Is Your Creativity Costing You Sales?

clear business messaging

“The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words.” - George Elliot

Y’all might not like this one, but I’m bringing the truth and tough love this week.

You want to know what keeps a lot of us stuck in business and from making more money doing what we love? I’m actually not going to say mindset for once, though that’s usually 80 percent of it! For a lot of us it’s our own damn creativity. 

Hear me out on this one to the end because I’m not here to diss creativity. (I LOVE all things creative.)

A lot of the clients I work with are creative geniuses and are the most passion-driven, empathetic, heart-centered people you’ll ever meet. They’re brilliant at what they do.

These are all really, really good things when it comes to business. But this can get us into trouble when it comes to talking about what we do and marketing ourselves.

When even our mom doesn't understand what we do, we have a problem.

We can love us some adjectives and flowery words. We’re also usually pretty attached to what we do and can’t always stand back far enough from our work to see how it benefits others. So when asked what we do, instead of a simple results-driven response, we get into a longwinded story filled with words that might mean something to us but leaves the person on the other side confused. 

Or we get really clever and give ourselves a fun and different title for the work we do because we picked up the tip online that we need to be different and find a way to stand out.

I get it. I really do.

Here’s the deal: If you’re confused by what you say, you can bet the other person is confused. Confusion does not lead to sales. 

Want to stand out and be different? Be super clear and concise when you talk about what you do or what you sell. 

I know as creatives this can feel like a slow death and we don’t want to sell out (but we want to sell!). We believe our creativity is what makes us. Sometimes we think it’s what defines us. 

You still get to be creative. But if you want to be in business, you gotta find a way to describe all of your glorious creativity so other people can understand it.

I’ve heard it said before that we want to be boring in the way we describe our work and then we get to fill in HOW we do this work with our unique zone of genius.

I don’t know about boring because I don’t think any of the work you do is boring, but let’s go with clear and specific.

Think of this like building a house. You don’t really want to get super creative in how you lay the foundation and build the walls, right? But once those are in place, you can paint and fill the house with creative touches knowing they’re safely supported. THIS is your business house, and it needs a solid foundation and some walls in place. After that, you can have at it!

This week, I’m going to ask you to get boring. Super boring and clear, and strip away all the fluffy, flowery words you use to describe what you do.

THEN, inside of that basic language you get carte blanche to go wild and fill it in with your unique essence and way of doing things. This, my friends, is the magic combination.

You might be thinking, “Fine, Kim. I’ll get basic, but what the heck am I supposed to say?”

I’ve got you covered.

Here are three tips to help you strip the fluff so you can get more business:

  1. Give yourself a ‘boring’ title.

Please, for the love of all things good, make this something other people understand. 

I understand wanting to go all out here. There was a point at the start of my coaching career that I wanted to use the word ‘architect’ somewhere in my title. I didn’t like the sound of ‘life coach’, and ‘life architect’ or 'dream architect’ seemed so much cooler! Thankfully, someone steered me away from this. 

This is not the place we want to confuse people! I know it’s shocking to hear, but people will not stick around to figure out what we mean by ‘dream architect’. 

A good rule of thumb? Put yourself in your potential clients’ shoes. What might they Google if they needed your help? There’s a good chance you’ve gone off the creative deep end if your title isn’t something your people would search online.

Clear wins over creativity here everyday (this is coming from the creativity architect of your dreams).

2.  Create a Clear Results-Focused Message.

Our message is already something that confuses so many of us. It also happens to be a really important part of our marketing. Again, if we’re confused and unclear here, we can’t expect other people to figure it out for us. That’s our job!

I’ve helped A LOT of people hone in on their messaging, so I know the resistance that comes up around this one.

Many of us are really attached to the message we’ve created. It can be really tough to see the forest for the trees and cut any of them down. For most of us, this is our life’s passion, and we don’t want to leave anything out or run the risk of sounding generic.

I hear you loud and clear.

Here’s my suggestion when it comes to your messaging: get as specific as possible and think in terms of your people and the results and benefits they desire. 

Results-focused messaging that’s clear and specific will win over creative messaging every day.

Again, I have SO much love for creativity, but this isn’t the place for it!

3. Use BASIC website navigation headers.

I’m lucky enough to work with a ton of amazing clients and look at a lot of entrepreneurs’ websites. Y’all are so talented and blow my mind.

But the creative bug has gotten to a lot of our websites, and it might be costing us sales.

Google stats vary but say we have between 7-15 seconds to capture someone’s attention before they flee our websites. 

I don’t know about you, but when I land on a website that doesn’t make sense to me, or I can’t find what I want, I bounce.

A really easy way to help ourselves out here and make it clear for the people using our website is to use language in our navigation and headers that is simple and clear. 

For example, if you have a blog page, instead of labeling it ‘musings’ or ‘thoughts and words’ or ‘creative downloads’, call it ‘blog’. Once you have someone stick around long enough to read your musings, you can fill that in with all your creative downloads. 

Overall, if you’re not sure if you’re being clear, check the grade level of the language you’re using. It’s SO tempting to get clever and want to use big words, but aim for kindergarten to first-grade level language when you’re talking about your business. Then fill in the rest with all of your creative brilliance!

A little editing and simplification can go a long way in helping us connect and communicate effectively with our audience!

I hope this week’s blog and ‘tough love’ will help you simplify and get out there and share you message with more people! 

Wishing you your version of success!

simple language for conversions

P.S. Want some help simplifying your message, so you can connect with your dream clients in a way that they’ll understand you? For a limited time, you can join me for a FREE 30-minute Master Your Heart-Centered Message Strategy Session {value $139}! Click here to learn more and book your free call!