Green Chalk Can Taste Like Hippies
“Hold me closer Tony Danza”.
“Excuse me while I kiss this guy.”
“I left my brains down in Africa.”
“My pony plays the mamba .”
“Now bring us some freaking pudding.”
We’ve all had that happen at least once, right? You’re singing along to a song, probably belting it out at the top of your lungs, when a friend or significant other (or a stranger) snickers and gives you that look…the look that means you’ve been singing that lyric wrong for years. Decades, even. (Please tell me I’m not the only one.)
And if you’ve been singing it like that for long enough, and around other people enough, you’ve probably passed it on, unknowingly spreading misinformation to those around you and contributing to the hilarity that is kissthisguy.com. Misheard song lyrics FTW.
Doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not
Is your message getting through loud and clear? Or are you being misheard, misinterpreted, misunderstood?
Unless you’ve got some funky superpowers, you don’t have the option to choose how people hear your message, any more than Hendrix can rise from the grave, bang our heads together, and say, “The. Sky. It’s kiss the sky, you dingbats!” But you’re not exactly a powerless corpse, either.
Some say monkeys play piano well
How do you know if your business is experiencing Misheard Lyric Disorder? Symptoms include:
- Do you find yourself trying to cast a wide net, to bring in as many folks as possible instead of focusing on a specific message, offering, or product?
- Do you get that uncertain, oogie feeling when you try to explain what you do or what you offer, because there’s so stinking much of it?
- Are you letting yourself get distracted by shinies that are unrelated to your goals and dreams, because they might, oh, I don’t know, boost traffic? Increase readership? Look good in a portfolio?
- Are people approaching you for services you don’t actually offer?
- Is there a distinct lack of people approaching you for services you actually DO offer?
Never leave your pizza burning
So what can you do? How can you help your words be clearly heard?
- Make sure you know what it is that you do. This is a biggie, not only because it’s hard, but because it changes. Constantly. What you offer, where you do your best work, and who you do it with, will be in a constant state of flux for the entire lifetime of your business. Re-evaluate as often as you’re comfortable (and maybe a little more often than that), and make sure you’re on top of your awesomeness.
- Make sure that what you put out is an accurate reflection of what you do. Web copy. Social media. The little bios at the ends of things. Email signatures. Guest posts. All those big and little ways we tell the world who we are and what we do are lots of big and little ways we can crystallize or blur our message. Stay tight and focused!
- Focus on the why. Why are you offering this thing to these people? What does it mean to you? Where are you headed with it? What will it mean for them? Everything you’re putting out there should be able to tie directly back to your why. If it doesn’t? Either your why has shifted (always a possibility – see #1), or you need to step back from it.
- Stop the Chinese Whispers where you can. Get out there, talking about what you do, wherever and whenever possible. Make yourself the primary source about what you’re offering – so that people are hearing it from you instead of someone else’s interpretation of you.
And remember – it’s always, always changing. Always in flux. As you grow and evolve, so do your clients, community, and audience – and that’s as it should be. But that means it can feel really freaking overwhelming. Don’t let it. One thing at a time, tiny step by tiny step.
What’s one tiny thing you can do today to help your business from being misheard and misremembered?
Want to make change in your biz? Check out the free Changemakers community! Support, community, and accountability for great change…the doors close this Saturday.