Late Sunday night, I was asked if I wanted to help out with the AMA Triangle booth (American Marketing Association – Raleigh chapter) at the Digital Summit in Raleigh. It was last minute since it started the following day at 9 AM. I really wanted to attend the entire conference, but could not spare two days since we have only been in our new house for 3 weeks, and I have a lot of catching up to do with my own business.

I could not pass up the chance to serve and network at the same time. So, I said yes, got all my work done early, and headed off to downtown Raleigh Convention Center.

Everything here is new to us and a learning lesson. But getting downtown by 9 AM was fairly quick and easy. I arrived and had to search for the coveted unlocked door. I proceeded up to the third floor and settled in for a day of meeting new people and telling them why I joined (to help the group build its membership). It's only $150  a year (less than two lattes per month as my friend Chuck Hester told the booth stoppers). And I have already been to multiple networking events and met lots of great business contacts.

It was a great day filled with meeting new people, and I found some time to catch a few partial sessions. One of the sessions talked about your brand and asked the question, “Has your Brand Voice evolved with your ever-changing business?”

Change and Evolution

The fact that I was able to help at an in-person event was refreshing. This conference was virtual last year. There was a lot of discussion about working virtually, finding and retaining good employees, and even how people are using the internet differently now than they did a few years ago. There were more QR codes (think giving out URLs) than I have seen before at a live event. Cell phones have made that easier than ever before!

Years ago I would eagerly explain my business differently and try to appeal to a larger audience. Now, I have drilled down to a niche of B2b technology businesses that are generally family-owned with a team of salespeople. When asked what I do, I simply state I do B2b content marketing and lead nurturing for mid-sized businesses. It's only after someone digs deeper that I will dig into the details of my systems and strategies.

Not only has my business evolved, but my Brand Voice as the “Bacon Coach” has run its course. Don't get me wrong, I am not losing the BACON brand. It's still core to what I do. Most of you who have followed me over the last 10 years or so, know that Bacon is an acronym for “Building Authentic Connections Online Networking”.

The Bacon Coach teaches others how to do that, but my brand has evolved to a done-for-you business model. There's still an element of coaching salespeople on how to build and grow business relationships, but it's more about creating content that helps establish and maintain quality business sales relationships.

Communicate Better

Many business people are in search of a simple answer to complex problems. Although it can be simple sometimes, I have found that complex problems often have complex solutions. In other words, it can be a series or system of simple solutions bundled together to solve complex problems.

So how do you explain that so people get how your solution is simple for them and solves their complex problems? I suggest you do three things.

  1. Use Empathy – If you can help your reader, listener, or watcher feel like you understand their problem, then you become an ally versus an adversary (just trying to sell them another failed solution.) Pharmaceuticals are great at that on TV commercials. They get you to feel like you may have some obscure problem or disease. They talk about the symptoms trying to get you to say, “Maybe I have THAT?”, and then tell you to ask your doctor. (Assuming you can ever get an appointment.)
  2. Use Simplicity & Brevity – If you can boil down the complex to a simple concept people feel like the solution is easy (a pill or shot four times a year.) In my case, I try to promote to clients that, “I help their salespeople to have more profitable sales conversations.”  The real problem is much more complex, but the symptom is getting new and seasoned salespeople talking with clients. I use that because the people promoting “MORE LEADS” are selling cold calls which most salespeople hate!
  3. Use Your Own Voice – Do you remember the TV show “Name That Tune”? People could guess a song based on clues and only a few notes (often 1-3.) Empathy, simplicity, and brevity need for you to have “been there, done that.” That means that you have personal experience with their problem, and you have gone through trials and tribulations to find and implement the solution. If you have experience, then you can explain both the problem and solution with fewer notes.

Lessons Learned – Final Thoughts

During the conference yesterday, the sessions were three hours long (with a 15-minute break at 1 & 1/2 hours). I normally do boot camps that are 4 hours but I am not sure people can get actionable takeaways in a 3-hour session. I jumped in and out of a few and got some good information, but what was missing was the simple action items to execute the complex subjects presented.

Most sessions were about content marketing. I am sure there were pieces that resonated with everyone, but what was missing was connecting the dots (or the note) of success.

You may be asking yourself, “If brevity is so important, then why does Brian write 1000+ word blog posts?” That's because it's part of a complex system.

I write the blog post and then record it as a 10-minute podcast episode. Then I pick key points and create simple graphics and short videos that lead back to the longer blog post and podcast episode.

This is the same system I use for my clients. Do you remember what their goal was? It's about creating content that helps them establish and maintain quality business sales relationships.

So the goal is to say – “I hear you and have experienced that. So the solution is to solve this one problem. My clients and I are aligned with the same problem and we work together to implement a system that has been proven to work and solve it!”

“That's been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
– Steve Jobs

I would love to hear about your challenges or successes in simplifying your messages and evolving your brand voice for your customers. How can you explain the complex simply? Are being empathetic with customers' problems? Has your brand voice evolved with your business over the last few years?

Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about your evolving brand voice.

To learn more about this and other topics on B2b Sales & Marketing, visit our podcast website at The Bacon Podcast.