Would you have any great external resources about becoming better at messaging that you can share?
Hi - yes - I definitely recommend sharebird's resources. I also love a few books on positioning. First the classic book here is from Al Ries and Jack Trout and it's called "Positioning: The Battle for your Mind." I also recommend "Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It" by April Dunford
I've read a couple of great books on building messaging. The two I enjoyed the most were:
The Aha Moment by Andy Cunningham. She has worked with some of the most iconic brands in tech (including Apple during Steve Jobs' heyday). She provides a great framework for understanding what she calls "your positioning DNA." And she not only presents her concepts in a very straightforward way, but she also supplements them with lots of great stories from her experiences.
Storynomics by Robert McKee and Thomas Gerace. This is a book that gets detailed regarding the anatomy of good stories, and how these building block fundamentals used by writers can be used for both brand and product messaging in the corporate world. It's very rooted in the psychology of storytelling and is also filled with lots of great case studies and real-world examples.
Yes, there are plenty resources out there for you to continue to sharpen your toolset and learn from others in the community as well. Here are some of my favorites
1. Listening to podcasts - Women in Product Marketing by Mary Sheehan is by far my favorite. She brings on a host of Senior PMM's in their field to discuss topics from messaging, positioning, pricing, getting into PMM, GTM strategy etc.
2. Following thought leaders on Linkedin - Here is a nice list of thought leaders - https://www.productmarketingalliance.com/60-product-marketers-leading-the-way-in-2022/
3. Spend time on other websites - Some website I have come to love over time are Airtable, Asana, Snowflake, Zendesk, Gong, Drift, Dropbox, Evernote etc. Here's a good list of good B2B website examples and what makes them great as well
3. Spending time in the field with actual customers - listen to how they talk about their challenges, goals, aspirations and passions. What they like spending time doing and what they don't. Ask specific questions on how your product/service helps them, what they would do otherwise and take notes on the specific words and language they use to describe the value your product brings to them
4. Listen to Gong calls or shadow your sales/Customer success teams - to hear first hand on how your sellers sell your product/service, the slides and pitch decks they use, and their words and language. Pay attention to what resonates with customers, and what doesnt. Listen also, to how prospects describe their problems.
Building a Story Brand from Donald Miller is a great resource - you can get the book or access the free resources on their website. It gives you a 7-steps framework to clarify your message through storytelling. This exercise is valuable because you see your company/product as the guru rather than the hero, and you can start developing messages that deliver immediate value to the customer.
I have created an on-line course that takes you through positioning and messaging – they go hand in hand – step-by-step. Here is a link to the sign-in page; it is free:
The framework covered in the course was created by my partner when he was at Microsoft, and has been enhanced over time. I have taught the framework to product marketing professionals throughout the world.