9 min 12 sec

CLASSROOM: It’s Not Just What You Say, It’s How You Say It

Branding and messaging are core components of product design. As you follow your roadmap to launch, think carefully about what you’ll say AND how you’ll say it.

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What It's About

How you talk about your product and service shouldn't be an afterthought.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1143
In recent Classroom episodes, we’ve looked at different side hustle ideas—where they come from, categories of different ideas, how to decide between competing ideas, and so on. Last week we began building our Roadmap to Launch: all the things you need to do before you can debut your project.

This episode is called, It's Not Just What You Say, It's How You Say It.

Why aren’t we talking about shopping carts? Instagram ads? Or - wait - why aren’t we building out those nuts and bolts we talked about last week.

We’re still all about nuts and bolts, and we’ll get to marketing much more in the second two-thirds of the year, but because branding and messaging are part of product design … it’s critical to think about the message you’ll be presenting.

This shouldn’t be an afterthought; it’s something you consider as you work off that roadmap and as you complete those tasks.

Here’s a key point: we make purchasing decisions based on emotion more than logic, and the way you appeal to emotion is by leading with benefits.

Recent and upcoming stories:

  • - Ep. 1134: Journalist who leads outdoor activities in Maine [get outdoors and try something new with a supportive group]
  • - Ep. 1151: -Two sisters make natural skincare products [improve your skincare without paying commercial price from this family-run business]

Think about something as basic and boring as car suspension systems or shocks (Ep. 1140). His USP was in making the replacement process simple, removing the decision fatigue and discomfort associated with car maintenance. So from the beginning, you want to think about some of the questions we’ve covered already:

  • * Is it a product or service?
  • * Who is my ideal customer?
  • * How will I go from idea to offer?

But also: what are the core emotional needs that I will meet, and how will I communicate that fact?

Listen to today's Classroom episode to learn more...



Describe your product or service based on this important quality of benefit-driving messaging.

Here are three quick examples:

1) Ep. 1099: Art School Graduate Becomes Pencil King An artist goes from a small Manitoba village to earning six-figures with educational websites while living in China.

Benefit-driven: Anyone can learn to draw. Even if you never thought it was possible, you too can become an artist.

2) Ep. 1123: Flimsy Notebooks Inspire Crafty Construction Worker When a safety supervisor’s “genuine leather” notebooks keep falling apart, he begins to investigate. He finds his answer—and a side hustle that brings in $8,000 a month.

Benefit-driven: You need a notebook that works as hard as you do. This tool won’t let you down!

3) Ep. 1127: Bellydance Class Gets High-Tech Update Finding a way to offer bellydance classes to an online audience allows this listener to shimy her way to success.

Benefit-driven: Get fit, get sexy, and learn a new skill based on an ancient practice from the comfort and privacy of your home.

  Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau