In my zest for tidiness and world domination, I cleared out one shelf of my main pantry cupboard yesterday and chucked out a whole black bin bag of things that were either a) out of date (Angel Delight from 2008), b) looked unappealing (mainly well-intentioned healthy things) or c) items that I knew we would never use.
The end result was a shelf of things I could happily organise and see easily. I will now actually use the products I have bought. I know what is there without having to re-arrange piles of tins and packets and putting my hand in sticky treacle to see if that tin of chopped tomatoes is really there at the very back. I also know not to buy things twice when they’re readily available and easy to find.
Why am I telling you this? Well it’s a metaphor for clear communications. I had a meeting with a client last week who wanted to say everything in his website. I mean EVERYTHING. His website was my old food cupboard – so full it was useless and unappealing. It was packed with anecdotes, testimonials, advice, downloads, ‘fun stuff’ (why?), useful information, case studies… in short, clutter.
Clutter, apparently, reflects our inability to make decisions. It also reflects disorder and chaos. We don’t want clients to feel that about us when they read our website, meet with us or read our marketing materials. They want an easy read – a straightforward, ‘says what it does on the tin’ experience.
When we take away the noise and clutter of our communications, we say so much more. So get yourself a metaphoric bin bag and declutter your marketing messages, your clients will thank you for it – just tell them what they need to know to make them want to know more.