Over half the time when marketing isn’t working, it’s because of MESSAGING.

You could have the best strategy in the world and it wouldn’t matter if your messaging isn’t dialed in.

Despite what you might think, it actually takes a lot of hard work to truly understand and connect with your audience on a deep and meaningful level.

You have to actually know your audience in order to nail your messaging.
What are their problems? Their struggles? Their desires? Their dreams?

In this episode, I’m going deep into:

  • How to find where your connection is off.
  • How I personally ensure that I am on that deep level of connection with my own audience.
  • And how you can implement my strategies in your business too!

Listen in, and then SHARE with your best-business-friends! (Tag @emilyhirsh on Instagram for a quick shoutout in stories!)

And if you want access to reports like this from a Team who knows their stuff, head to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with Team Hirsh!

Key Points:

[3:00] 75% of issues in marketing are solved with fixed messaging and knowing your customer and speaking to them in a way that’s effective.
[8:36] The better emotional connection and deep connection to my customer that I have, the better content I can create for them.
– I think it’s very important for the CEO … to actually have this knowledge and it’s something that’s hard to delegate
[13:30] We’re constantly testing what do our customers respond to best and what do they need and how do we serve them and how do we connect with them.
[17:55] Look at where that connection is off.
– Where are you confused or cloudy in the messaging to your customer?
– You have to know your customer on that deep level and you have to know their problems, their struggles, their desires, their dreams.
[18:23] Over half the time when marketing isn’t working, it’s because of messaging.
[20:25] This is the job for a CEO.
– It’s a different experience when you become very close and almost obsessive with who your audience is.


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Emily Hirsh:

Hi everybody. I hope you’re having a great week. So I’m excited for today’s episode. I think it’s going to represent a common theme I’ve talked about in the past, which is messaging and really understanding who you’re talking to in your marketing and how important that is to your marketing success. So I want to give you the background of why I’m doing this episode today. So I was having a conversation with my good friend Alex Charfen and I was literally like, “It’s so weird, like everything’s crazy right now for a lot of people, but I am a little bored. Like I don’t know exactly what I should be working on because my business is doing so well and I was telling him, it’s weird, you kind of go through seasons and before, William, my son was born in February I spent like three months working really hard, like working a lot because I was doing a bunch of stuff to get it ready and like basically breaking everything to rebuild it.

Now everything’s working very well and I have a great leadership team and they’re running things and we added 10 clients and last month we had a 100% retention rate. It’s like, best case scenario for our company right now we’re in a very good up-hill, growth stage. And I was like, we’re so busy and like the world is falling apart around me and I don’t know what to do with my time. So, Alex was talking about where we’re at and he’s really good at poking holes in everything and helping me find where I should put my time. So one thing we started talking about was how it’s always beneficial to dive deeper in knowing your customer and knowing your avatar and how, you know, if you look at leaders like Steve jobs or big companies that they know their customer almost obsess over it.

I do talk about this all the time because I’ve seen it time and time and time again in marketing, that 75% probably of issues in marketing are solved with fixed messaging and knowing your customer and speaking to them in a way that’s effective and speaking to solving their problem and helping them achieve whatever their dream is in a way that’s effective. And it’s really hard to get that. I have copywriters on my team and they are definitely better at writing copy than me, but we spend a lot of time with our clients and myself with my own business in helping the copywriter understand how I want them to speak to the customer and who that customer is. Cause that’s not the copywriter’s job. Like they need to learn that and then they can speak to it, but you have to give them that information.

So this conversation with Alex really got me thinking cause I was like, man, I haven’t been, I haven’t thought about this in a long time. I think I do have a really good idea of who our ideal customer is. Like I’m pretty clear, but I think you can always be more clear. And so Alex was like, well why don’t you do some avatar interviews? Why don’t you interview like your, some of your clients and your Ignite students and just ask these questions. He actually has a format for it, so I’m gonna use that, and just, you know, obsess over it. Spend a couple of days doing that, you have time to do it. And, and it just, you know, it’s one of those things where it’s like, yes, that’s exactly what feels right, what I need to be doing.

I wouldn’t have ever thought about it unless I had that conversation. I think it’s just one of those things that you get in this groove of like, my messaging is good, like things are working. I know, I know my audience, that problem is solved and you don’t go back and think about it. Where I really think that it’s beneficial, especially as the CEO and especially if you’re the face of a brand and you know, you’re an influencer and you have that kind of impact on your audience where what you say, is supposed to attract them and connect with them and get them to know that whatever you sell is the solution to their problem.

So I think as the CEO and as an influencer, as a face of your brand, your job is to know your audience on such a deep level. So that everybody else on your team and everything you do when you’re marketing can do well. I think that there’s always room for you to go deeper and to learn more about that person. I have been in business for five years working with pretty much the same client, digital marketers, digital businesses, selling online services, online products, working virtually in this space since the beginning. I’ve been working with those clients now they’ve changed the kind of the level that they’re at from when I first started out to now just because we’re a more, a more higher level agency, with our services. But, we also have our “done with you” offer and so I’ve been able to reach down and help people who aren’t quite ready for the “done for you” services.

So I feel like if you asked me, I know my audience pretty well, but this month and I’m spending a lot of time actually talking to my customers, talking to both my students and my customers to learn even more. And it’s so far been very powerful. I think that it will only help us with our messaging and our marketing. And on that note, I also was comparing how much work we’ve done with this and how, this is one of the reasons our current marketing, my company’s marketing is working so well is because we’ve consistently just refined and refined and refined our messaging to speak to this audience. So I want to talk about a few of the other things that we’ve done, but the theme of this episode that I want you to know is how important it is for you to know your customer on a deep, deep emotional level and how you probably could always improve your knowing. And that’s a positive place where you should put your time as a CEO and you should delegate tactical tasks. This is a very strategic task.

So I’m going to be honest, when I talked to Alex, a lot of times he’ll be like, this is what you should do. Like this is my suggestion. And I’m like, no, I don’t want to do that. Most of the time I push back on him. So my initial thought, I actually should tell him this, I think I’ll give him this episode to listen to. My initial thought when he said this in my head, I didn’t say this out loud, but I was like, I am not doing avatar interviews. Like I don’t like being on zoom calls. I’m very introverted. I like to just put my head down and get work done. And it’s why I hate like, I really don’t like sales calls. I also was always very drained when I was doing our client strategy calls. Like it just drains me of that energy.

So he said all this and he’s like all excited about it and saying that this is what I should do. And in my head I’m like, no, I’m not, I’m not doing that. And I’m already thinking about how I can cheat it. And I was like, well, my sales person could ask those questions when she’s talking to people, and I’m working it out in my head like, okay, I’ll just nod my head and tell him I’ll do it. But I’m not really going to do this. But then he kept talking and I was like, Oh, he’s right. And that’s usually what happens is Alex just keeps going. And then finally you’re like, okay, okay, okay, you’re right. When he first said it, and I think that will be your reaction to this too of just like, even putting in time and doing work, you’re like, now like I’m good, I’ve got it figured out. I don’t need to do this. Like I don’t need to go deeper, but I do promise you every time I’ve ever done this and taking the time and the energy and to put in this, it’s only been positive because it allows the people who support me, like my copywriters and like my own marketing team to do a better job if I have this deep knowledge.

Also, I create content like this, my podcast, videos, and so the better, you know, emotional connection and deep connection to my customer that I have, the better content I can create for them. So I resisted it too, and if that’s what you’re thinking, then you can keep listening to me and change your mind later because that’s exactly what I did. So we do do some of this through our sales, but I want you to know like I think it’s very important for the CEO, for the head, like for the business owner to actually have this knowledge and it’s something that’s hard to delegate because you might hear something from your customer while talking to them or in a conversation or connect with them in a certain way that just other people can’t because they don’t care at the level that you do about your audience and your customer. They might, but they probably don’t. You might perceive things and hear things differently than other people would. So, you doing this is something that’s very strategic for a CEO to do.

So I want to backtrack and talk about what we have been doing with my own webinar and how we have actually been using my salesperson to figure out a lot of these answers and just continually refining. This is what I love about sales and marketing is like you’re constantly digging deeper. You’re constantly taking things to the next level. You’re never done. And I think that’s honestly what attracts me to marketing so much is there’s always something else you can do. There’s always something like a way for you to go deeper, a way for you to improve. You’re never like just set it and forget it. That’s never how it is because really because you can always learn about your customer and learn about your audience more and then make a change or an adoption based on that. And so if you’re constantly getting that Intel, then you’re constantly making changes to improve. And that’s one thing that I love.

So what we did with my webinar over really the last 60 days is I did several webinars and we analyzed the crap out of people’s responses. So what we did was we downloaded the chat after each webinar, we had my VA sort it so that we could see important things and answers to questions. I’d have engaging questions on the webinar, like asking them, you know, their biggest struggle, my webinars basically formatted to diagnose your business to see where you need to put your time and energy into your marketing. So we would analyze where people are struggling, where they’re not struggling because I was asking them a question at each step and we took that every single time to analyze it to learn better about this person, these people, on the webinar. And then we obviously looked at conversion. So you know, the number of people who applied and booked calls from the webinar or purchased eventually. We really studied their journey.

So we’re able to go into our, our contact management software and look at the different tags they might have. So we could see like, “Oh this person, you know, opted into our case study opt in or our Hirsch marketing report. And then they maybe bought our ads toolkit and then they came to the webinar. Or maybe they didn’t even know about us and they came to the webinar booked to call. They’re totally cold traffic.” So we have a column in our sales tracker where we put the notes in for their whole journey so I can see trends so I can see what’s working. So I can see like what contents convincing them to take next steps. And so I can see how many steps they on average are taking before they book a call. All of those things that are super important to not only the messaging but also the strategy.

We also specifically ask questions in our application and our client application. If you’ve ever gone through it, you know this, we’re asking about your struggles and your fears. We’re asking questions to learn more about the person that we’re going to get on a call with so we can connect with them better, so we can understand them better. So our application is actually, it’s not super lengthy, but it’s not super short. It’s not just like your name and email and your business. We get information about you. So we can do our homework before we get on that call, which makes the call more effective for you and for us. Both from a sales perspective but also in a way that, so that we can serve you and so that we can keep information relevant and we can talk about what you need at that moment.

So everywhere that, everything that we’re doing, we’re constantly testing, you know, what do our customers respond to best and what do they need and how do we serve them and how do we connect with them? That comes up in our ad copy. It comes up in our content copy, in my podcast, in our emails, in our subject lines, in our application, in our sales call everywhere. We’re constantly refining and improving. I get probably the most data and intel from my sales person who tells me about conversations she had and like the way people feel and the way people are thinking and the way they’re stating their problems, the way they’re communicating. That’s super powerful. That’s why at the least you can learn from that, about your ideal customer but it’s also why having these calls that I’m going to do these avatar calls is going to help me because I’m getting you on the phone and having a conversation, which a lot of times, you know, new information comes out very authentic, not scripted or not pre-thought about information will come out of those type of calls versus if you were just to send out a questionnaire or, or a form to people where they like think out their response and they probably keep it a little more surface.

So even though I was resistant to putting my time into doing these calls, honestly I am going to do them and I want to explain why I feel this is important right now because I could be doing this, you know, any quarter and it probably would be beneficial. But the problem, the challenge that we’re trying to improve on, is we have our “Done With You” Ignite Course and I’m trying to make sure that the people I get into that course are able to be ascended into becoming an agency client. I still want to attract the right person into that course. And I don’t think we have been necessarily perfectly clear on what that means. So the metric we’re tracking is the number, the percentage of people of students who come in who have signed up for our course, Ignite, our “Done With You” and become a client within three to six months. Like does that course, you know, get them to where we want them to be? Because that’s why I created that course. I mean it was a step down for people to become an agency client.

So this comes from me being crystal clear about my main goal in my business really is agency clients. That’s my driver. That’s where we put the most energy into building my team. You know, that’s our specialty. And then we obviously have our “Done With You” course because we have all the resources and the training to help people who aren’t quite ready. But I don’t want to just like that’s not my main thing is just selling that course. I want to be able to support people truly to become agency clients. And so the, I guess problem that we’re trying to solve is how do we, the question we’re trying to answer is how do we increase the number of, people who are coming into the course and moving up to become clients.

The way I have to answer this is, study these people, study my ideal customers and study my ideal clients because I need to learn from them and learn from the people we have had people do that. And we have had people not do that. So I need to learn from both of them. So there’s a reason behind me wanting to learn from my customers. But for you, and what I want you to think about is it anywhere in your business where you feel like you’re not getting that momentum, you’re not connecting with people. Maybe it means you’re not, you’re not getting people to sign up for your webinar or you’re not getting people to show up on your web there or you’re not getting people to buy your offer or you’re not getting people to stay in your offer. Your retention rates down. Any of those are indicators that there’s something off with your connection to your customer.

If it was your webinar, it’s like your content that you’re, the way you’re positioning the webinar, it’s not enticing enough to them. They don’t feel like that’s going to solve a problem for them. If they’re not showing up for the webinar, same thing. They don’t feel like it’s worth the hour of their time to get on the webinar. So we have to shift the messaging there. If they’re not buying your offer, either the way that you’re positioning your offer isn’t good or the offer itself is off, you know, if it’s new and the way that you’re trying to solve their problem is just not quite there yet. That’s very common for things like that to happen and what you have to do is look at where’s that connection off? Where are you confused or cloudy on the messaging to your customer? And in order for you to be clear about this, you have to know your customer on that deep level and you have to know their problems, their struggles, their desires, their dreams. Like as much as you can about them.

So I think that, here’s my recap of this episode, and I have talked so much about messaging because honestly over half the time when marketing isn’t working, it’s because of messaging. Messaging is number one because I don’t care how good your strategy is. If your messaging and the way you speak to your audience and knowing your audience and connecting with your audience, if that’s not dialed in, you could have the best strategy in the world and it wouldn’t matter. So you first, that’s why it’s step one of the Hirsh process, have to figure out your messaging and on a deep level, understand who it is you’re trying to target and attract and the problem you solve and be very, very crystal clear on that. So if you need to copy me and follow Alex’s advice and do some interviews with your audience or with your customers and you know, find out more about them and spend a day doing that, you would, you’ll probably learn a lot.

I also think most of the time people have an opportunity to go deeper. A lot of times people think like, I know my audience, you know, it’s moms and here’s a few facts about them and a few things they like. But it’s like really, I think that you could go a little bit deeper on emotionally connecting and understanding that audience. Almost all of us have the opportunity to do that. Even myself, you know, after five years in and feeling like I really do know my audience and going through several, you know, exercises where I am writing it out and trying to explain it who they are and do those exercises. I still feel like there’s room for me to go deeper, which leads me into, you should continue to learn and have processes in place where you’re taking intel and data about how customers responded, whether it’s your webinar chat, your sales calls, your email responses, your social media engagement.

Wherever you have those interactions with your audience or with your customers, you can always learn how you can refine your own communication and your own messaging to better connect with them. There’s always always room for that. You’ve never mastered this. You will always be refining it. The last thing is really, I think, like I was saying at the beginning, this is the job for a CEO. I at first thought like when Alex was saying, I’ll just outsource that, you know, someone can just give me the notes. But it’s just a different experience when you become very close and almost like obsessive with who this person is and you develop that connection to them, it will show in everything else that you do in a way and in a level that, you know, my sales person couldn’t because it’s not her audience. It’s not, you know, the connection that she has with the audience is different than mine, who I create content for.

I pour hours and hours in creating content and solving their problem and making sure our services are perfect for them. It’s a different level when I become that close. And the thing that really got me was a couple of Alex’s stories and one was pointing out Steve jobs and how he just like he knew the Apple user, he knew who that person was and was almost obsessive about it and, and his level of knowledge. That’s why he was able to create products that people just ate up because he knew what they wanted more than they even knew probably. And so when he said that, that’s what convinced me. I was like, all right, I’ll do these interviews. But it’s, it’s been great and I’m really glad that I listened and I think that you maybe needed this message because I think that everyone, like I said, has room to improve their messaging and their connection with their audience. If you guys want support with your marketing messaging and making sure we nail it is something we specialize in. I have three copywriters on my team and they’re part of our onboarding process where they go in and they ask you specific questions about your audience to try to pull out this information on the deepest level that we can. So if you think that’s something you need in your business and with your marketing, you can go to help my strategy.com to apply to work with team Hirsh today.

Thanks for listening to the Hirsh marketing underground podcast. Go behind the scenes of multimillion dollar ad campaigns and strategies. Dive deep into the Hirsh process and listen to our most popular episodes over@hirschmarketingunderground.com if you loved this episode of the podcast, do me a favor and head over to iTunes to subscribe and leave a review so we can reach more people and change more lives with this content. That’s all for now and I’ll catch you next time.