When it comes to creating a business, brand or voice that significantly impacts a group of people, you must have a clearly defined sense of purpose or else you will be drown out by the rest of the noise in this world.
You need a compass that will guide your every move in order to keep you on course towards the goals you wish to achieve.
Enter the Manifesto…
A manifesto is a public declaration of intent explaining why you do what you do in a clear and concise way.
Your brand manifesto will answer the following questions and more…
- What do you believe?
- What is your brand’s personality?
- What value do you provide to the world?
- How do people feel when they interact with you?
A manifesto is something that grows as you grow and as you learn more about your audience and what they desire. Think of it as a living document that will help anchor you to reality as you step out in faith towards your dreams.
In Todd Henry’s Book, ‘Louder Than Words’ (one of my favorites), he shares that a manifesto provides you with 2 things:
- A constant, grounding document you can return to for inspiration and help in focusing
- An easy way to introduce others to what you care about.
Todd explains that writing a manifesto is not easy but it is extremely necessary and helpful if you are to create a voice that resonates with your audience. You need to wrestle with it to unearth the true value that only you can bring to the world.
If you have never written a manifesto, it may seem like a goliath of a task, but luckily Todd was kind enough to highlight 3 essential elements to focus on when crafting your own.
How to Write a Manifesto
1. Focus on the “Who”
Who are you in it to help out? What problems are you trying to help them solve in their everyday lives? This is important to map out before you start creating your products, marketing materials or content.
The better you know your audience, where they hang out, what they’re interested and the struggles they go through, the better you can create something that will result in a lasting change in their lives.
“Your true success is not found in the quality of the products you create, but in the value that you deliver to your audience.” -Craig Desmarais
2. Craft your “What”
What is it that you bring to the world that makes a difference in the lives of your audience. This is the actionable aspect of your manifesto.
Clearly communicate to your tribe what transformation you plan to help them through, what problems you’ll tackle, and what results they can expect to see. By providing a clear picture of the destination, as well as some milestones along the way, your audience is more likely to trust you and begin the journey.
If you can describe what emotions people will feel after following you through the process, it will help to build a lasting level of trust that years of old-school marketing could never deliver.
It’s like Maya Angelou said…
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
3. Identify your “Why”
In ‘Louder Than Words’, Todd so gracefully points out that the most powerful manifestos in the world are, “powered by something other than self-service, and reflect a deep belief about the way the world should be.”
This is how you should view the why behind what you do too. If your purpose is too self-serving, people will sniff it out right away and you will tarnish your brand and your voice, which is very tough to recover from.
But if your why stems from a selfless desire to see people’s lives transformed or status quos eliminated, then as you dig you be able to discover what you need to create.
Todd also shared some powerful manifestos that you can reference and model when writing yours.
So now it’s time to take action…
Here are two things you need to do after reading this post.
- Pick up Todd Henry’s book, Louder Than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice, as it goes into much more depth and detail not only how to write a manifesto but how to truly develop a voice that resonates with your audience.
- Find a quiet place away from the noise and busyness of life, throw on your favorite concentration playlist and start writing your manifesto.
I’d love to see what you come up with. Feel free to share a link to your manifesto in the comment section below! I truly believe it will change the way you do everything for your movement.