Emma Stratton, founder of Punchy, shares the SMIT technique to clarify your product messaging.
Ellohay erethay iendsfray!
If you don’t know pig latin, you probably can’t understand that. (Hint: I said, "Hello there friends!")
That’s exactly what most people feel when going to a website with wordy, confusing, and buzzword-filled copy.
Tat's what Emma Stratton, founder of Punchy, often sees:
The truth is, especially in tech and in B2B, what I see more often happening is really good products with messaging that actually makes those good products look bad—undifferentiated, complicated, irrelevant. That's what I see happening with their messaging.
It’s why applying the S.M.I.T. concept in your website copy is important. That means putting your Single Most Important Takeaway at the top.
Today, Emma describes how to make your website copy crystal clear using the SMIT concept.
In today’s Marketing Powerups, you’ll learn:
- Why muddy or wordy messaging can make good products look bad
- How the SMIT concept can make your messaging crystal clear
- An example of the SMIT concept in action.
- A career powerup that’s helped Emma transition from a freelance writer to a positioning and messaging expert.
When you're in scale-up mode, and you have KPIs to hit, the pressure is on to deliver demos and signups.
And it's a lot to handle: demand gen, email sequences, revenue ops, and more! That’s where 42/Agency, founded by my friend Kamil Rextin, can help you.
They’re a strategic partner that’s helped B2B SaaS companies like ProfitWell, Teamwork, Sprout Social and Hubdoc build a predictable revenue engine.
If you’re looking for performance experts and creatives to solve your marketing problems at a fraction of the cost of in-house, look no further.
Go to https://www.42agency.com/ to talk to a strategist to learn how you can build a high-efficiency revenue engine now.
The SMIT technique
Time is money. And when you have muddy and confusing messaging, you're wasting the time of potential customers and leaving money on the table.
Many marketers cram too many ideas into their messaging and leave their audience confused and overwhelmed.
Emma Stratton explains:
"One of the most common pitfalls I see in messaging, and I'm sure every marketer can relate, is trying to cram too many ideas into one sentence or one paragraph. It's just one long run-on sentence."
This is where the brilliance of the SMIT (Single Most Important Takeaway) technique shines. It emphasizes the necessity of a focused, streamlined approach.
"If my reader or viewer only remembers one thing after consuming this, what would I like it to be? Not two. Not three. Just one. Because, honestly, people's minds aren't capable of remembering everything."
When applying the SMIT technique, you can focus on these three things :
- The goal of customers and how your product can help them with that. For example, a company selling AI-powered automation software might have customers whose primary goal is to simplify their workflow and eliminate manual tasks that consume too much time. The SMIT for this could be "Our AI-powered software streamlines your workflow by automating manual tasks."
- The benefits of the product that customers would care about. In this case, the clear benefit is saving time and reducing stress. So, the SMIT might be "Our software saves you valuable time, eliminating the need for manual work."
- The pain or frustration the customer feels with the current situation. Many customers likely feel frustrated by the amount of time and energy manual tasks consume. In this scenario, the SMIT could be "No more late nights spent on tedious manual tasks. Our AI-powered software has got you covered."
In essence, the SMIT technique forces us to distill our marketing messages to their core, cutting through the noise and clutter to deliver a message that truly resonates with our customers. It's about putting ourselves in our customers' shoes and thinking about what they really need to hear, not what we want to tell them.
With the SMIT technique, we have a powerful tool to make our marketing messaging as effective as possible.
So, let's stop trying to cram every single detail into our messages, and start focusing on what matters most to our customers. The result will be marketing communications that are clearer, more memorable, and far more impactful.
Free powerups cheatsheet
About Emma Stratton
Emma Stratton is the founder of Punchy and is a messaging and copywriting consultant with over 13 years of experience in branding, strategy, and positioning. She helps businesses develop a clear brand voice and message that resonates with customers by understanding their journey and pain points. When she’s not demystifying B2B tech, she’s an author, riveting speaker, and big-time dreamer.
Timestamps and transcript
- [00:01:12] The Impact of Muddy Messaging on Good Products
- [00:03:47] Challenges in Messaging for Tech Companies
- [00:05:45] Focusing on Customer Benefits Over Product Features
- [00:08:10] Improve Marketing Messaging with the SMIT Concept
- [00:14:07] The Role of Emotions in B2B Tech Messaging
- [00:15:46] Marketing Agency 42 Agency Helps B2B SaaS Scale and Hit KPIs
- [00:16:32] The Power of Emotional B2B Messaging
- [00:23:17] Career Power Up: Taking Risks and Following Your Passion
- [00:25:49] Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
- [00:29:42] Emma Stratton on Messaging and Copywriting Tips
[00:00:00] Ramli John: Eloi arate insure.
[00:00:01] Ramli John: Now, if you don't know piglatin, you probably can't understand what I just said.
[00:00:04] Ramli John: It's confusing and muddy.
[00:00:05] Ramli John: And that's exactly what people feel like when they're going through a website with Wordy.
[00:00:10] Ramli John: Confusing and buzzword filled copy.
[00:00:13] Emma Stratton: And the truth is, especially in in tech and in B two B, what I see more often happening is really good products with messaging that actually makes those good products look bad.
[00:00:23] Emma Stratton: Undifferentiated, complicated, irrelevant.
[00:00:27] Emma Stratton: That's what I see happening with messaging.
[00:00:29] Ramli John: She really thinks that it is so important that putting your single most important takeaway should be at the very top and right up front for readers, especially for people who are so busy nowadays.
[00:00:40] Ramli John: In today's Marketing Pops episode, you learn first, why muddy and wordy messaging can make good products look bad.
[00:00:46] Ramli John: Second, how the SMIT concept can make your messaging crystal clear.
[00:00:49] Ramli John: Third, an example of the SMIT concept in action.
[00:00:52] Ramli John: And finally, fourth, a career Power Up that's helped Emma transition from a freelance writer to a positioning and messaging expert.
[00:00:59] Ramli John: Now, before we start, I've created a free Power Up cheat sheet that you can download, fill in, and apply the SMIT concept right away to your website copy and to your business.
[00:01:07] Ramli John: You can go to marketingpods.com right now to get it or find the link in the description and show notes.
**[00:01:12] The Impact of Muddy Messaging on Good Products**
[00:01:12] Ramli John: Are you ready?
[00:01:13] Ramli John: Let's go.
[00:01:15] Ramli John: Marketing power ups ready?
[00:01:19] Ramli John: Go.
[00:01:22] Ramli John: Here's your host, Rambly Jaw.
[00:01:26] Ramli John: Let's talk about marketing power ups.
[00:01:28] Ramli John: And one of your marketing power ups is around messaging.
[00:01:31] Ramli John: You have this company that you founded, Punchy.
[00:01:35] Ramli John: Can you share a little bit about messaging?
[00:01:38] Ramli John: And you shared this presentation for Winter Games, this online webinar series, and you talked about how you call it muddy messaging can really make good products look absolutely terrible or even bad.
[00:01:56] Emma Stratton: Yes, this is something that I preach a lot with clients that work with tech companies primarily.
[00:02:03] Emma Stratton: And a lot of people think, oh, messaging, it just is like putting the cherry on top of a great product.
[00:02:10] Emma Stratton: It's just a nice to have.
[00:02:12] Emma Stratton: And the truth is, especially in tech and in B to B, what I see more often happening is really good products with messaging that actually makes those good products look bad, undifferentiated, complicated, irrelevant to people.
[00:02:28] Emma Stratton: That's what I see happening with messaging.
[00:02:31] Emma Stratton: And so this idea of teams accidentally muddying their messaging and giving the wrong impression of the wrong perception of their product is what I see happening pretty much, I don't know, everywhere.
[00:02:45] Emma Stratton: I don't have an actual number for you, but it's happening a lot.
[00:02:49] Ramli John: That's absolutely scary because I've shared this.
[00:02:53] Ramli John: My wheelhouses are on user onboarding.
[00:02:56] Ramli John: And if people are confused in the beginning, there is no onboarding tactic that can help users experience a product of value.
[00:03:05] Ramli John: It's so, so important.
[00:03:06] Ramli John: But it's often missed by a lot of companies like you mentioned.
[00:03:10] Ramli John: And that's, I guess, one of the things I'm curious about as to why this happens.
[00:03:15] Ramli John: For a lot of marketers, they ended up using clever but confusing terms and their messaging.
[00:03:23] Ramli John: Is it because it's coming from the founders?
[00:03:26] Ramli John: Or are we too ingrained in the tech scene so much that we're using lingo that no one else understands, even our customers?
[00:03:34] Emma Stratton: The answer is D.
[00:03:35] Emma Stratton: All of above, okay?
[00:03:37] Emma Stratton: There's lots of reasons why this happens and none of it there's no bad intentions behind any of it.
[00:03:43] Emma Stratton: It's all good intentions behind things that muddy our messaging.
**[00:03:47] Challenges in Messaging for Tech Companies**
[00:03:47] Emma Stratton: So the things that I tend to see so the first you touched on, which is we are so ingrained in our technology.
[00:03:54] Emma Stratton: We have this thing called the curse of knowledge, which is an actual cognitive bias that happens when you're an expert and you know everything about something.
[00:04:02] Emma Stratton: You cannot remember what it's like to not know everything about it.
[00:04:06] Emma Stratton: So you tend to message at a way advanced, like a too advanced level for people.
[00:04:12] Emma Stratton: You go you're just light years ahead.
[00:04:15] Emma Stratton: So the curse of knowledge, knowing too much, knowing how it works is one.
[00:04:21] Emma Stratton: The other is just kind of the challenge of differentiation in these crowded markets.
[00:04:27] Emma Stratton: There isn't a software company out there who doesn't have a ton of competitors who do essentially the same thing.
[00:04:33] Emma Stratton: And so a lot of teams are really trying to tell people why they're different.
[00:04:38] Emma Stratton: And so they're getting technical because a lot of times there's some technical differentiation they're trying to explain around the AI or the ML.
[00:04:46] Emma Stratton: And that can get very confusing right away.
[00:04:50] Emma Stratton: So trying to explain that technical differentiation.
[00:04:53] Emma Stratton: And sometimes it can be like a cultural thing.
[00:04:57] Emma Stratton: So a lot of times I come across teams where technical teams that feel like we have to talk about this technical stuff to look like a really robust, innovative solution.
[00:05:08] Emma Stratton: And if we don't use those words, people won't take us seriously or enterprises won't want to buy us.
[00:05:15] Emma Stratton: So it can be a cultural thing as well.
[00:05:18] Emma Stratton: And sometimes all three of these things can be happening.
[00:05:22] Emma Stratton: People not being connected to customers, not actually talking to customers and hearing how they talk and feeling that connection to the actual people you're trying to solve for can also just heighten that disconnect.
[00:05:36] Emma Stratton: So those are kind of the main reasons I see why people are unintentionally muddying their messaging, this complexity and jargon.
[00:05:43] Ramli John: In terms of that connection to the customers.
**[00:05:45] Focusing on Customer Benefits Over Product Features**
[00:05:45] Ramli John: One big problem I often see is, especially with messaging, it becomes too focused on the cool new product versus the cool.
[00:05:54] Ramli John: And you have a LinkedIn post here that I'm going to share in the notes here, but you said that when you focus on the cool new product versus the cool new things that the customer can do, it often makes things confusing.
[00:06:07] Ramli John: Can you talk a little bit about that?
[00:06:09] Ramli John: Why is that a huge problem?
[00:06:10] Ramli John: When we talk about our product, a cool new product, more than we talk about what the cool new thing the customer can do?
[00:06:17] Emma Stratton: Yeah, it's simple.
[00:06:18] Emma Stratton: It's because people don't care.
[00:06:20] Emma Stratton: Like, they just don't care.
[00:06:23] Emma Stratton: That is it.
[00:06:25] Emma Stratton: People are walking around not thinking about products or technology or AI and things like that.
[00:06:32] Emma Stratton: People are walking around thinking about their own stuff.
[00:06:35] Emma Stratton: They're thinking about problems they have, things they want to do, things they want to achieve.
[00:06:40] Emma Stratton: Challenges I do.
[00:06:42] Emma Stratton: Right?
[00:06:42] Emma Stratton: I'm absorbed in my own thoughts in my own life and things that are going on.
[00:06:46] Emma Stratton: And when you talk about how products can help a person actually solve problems, transform, get to another place.
[00:06:54] Emma Stratton: You are now connecting the dots between your product and thoughts and the motivations that are already happening inside your customer's head.
[00:07:03] Emma Stratton: And that gives you momentum.
[00:07:05] Emma Stratton: It takes a lot to go up to a stranger and be like, hey, let me explain to you why you should really care about my AI powered automation.
[00:07:13] Emma Stratton: That takes a lot of work.
[00:07:14] Emma Stratton: I mean, just imagine that.
[00:07:16] Emma Stratton: But if you go up to someone and say, hey, let me tell you how I can take all those manual tasks that are driving you nuts and making you work late at night, how I could help you with that thanks to AI powered automation, then a customer is going to be interested in that.
[00:07:32] Emma Stratton: So it's just more effective to talk to things that they care about, that they're already thinking about.
[00:07:38] Emma Stratton: And it's a lot more work to try to explain to people why they should care about your tip.
[00:07:44] Ramli John: That's so true.
[00:07:45] Ramli John: There's this design book that I feel like applies here.
[00:07:48] Ramli John: It's by Steve Korg who says, don't make me think.
[00:07:51] Ramli John: But it's like the more you make somebody think, the more likely they are.
[00:07:54] Ramli John: Like, I'm confused.
[00:07:55] Ramli John: And they decide to just walk away and actually like, oh, I don't want to talk to you.
[00:07:59] Ramli John: You're confusing.
[00:08:01] Emma Stratton: Yeah, it's hard.
[00:08:02] Emma Stratton: I mean, we're getting lazier and lazier, aren't we?
[00:08:05] Emma Stratton: It's like, don't make me think more than I have to.
**[00:08:10] Improve Marketing Messaging with the SMIT Concept**
[00:08:10] Ramli John: One of the concepts that can help with this and you share this in another LinkedIn.
[00:08:15] Ramli John: You're very prolific on LinkedIn, so I'm going to tell people to value LinkedIn if they want to learn a little bit more about messaging.
[00:08:22] Ramli John: And I'll share that in the show notes as well.
[00:08:24] Ramli John: But you share this concept called The SMIT, the single most important takeaway concept.
[00:08:31] Ramli John: What is this SMIT?
[00:08:32] Ramli John: And by the way, it's such a great name and how can it help people, specifically marketers, make their messaging clearer?
[00:08:43] Emma Stratton: So one of the most common pitfalls I see in messaging, and I'm sure every marketer can relate is trying to shove too many ideas in one sentence or one paragraph.
[00:08:55] Emma Stratton: I see sentences that are like never ending, that are just stringing.
[00:08:59] Emma Stratton: It's like it does this, then this, then is.
[00:09:00] Emma Stratton: And this is efficiency and risk and productivity and save money and cost.
[00:09:05] Emma Stratton: Right?
[00:09:05] Emma Stratton: I'm running out of breath.
[00:09:07] Emma Stratton: So there is this fear of missing out, an important benefit that someone's going to care about.
[00:09:12] Emma Stratton: And you can see this fear.
[00:09:14] Emma Stratton: And so what the result of that is, is messaging that has too many ideas in it and it's too long.
[00:09:22] Emma Stratton: And when you read a sentence like that, you instantly forget what you've read.
[00:09:26] Emma Stratton: You walk away none the wiser.
[00:09:28] Emma Stratton: There's no takeaway.
[00:09:30] Emma Stratton: Maybe someone walks away confused, but it is just not clear.
[00:09:33] Emma Stratton: There's too many ideas.
[00:09:34] Emma Stratton: So someone's like, what is the idea?
[00:09:37] Emma Stratton: Our minds are always kind of seeking that nugget.
[00:09:41] Emma Stratton: We want to understand the core of an idea.
[00:09:44] Emma Stratton: And so SMIT is a really good concept or technique to help you do that.
[00:09:49] Emma Stratton: Whether you're working on one slide, an entire presentation, a post, an article, anything, it really does apply.
[00:09:57] Emma Stratton: And the idea is, ask yourself, if my reader or viewer only remembers one thing after consuming this, what would I like to be?
[00:10:07] Emma Stratton: Not two things.
[00:10:08] Emma Stratton: Not three things, one thing.
[00:10:10] Emma Stratton: Because, honestly, people's minds aren't capable of remembering everything.
[00:10:15] Emma Stratton: They're not going to walk away with everything.
[00:10:17] Emma Stratton: So ask yourself, what is the single most important takeaway here?
[00:10:21] Emma Stratton: And once you decide what that is, and hopefully that's easy, but you may have to sacrifice some other ideas, once you figure out what that is, then you want to go back to the piece and edit it, rewrite it so that that single most important takeaway shines.
[00:10:37] Emma Stratton: And you're only keeping information that further supports that single most important idea.
[00:10:43] Emma Stratton: And any other ideas that may be good ideas but are still tangential to that core idea, just delete them.
[00:10:51] Emma Stratton: They can go somewhere else.
[00:10:53] Emma Stratton: Just pare it back.
[00:10:55] Emma Stratton: And it's about simplicity.
[00:10:57] Emma Stratton: I think something teams really struggle with, especially in tech, is simplicity.
[00:11:01] Emma Stratton: Simplicity.
[00:11:02] Emma Stratton: How do we make this simple?
[00:11:03] Emma Stratton: How do we just bring this to the core?
[00:11:06] Emma Stratton: And being relentless with Smit and Smitting, everything that you create is a really good practice to help you kind of get that discipline and get more simple about things.
[00:11:17] Ramli John: You just used it into a verb.
[00:11:18] Ramli John: I love it.
[00:11:18] Ramli John: Submitting this.
[00:11:20] Ramli John: Let's miss that.
[00:11:22] Ramli John: Yeah.
[00:11:23] Ramli John: It should be a button where when you press the button, it just like Smit.
[00:11:26] Emma Stratton: That miss that.
[00:11:28] Emma Stratton: Exactly.
[00:11:29] Emma Stratton: You got to submit that.
[00:11:32] Emma Stratton: You can keep smitting.
[00:11:35] Emma Stratton: It's not easy, right?
[00:11:37] Emma Stratton: The default is say too much.
[00:11:39] Emma Stratton: The first draft is say too much and that's fine.
[00:11:42] Emma Stratton: That's thinking on the page.
[00:11:45] Emma Stratton: When I write stuff, it's not like the core of the idea in the first draft.
[00:11:50] Emma Stratton: You got to kind of get it out there.
[00:11:51] Emma Stratton: Sometimes that first or second draft helps you figure out what the Smit is, but it's just really important at some point to just, okay, what am I really trying to say here?
[00:12:00] Emma Stratton: And what is sort of me rambling up.
[00:12:03] Ramli John: I feel like this applies really well to what we just talked about previously, where often the single most important takeaway is about helping the customer do something cool and new thing with your product versus oh, the single most important takeaway is that we're AI powered and we use the blockchain or we do this.
[00:12:25] Emma Stratton: Yes, I should caveat that the Smidge should never be AI or ML or NFD yes, exactly.
[00:12:33] Emma Stratton: When the list goes on.
[00:12:34] Emma Stratton: Right.
[00:12:35] Ramli John: And it does really tie really well to this, focusing on that success for that particular customer rather than with the product itself.
[00:12:46] Emma Stratton: Yeah.
[00:12:48] Emma Stratton: And it's hard, right, because you're a marketer and you're marketing a product, and so you think this should all be about the cool new things this product can do, but it's really just reframing that to know it's about something new your customer can either do be or feel.
[00:13:07] Emma Stratton: The do be feel is a kind of neat way to think about it.
[00:13:11] Emma Stratton: Right.
[00:13:11] Emma Stratton: So it's something new they can do, be or feel.
[00:13:14] Emma Stratton: Now, if you just focus on that and kind of answer those questions, what are the new things they can do?
[00:13:19] Emma Stratton: New superpowers?
[00:13:20] Emma Stratton: What are the new ways they can be?
[00:13:22] Emma Stratton: Who can they become?
[00:13:23] Emma Stratton: How can they feel with our product?
[00:13:25] Emma Stratton: It's like if you focus on those three things, your messaging is going to get better because that's what people want to read about.
[00:13:31] Ramli John: That doobie feel sounds like a song like Dora Me but doobie feel oh, man, doobie Feel right once sounds like a jazz song already, but it's so good.
[00:13:47] Ramli John: You're right.
[00:13:49] Ramli John: For people who are familiar with their jobs to be done concept, it's like they do is functional.
[00:13:55] Ramli John: Being is around maybe social or in the field is around emotional.
[00:13:59] Ramli John: So it really does tie nicely into helping people succeed.
[00:14:03] Ramli John: Something they can do, something they can become, and something they can feel with.
[00:14:06] Ramli John: That is so good.
**[00:14:07] The Role of Emotions in B2B Tech Messaging**
[00:14:07] Emma Stratton: Yeah.
[00:14:07] Emma Stratton: And that's a real opportunity in B two B Tech is to lean into the be and the feel.
[00:14:12] Emma Stratton: I mean, I think there are a lot of good product marketing organizations.
[00:14:16] Emma Stratton: They've nailed the do, right?
[00:14:18] Emma Stratton: There's a lot of good, clear, simple messaging around kind of new abilities thanks to a product.
[00:14:24] Emma Stratton: But there's still a huge open space to talk more about how you can feel and how you can become and how you might feel inside when companies do do.
[00:14:37] Emma Stratton: And I think they really stand out and people love it and everyone's like, I want to sound like them.
[00:14:42] Emma Stratton: So I think it's a real opportunity for anyone to lean into those.
[00:14:47] Ramli John: It's funny because I believe you talked a little bit about this in another presentation you have with Meada Data, where it's about the head and the heart, where often we're pursuing messaging that is more head focused.
[00:14:57] Ramli John: But I forgot what Cuckoo who said the quote that people remember how you made them feel versus how anything else.
[00:15:06] Ramli John: So I think that's a really strong point that often in B two B, we shy away from the feeling because our audience doesn't feel things.
[00:15:15] Ramli John: They're humid, they obviously feel stuff.
[00:15:17] Ramli John: Right?
[00:15:18] Ramli John: So that's a good point that you share there.
[00:15:20] Emma Stratton: Yeah, I know.
[00:15:22] Emma Stratton: It's like, oh, we're b to b.
[00:15:23] Emma Stratton: We have to be serious and just keep it down to business all the time.
[00:15:28] Emma Stratton: No feelings here.
[00:15:30] Emma Stratton: And that's just silly.
[00:15:31] Emma Stratton: And I think that is becoming really well known now.
[00:15:35] Emma Stratton: I think people are kind of getting that, but there's still just tons of opportunity to do it.
[00:15:41] Emma Stratton: So I always recommend that teams kind of go there if they can.
**[00:15:46] Marketing Agency 42 Agency Helps B2B SaaS Scale and Hit KPIs**
[00:15:46] Ramli John: Before we continue, I want to thank those who made this video possible, 42 Agency.
[00:15:50] Ramli John: Now, when you are in scale up mode and you have KPIs to hit, the pressure is on to deliver demos and sign ups and it's a lot to handle.
[00:15:58] Ramli John: Demand, gen, email sequences, rev ops and even more.
[00:16:02] Ramli John: That's where 42 Agency, founded by my good friend Camille Rexon, can help you.
[00:16:06] Ramli John: They're a strategic partner that's helped B two B SaaS companies like Profitwell Teamworks, Proud Social, and Hub Doc build a predictable revenue engine.
[00:16:15] Ramli John: If you're looking for performance experts and creatives to solve your marketing problems at a fraction of the cost of in house, look no further.
[00:16:22] Ramli John: Go to 40 Twoagency.com to talk to a strategist to learn how you can build a high efficiency revenue engine.
[00:16:29] Ramli John: Now, you can find that link in the description below.
[00:16:31] Ramli John: Let's jump back in.
**[00:16:32] The Power of Emotional B2B Messaging**
[00:16:32] Ramli John: I think I read somewhere that you worked with companies like Loom and Mural and those things are really like they really leaned on that feeling.
[00:16:40] Ramli John: Would you say, can you talk a little bit about that?
[00:16:44] Ramli John: How can B two B marketers be and feel focused and do with their work?
[00:16:52] Emma Stratton: One kind of talking to customers is a great way to get there.
[00:16:57] Emma Stratton: I mean, when part of my approach in consulting, I talk to customers and so I always ask them questions like, tell me about how your life was before and after this solution and that can get emotional.
[00:17:09] Emma Stratton: Like how did you feel before, how did you feel after?
[00:17:11] Emma Stratton: And I will ask them how do you feel?
[00:17:13] Emma Stratton: When I talk to them about kind of top of mind challenges, I say like, well, how do those challenges feel?
[00:17:18] Emma Stratton: And they'll say, I'll tell you how it feels, it sucks.
[00:17:20] Emma Stratton: Or how would you feel if you didn't have this anymore?
[00:17:23] Emma Stratton: So I ask those questions and I'm always amazed by the emotion that comes through.
[00:17:30] Emma Stratton: Even technical buyers, I talk to a lot of It folks, developer folks, people who you would just assume were technical and don't feel and they're some of the most emotional responses because they're under such pressures in their work.
[00:17:45] Emma Stratton: And so first talking to your customers, finding out how they actually feel, and then infusing that, in the messaging, whether that is one of the best ways, I think, is describing their challenges in their exact words, the way they see it, and even just reminding people of what they're going through and how you understand and how you can help them change.
[00:18:09] Emma Stratton: That, I think, builds an emotional connection between a company.
[00:18:13] Emma Stratton: It builds trust with the reader, and it also elicits an emotional response in the reader because they're sort of reminded and they think back to how it felt.
[00:18:24] Emma Stratton: And so it brings emotion.
[00:18:26] Emma Stratton: It's not all about just like putting hearts and kisses and everything and like, oh, feel really.
[00:18:32] Emma Stratton: It's just writing about feelings and then writing in a way that makes people feel or remember and experience.
[00:18:42] Emma Stratton: So those are ways that you can kind of bring emotion and humanity, just bring humanity and humanness into it.
[00:18:49] Ramli John: Humanness.
[00:18:50] Ramli John: That's such a good if anybody can just take away the single most important takeoff is really that I think just to be a little bit more human with their approach.
[00:19:04] Ramli John: I actually want to apply this concept, this Myth concept, to an example of how people can apply this.
[00:19:10] Ramli John: We talked about AI.
[00:19:12] Ramli John: Let's say somebody sees like, we use AI to give you real time data and sexy dashboards.
[00:19:20] Ramli John: That's a very product focused it's talking about dashboards and AI and real time data.
[00:19:29] Ramli John: What is the SMIT?
[00:19:30] Ramli John: How would you apply the SMIT concept around dashboards or data or AI?
[00:19:35] Ramli John: What would be your approach to think about?
[00:19:37] Ramli John: People should think about that when jargony dashboards.
[00:19:42] Emma Stratton: Yeah, let's think about like, dashboards.
[00:19:44] Emma Stratton: So someone who doesn't have the SMIT, so that's really feature focused.
[00:19:48] Emma Stratton: And maybe they would list a couple of things, like they would just go like, dashboards analytics.
[00:19:54] Emma Stratton: So for that, I would think, okay, if someone walked away, well, out of any of that, what's the single most important takeaway?
[00:20:02] Emma Stratton: I don't think there's a great takeaway there, right?
[00:20:04] Emma Stratton: Because we're just kind of, yeah, we're just spouting out features.
[00:20:07] Emma Stratton: So hopefully someone in the room would be like, that's not a great takeaway, or that's not so I would hope someone would if someone did The SMIT and said, okay, look, it really is all about our simple dashboard, like, compared to the this and then that, it's really about that simple dashboard.
[00:20:26] Emma Stratton: So I would find that feature that you feel like is the thing you want to talk about and then translate that into, why should someone care about that feature?
[00:20:34] Emma Stratton: What does that feature do?
[00:20:37] Emma Stratton: Help my customer do feel different and so bring it back to that customer.
[00:20:43] Emma Stratton: But even just saying, like, we're only going to talk about this one thing and then be value focused, that's how I would approach that.
[00:20:51] Emma Stratton: But yeah, you'd have to do that extra step of actually making it a value message because the features but it's hard every time I work with a new client and I work across industries and tech types, so I've kind of done a little bit of it all.
[00:21:09] Emma Stratton: And when I get up to speed in a new space and I look at competitors and I look at all the messaging and I always think, god, this is tough.
[00:21:19] Emma Stratton: I don't understand what these people are saying, or they're all kind of shouting the same thing.
[00:21:24] Emma Stratton: And if I were a prospect, this would be hard to be hard.
[00:21:27] Ramli John: That is so true.
[00:21:29] Ramli John: And I love how you focus on the dashboard.
[00:21:31] Ramli John: And it could be around avoiding fresh if anybody's played around on Google Analytics and trying to create a dashboard and pulling all the data, it's so frustrating.
[00:21:48] Emma Stratton: Well, it's funny that you say that.
[00:21:50] Emma Stratton: So I'm working with a client right now, and one thing that came out in the customer interviews was, now they have bleeding edge, crazy technology.
[00:21:58] Emma Stratton: But what people really loved was the nice, simple dashboard.
[00:22:01] Emma Stratton: And one of the customers said, it's such a relief because I'm not having to every time I log in being like, how do I get to that page?
[00:22:09] Emma Stratton: And I see be a NASA scientist to understand the drop downs and the way people describe it's hilarious.
[00:22:16] Emma Stratton: And that's an opportunity to talk about a simpler dashboard in a very real way.
[00:22:22] Emma Stratton: Like, no more logging in and trying to remember how to get to that page.
[00:22:28] Emma Stratton: That's a better, more interesting way of saying intuitive dashboard, right?
[00:22:32] Emma Stratton: Because people are like, oh, God, I just did that yesterday.
[00:22:35] Emma Stratton: Right?
[00:22:36] Emma Stratton: Yesterday.
[00:22:38] Emma Stratton: They get me.
[00:22:39] Emma Stratton: So that's how you build trust and connection.
[00:22:41] Emma Stratton: I always say to companies like, get real.
[00:22:44] Emma Stratton: Do you know what people are bitching about your customers and how they say it?
[00:22:48] Emma Stratton: Why don't you say something like that?
[00:22:50] Emma Stratton: Because that's what they're thinking and saying to their friends and their colleagues, so what if you talked that way too and helped?
[00:22:57] Emma Stratton: I don't know.
[00:22:57] Emma Stratton: Let's just get real.
[00:22:58] Emma Stratton: Let's stop trying to act like we're perfect robots selling advanced technology and let's just get real.
[00:23:05] Ramli John: That is another SMIT right there.
[00:23:07] Ramli John: That's an important that's a good blurb that I just tweet now or cut up and share to folks.
[00:23:15] Ramli John: Thank you for sharing that.
**[00:23:17] Career Power Up: Taking Risks and Following Your Passion**
[00:23:17] Ramli John: I want to switch gears now and talk about careers, particularly career power ups for marketers for you.
[00:23:24] Ramli John: You've been in marketing now for over 13 years.
[00:23:29] Ramli John: You started off in branding and strategy and moved over to positioning and messaging strategy.
[00:23:34] Ramli John: Can you share something that's helped you advance your career, a career power up, so to speak, in your own journey?
[00:23:43] Emma Stratton: Something that has been great for me was taking big risks in trying new things and also not settling for anything that I didn't love.
[00:23:53] Emma Stratton: So if you looked at my career trajectory before those 13 years and even the beginning of those 13 years, you'd be like, that's not like a great looking career journey.
[00:24:03] Emma Stratton: It was messy.
[00:24:04] Emma Stratton: Like, I was a travel writer.
[00:24:06] Emma Stratton: I did graphic design.
[00:24:08] Emma Stratton: Like I was a journalist.
[00:24:11] Emma Stratton: Every job was like, let me get closer to what I love doing.
[00:24:16] Emma Stratton: And then I would find things and I would grow and I enjoyed it.
[00:24:19] Emma Stratton: But then I'd hit a point where I'm like, yeah, but this isn't it, this isn't the thing.
[00:24:24] Emma Stratton: This has been a great learning experience, but now I'm going to move on.
[00:24:27] Emma Stratton: And I did take big leaps.
[00:24:29] Emma Stratton: Like, I went from writing random blogs to being a travel writer, to being the editor of a magazine and being the editor of a magazine, to being a brand strategist.
[00:24:42] Emma Stratton: And I was not qualified on paper, but I was like, no, screw it, I'm going to go for it anyway.
[00:24:50] Emma Stratton: And I just bet on myself and just made big leaps.
[00:24:54] Emma Stratton: But I hopped around a lot and it wasn't until I kind of got into b to B that I was like, yes, this is it.
[00:25:03] Emma Stratton: This is the perfect, this is what I'm sort of meant to do and I enjoy this and there's a need.
[00:25:09] Emma Stratton: And so I didn't settle and I took big risks, even though it wasn't like, what any book would tell you to do, I don't think.
[00:25:15] Emma Stratton: And it didn't always look pretty, but it really did serve me well.
[00:25:20] Emma Stratton: And I would say I kind of piggy.
[00:25:22] Emma Stratton: I sort of jumped ahead than if I had just done step by step, like up the ladder.
[00:25:29] Emma Stratton: So, yeah, follow what you love.
[00:25:32] Emma Stratton: Don't be afraid to take a big risk, a move, even if people are like, oh, but that's taking a step back, or that's a lateral move, it's like, no, there's no such thing, right?
[00:25:41] Emma Stratton: Just follow what you love doing and don't settle for anything that isn't lighting you up.
[00:25:46] Ramli John: That's such a good piece of advice.
[00:25:48] Ramli John: Take some risk.
**[00:25:49] Dealing with Imposter Syndrome**
[00:25:49] Ramli John: Do you ever deal with the feeling of imposter syndrome?
[00:25:52] Ramli John: I've been talking to a lot of marketers and this comes up quite a bit.
[00:25:55] Ramli John: And how were you able to face that or even maybe embrace it or overcome that feeling as you're taking those big risk, big steps and big leaps?
[00:26:07] Emma Stratton: Yeah, I didn't really feel imposter syndrome until I had my own business, so that was when it came in very hard and it was very hard to manage.
[00:26:19] Emma Stratton: In the earlier years, I remember I had an absolute fear of posting anything on LinkedIn, which is hilarious now because I never shut up.
[00:26:29] Ramli John: LinkedIn, you're so good at it.
[00:26:32] Ramli John: You're so good at LinkedIn now, right?
[00:26:34] Emma Stratton: Yeah, I am now, but randomly, it wasn't that.
[00:26:37] Emma Stratton: It was like three years ago that I was terrified of doing it, but I pushed through it because I was like, Emma, this is ridiculous.
[00:26:46] Emma Stratton: This is like your subconscious mind just trying to hold you back.
[00:26:49] Emma Stratton: So I pushed through it.
[00:26:52] Emma Stratton: Now, there were other times, this is when I started working with larger companies and leading workshops with leadership teams at big tech companies, lots of men, right?
[00:27:02] Emma Stratton: And I'm in there and I would feel impostor syndrome in the beginning, like, who am I?
[00:27:07] Emma Stratton: I don't even come from a tech background.
[00:27:09] Emma Stratton: I'm like a creative writer and what am I doing here?
[00:27:12] Emma Stratton: I had that really hard in the beginning, and I actually did Mindset work to help me because I knew it was holding me back.
[00:27:19] Emma Stratton: I had big goals, and this impostor thing was kind of it was an older mindset that I needed to treat.
[00:27:26] Emma Stratton: So I did mindset coaching affirmations.
[00:27:29] Emma Stratton: I even did NLP neurolinguistic programming to help me overcome that.
[00:27:34] Emma Stratton: So that got me over that.
[00:27:36] Emma Stratton: And since then, I know what imposter syndrome is.
[00:27:39] Emma Stratton: I don't get it as much, and when it does, I'm like, okay, the thing that I always think about is like, Maya Angelou had it.
[00:27:47] Emma Stratton: Maya Angelou.
[00:27:48] Emma Stratton: The poet amazing.
[00:27:50] Emma Stratton: She always felt that way.
[00:27:52] Emma Stratton: Always was like, who am I?
[00:27:53] Emma Stratton: I forget what her exact quote was, and she's a goddess.
[00:27:57] Emma Stratton: So I'm like, okay.
[00:27:58] Emma Stratton: She feels it.
[00:27:59] Emma Stratton: It's okay that I feel it.
[00:28:01] Emma Stratton: Be kind to myself and just kind of identify it and just keep moving through it.
[00:28:07] Emma Stratton: Right?
[00:28:08] Ramli John: That's so good.
[00:28:09] Ramli John: That's so good.
[00:28:10] Ramli John: Another person that I look up to who wrote a book around him feeling like imposter a lot is Seth Godin, which I was shocked when he said that.
[00:28:21] Ramli John: He said his best work comes from pushing to imposter, or he feels like imposter a lot because of that.
[00:28:29] Ramli John: And it's interesting I know of my Angela restaurant work, and it's interesting to hear people who are at the top of the field who are doing their best work, feel it.
[00:28:39] Ramli John: So it probably might be a good indicator that you're going the right direction in your career.
[00:28:46] Emma Stratton: No, I think there's a direct correlation.
[00:28:48] Emma Stratton: I think there is actually a name for this principle, and I cannot think of what it is.
[00:28:53] Emma Stratton: It's this thing where true kind of experts and craftspeople, they're the ones who doubt their abilities because they know what's possible and they're striving, and they're the ones that are just like, I don't know if I'm good enough, and then I forget.
[00:29:09] Emma Stratton: But people who just are ignorant don't have a clue.
[00:29:11] Emma Stratton: They're like, I'm amazing.
[00:29:14] Emma Stratton: I got this.
[00:29:15] Emma Stratton: I'm awesome.
[00:29:16] Emma Stratton: And it's like, okay.
[00:29:18] Emma Stratton: You don't quite have that depth of understanding of what this is all about.
[00:29:23] Emma Stratton: So I think it's a good thing.
[00:29:25] Emma Stratton: Right.
[00:29:26] Emma Stratton: There's a humbleness there acknowledging that you don't know everything, and that when you're pushing into those new territories, it's like, Should I be here?
[00:29:36] Emma Stratton: Right?
[00:29:37] Ramli John: That's so good.
[00:29:38] Ramli John: Yeah.
[00:29:39] Ramli John: I really do appreciate you sharing.
[00:29:40] Ramli John: Sharing that.
**[00:29:42] Emma Stratton on Messaging and Copywriting Tips**
[00:29:42] Ramli John: Second to the last question is around what piece of advice, two or three piece of advice you can give your younger self.
[00:29:50] Ramli John: So if you can travel back in time, send a message 13 years ago to the younger Emma, what would be your piece of advice to that person?
[00:29:59] Emma Stratton: I think, well, I wish I'd started my business sooner, but I do believe everything happens at the right time.
[00:30:07] Emma Stratton: But in the early years, and I trying to find my way, I just.
[00:30:11] Emma Stratton: Didn't feel like I fit.
[00:30:12] Emma Stratton: And I remember thinking, there's not a job title that makes sense for me.
[00:30:16] Emma Stratton: And I let that kind of make me think that, I don't know, I wasn't going to have a good career because I didn't really see how I fit.
[00:30:23] Emma Stratton: In many ways, it took me a long time to start my business, so I wish I had done that earlier because I didn't know.
[00:30:32] Emma Stratton: And the other thing, yeah, I think maybe I would have probably been on social media more.
[00:30:43] Emma Stratton: So when I started my business, I didn't use social media.
[00:30:47] Emma Stratton: I had zero network.
[00:30:48] Emma Stratton: I didn't really do any of that.
[00:30:51] Emma Stratton: And I started doing that when I started my business.
[00:30:54] Emma Stratton: And I love it.
[00:30:55] Emma Stratton: It's so fun.
[00:30:57] Emma Stratton: It's so great.
[00:30:58] Emma Stratton: There's so many amazing people to meet through this, and I never did that.
[00:31:03] Emma Stratton: And how might things have been different if I had been more open to connecting and meeting new people and collaborating?
[00:31:10] Emma Stratton: I don't know, it's like a hermit or something.
[00:31:11] Emma Stratton: So that's probably the other thing I would have done, is just kind of connect and network, meet more people doing what I was doing, like I am now with you.
[00:31:20] Ramli John: I love this chat with Emma.
[00:31:21] Ramli John: I hope you learned as much as I did from this conversation about messaging and copy and dismissed concept.
[00:31:27] Ramli John: Now you can find out more about Emma's work by going to punchy, dot, co or finding her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
[00:31:32] Ramli John: Those links are in the description and show notes.
[00:31:34] Ramli John: Thanks to Emma for being on the show.
[00:31:36] Ramli John: If you enjoyed this episode, you'd love the Marketing Powerups newsletter.
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[00:32:12] Ramli John: Thanks to Mary Saldin for creating the artwork and design.
[00:32:14] Ramli John: And thank you to Fisal KAIGO for editing the intro video.
[00:32:17] Ramli John: And of course, thank you for listening.
[00:32:20] Ramli John: Stop.
[00:32:20] Ramli John: For now, have a powered update.
[00:32:22] Ramli John: Marketing power ups.
[00:32:27] Ramli John: Until the next episode.