What is a key message?

A key message is a strong statement about an organization’s belief about itself. It can also be a strong statement about a particular issue about which the organization takes a stand.

As a business, it’s a good idea to have 2 or 3 statements that really tell your story.

I use a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats grid) to help my clients define their beliefs and statements.

Knowing what you’re good at (or the best at) is good, but knowing where you need to improve, where the opportunities to do that are, and what might be obstacles in your way, are all a part of creating content that matters to your target audiences.

A SWOT analysis allows you to have a holistic look at your business based on what you want it to stand for. It is the beginning of your business “story” or brand.

Strengths and weaknesses are considered internal elements, while Opportunities and Threats are external and happen outside your business.

Here are some sample questions to help inform your grid:

1. What are you or your business really good at? (Strength)
2. Which areas do you feel you need improvement in? (Weakness)
3. Where do you see competitive advantages for your business in the marketplace? (Opportunities)
4. Which outside factors might do potential harm to your business? (Threats)

Typically, we drill the messages down from what is discovered in the SWOT Analysis. The key messages discovered in a SWOT are the preliminary language needed to communicate your business.

It’s a handy exercise to do, and should be done at least once per year or as your business grows, morphs and changes.

Imagine knowing what to do and when to do it. As a coach and a strategist, I have a lot of tools and proven concepts that help make planning a breeze. If you’ve got any questions, let me know. You don’t have to do it alone!

To learn more about small business marketing and planning, check out my program The SMART Marketing Method.