When a fashion designer or a tailor works on an item of clothing, they use a mannequin. Because creating something complex, like a coat, would be hard to do while it lies on the floor.
It’s the same principle with creating messaging – you need a mannequin to hang the messaging work on. Only then will you understand whether it’s working: Whether it describes whom the business is for, what it’s for, and how it works. (David C Baker talks about the 8 feet test – put your laptop on a table, open it to the homepage of a business website, and see if you can tell what the company is about.)
For a small, expertise-based B2B venture there exist specialized “messaging mannequins” on which to do your work.
And they’re neither Word nor Google Docs. Nor Ulysses or Scrivener. Etcetera.
Because messaging isn’t just writing; it’s also UX design.
Inside a word processing document, your messaging does about as much good as a coat lying on the floor on a chilly fall evening.
So where do you create messaging? The first and best place is a website or app wireframe editor, like Balsamiq.cloud. Or a pen and piece of paper. Second-best is a presentation deck editor, such as Powerpoint or Google Slides. Canva works too but beware of settling on messaging for a snippet of content that will only make up part of the whole. Each word on the page affects every other.
When you create your messaging on one of these mannequins you preserve mental energy wasted on imagining what it will look like where it counts most – the homepage of your website.
Nor do you suffer the inaccuracy that comes from forcing your mind to do something it’s not specialized at.
What you are specialized at is solving problems for a specific type of business. You do your job, let the mannequin do its job.
Because you hand a web designer or a deck designer a Word doc with words scribbled everywhere, you are basically saying: I’m not a thinker, I’m just supplying content. Here’s some fabric, you do the hard work of figuring out what this coat should look like.