Your essential message is critical to the success of your business – especially with regard to your online marketing – and has a distinct role to play in the overall tone of your website, for example in the way you create your about page or write your photography blog.
This post comes, not from me, but from an Internet-marketing friend of mine, Jarom Adair, who wrote something very important on the topic of the “Essential Message” that I thought was worth passing along to you.
Jarom has many years of experience marketing businesses online, and also happens to be my business coach (yes, even coaches need a coach, and I highly recommend him to anyone running a solo business!), so let’s dive right in.
And, yes, you read the title correctly! 5 seconds might not seem long, but it’s plenty of time to seal the fate of your photography business…
The 5 Seconds That Can Make Or Break Your Business
“Over 70% of the people who visit my website just leave again!” cried Larry at a recent gathering of business owners. “7 out of 10 people just show up and then leave without doing anything!”
It’s called a “bounce rate”, and it’s like you’ve just produced a full-length blockbuster movie, but then watch helplessly as 70% of your audience gets up and leaves the theater before the previews are even finished!
That means 70% of your marketing efforts are completely wasted right then and there!
This is a HUGE problem!
Even a 30% bounce rate means a third of your visitors are turning around and leaving your website. And they’re likely never coming back.
In this war to bring your bounce rate down, your eternal nemesis is the evil “back” button.
Your Essential Message: The #1 Tool In Your Arsenal
Your Essential Message is not your USP (unique selling proposition), it’s not the topics your site covers, and it’s not your headline.
Your Essential Message actually competes with your headline for attention when somebody first arrives on your page.
It tells a stranger on your site, within 5 seconds, why your website is clearly important to them. Your Essential Message must draw attention and make you stand out right from the beginning by speaking to your visitor’s real needs and desires.
Essential Message Examples
- This website, Zenologue, has the tag line “Photography Marketing Simplified So You Can Focus On Your Creative Vision”, which sounds a lot better to photographers than every other website that essentially says, “We’ll teach you how to market your photography business.”
- A website geared towards environmentally-conscious mothers says, “Green and Clean Mom – How being ‘green’ can be sexy, sassy, & fun!”, which speaks to moms much better than other sites that essentially say, “We’ll give you tips on how to be more green.”
- A website that sells tea opens with the line, “Rediscover the Lost Art of Tea to Help You Achieve the Perfect Tea Experience!”, which better fits the desires of avid tea-drinkers than the competitors that say “Purveyors of fine tea” (if they say anything at all, which most of them don’t).
Each of these Essential Messages appears in the banner at the top of these websites, which ideally helps every visitor recognize within a few seconds what sets that site apart from others.
Does that make sense?
You want to give everybody on your site a reason to pay closer attention to you because it’s more in line with their needs and desires than any other site they’re likely to visit.
And you want to do that in the first 5 seconds.
This sets the whole tone for the rest of their visit. If you can reach your new visitor with a message that instantly connects with them, they’ll be willing to:
- Read what you have to say more carefully…
- Explore your site more thoroughly…
- Consider joining your email list more seriously…
But don’t stop there!
The most effective sites, the ones with the lowest bounce rates and the highest email subscribe rates, take this even further in 3 ways:
- They don’t stop at one Essential Message in their header — they place several messages all around every page.
- They make each message a little different, capturing a visitor’s attention from a different angle each time.
- Each message is nearly always accompanied by a strong call to action that draws new visitors away from the back button and deeper into the true purpose of the site.
The Next Step: How To Create Your Essential Message
What’s your Essential Message?And how are you using it to convert would-be bouncers into subscribers and fans?
Get this simple 1-page PDF from Jarom where you’ll learn the 4 simple steps to creating your own Essential Message and the 5 key areas to place them on your website: