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Is your messaging saying "NO" or "GO"?

marketing Nov 11, 2022

What you  say isn’t always what people hear. Sometimes we think we are saying something in our messaging / copy, that comes across completely different.

Years ago I spent most of the winter deep in the backcountry photographing professional skiers as they sent “it” off huge cliffs (with “it” referring to themselves).

We’d wait for the perfect storm to roll through town and dump feet of snow. And once all those factors lined up, we’d skin on our skis up to different cliffs that we had scoped out previously. From there I’d find the perfect angle to shoot the cliff. Often times just off to the side and under the cliff band.

When the athlete was up top and lined up, they’d yell down to me “READY??!”

And in the early days, I’d reply “NO!” As I was still getting my camera out… (athletes can be pretty impatient, but they are working with a lot of nerves up there!)

What do you think the athlete heard when I’d yell “NO!”… 

Yep… they heard “GO!!”  And would immediately drop in.

I’d scramble as quick as I could to get the camera ready because there’s usually only 3-5 seconds until they drop, and I couldn’t see them until they flew over the edge. But the result was almost always missed shots.

Eventually we realized that we needed new terminology. Instead of “NO”, I had to yell. “WAIT”. Or “HOLD”. And this one little thing made all the difference between capturing amazing shots, or blurry missed images.

This ties in to what we do as online experts. We write our messaging thinking that it conveys a certain meaning to our audience. Only to one day find out it was coming across differently than we had intended.

I think this is one of the most important differences with great messaging. It conveys it’s intended message and serve its purpose in how it makes people feel.

So I’ll leave you with this question… If you had never seen your site/sales page/ lead magnet/etc… before and didn’t know anything about your business, would it clearly communicate your message? Does it mean what you think it does? Or are people hearing “GO”, when you’re saying, “NO”?


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