can look to fix two different things – the message being delivered or the one delivering the message. What does this mean to the creative industry and how it is the applicable to blogging for your small business? Well, I’m about to tell you!

If you are struggling in your business to bring in more clients and get more leads, or if you want to set your business up for long term success as in be around long after Instagram is over, you have to focus on the message and the messenger. Both of these elements – message and messenger – in equal amounts and both at the same time.

Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

In the creative and wedding industry, “the message” involves the photos, the words, the colors, the pricing packages, the branding elements, the curated images and more. While “the messenger” is more than you, the business owner, and it involves how potential clients are finding your business, are they finding you, can the find you? Are you where your clients are? Are you networking with the right people? Is your business in a place that can be found consistently over and over again?

Message vs. Messenger

To often in the creative industry, we focus on the message only. Why? The message is easier, we can see it, it is pretty. The message is tangible, we understand it. We can change words and we can edit photos, change up colors and really curate our brand’s image. We can see and reach out and touch certain elements of our brand’s message. The best part of the message is that the returns are immediate. You take a new photo, you post it on Instagram, and you see it right away.

But, with the messenger, it just isn’t pretty or fun. The messenger often gets lost, forgotten or left behind. Why? Because the messenger isn’t glamorous. It isn’t pretty. It involves back end techniques, keywords, marketing, blog post writing, website SEO, networking – all of the things that you can’t see or touch, but are so important to the growth and long-term health of your business’ online portfolio. And worse, the messenger isn’t an immediate return and it involves things that take time to solve, settle in and take effect.

For The Long Haul

If you want your business to be around for the long haul, if you want to ride the wave of social media and be relevant after Instagram isn’t the hot social media outlet, you have to focus on both the message and the messenger. If you are struggling with business not coming in, or you are struggling to book clients, or if you aren’t even getting any leads at all, try to focus on both the message and the messenger.

There are lots of resources on how to improve your brand’s message. And, that’s not me. I’m not a stylist or a branding expert. But, what I can help with with the messenger portion of the equation. You must be evaluating, updating and editing both the message and the messenger at the same time. If you are struggling, don’t think that just by re-branding or taking new photos, it will solve all of your problems.

If potential clients can’t find your business online, or you are not updating your blog and it is turning away clients, then your problems have to do with your messenger. Really evaluate how your clients are finding you? Is it word of mouth referrals or do you needs to do more networking with different people? Can people find your business when they type it into a search engine? Do you even like what comes up with you Google your business? If not, fix it. These all have to do with changing the messenger and how potentials clients are being delivered your message.

Update The Messenger

What are some simple things that you can do to focus on your small business brand’s messenger? Here are three quick things you can do:

  1. Write a blog post or two or three. Get you business refreshed and filtering around the Internet with a new, fresh blog post. If you are stuck on what to write about, check out this post I did on what to blog about when you don’t know what to blog about, or this post on the 10 blog posts you already have written.
  2. Update something old. Do you have a page on your website that you haven’t updated in years? Give is a little refresh with a new photo or some new text. Updating an old page will breathe a little life back into your website, which will help you in the long run.
  3. Take the blogging challenge. At the beginning of the year, I created a super easy small business blogging challenge to help people kick start their blog for the new year. But, you can go through this all year long, anytime your blog and website needs a little refresh.

I hope this helps! Remember, you must focus on both the message and the messenger of your business at the same time in order to stay relevant and ready for whatever social media waves are going to strike.

For more small business blogging tips and advice, be sure to check out my blog series on the subject. You can sign up for my email newsletter to get more blogging tips and be the first person to know about any blogging workshops that I have coming up.

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