You have to look beyond being told to ‘be just great.’ The ability to build audience is about sticking with doing something that not everyone else is doing within your marketplace.
However, it is not just about being consistent with creating content, but consistency with an approach.
The two-sided LP of consistency of message and approach is the focus for this article.
Right Content At The Right Time
When you have the ability to communicate the right content to the right person at the right moment and comes back to what you believe in, it sets the precedent. This is in a place of far greater depth than being told of a ‘system that can differentiate you from your competitors to make your business more profitable, in less time, with less effort’ (this was a sentence from a seminar I saw being promoted this week).
Finding shorter routes that lead to growth, could have been true fifteen years ago, when the ability to create, publish and broadcast was reserved to a few media channels. Now everybody has a chance. This means everybody has the opportunity. You just can’t cut corners anymore. You have to tune into being consistent with a message that is relevant to someone else. If you can do this, you have the ability to generate a commitment from others.
I met up with Ali Carmichael, co-founder of Experience UX last week. Ali is the guest for the March You Are The Media Lunch Club (Thursday 30th March). Experience UX provide value outside of what they invoice. They have a quarterly event (and 2017 dates are already booked) and they have their UX Insider online interview series.
From offline to online, consistency is helping Experience UX build their audience and become recognised as the UX resource within the region.
What was interesting was how Ali described what is now happening to the business. Ali highlighted, “We have a responsibility for others and a need to deliver. What we want to be is a place for others to take from and realise that they are not the only ones trying to make sense of how the UX discipline is shaping. We are finding out too.”
What Ali highlighted here is being consistent with an approach, not just content creation.
Being consistent with delivery advocates an authentic and credible persona both online and offline. In Ali’s words, when you have a ‘responsibility for others’ highlights the ability to be in control and lay the foundations and not for others to run amok with the gate open. Something that Google have recently faced with their current ad debacle. Over the past week, brands such as Pepsi, The British Government and Johnson & Johnson have pulled out of advertising on YouTube. This is because banners appear over videos posted by extremist groups. Whilst Google have apologised, it highlights a prime example of a brand with a transparency problem, plus unease of advertisers fuelling the fake news fire. It also further highlights the lack of trust between consumers and business as highlighted by the Edelman Trust Barometer survey from February.
Consistency of Approach
When you provide someone something they actually want, it allows a relationship to form.
I highlighted in my last article the importance of tailoring your message to your audience. The message you deliver has to be curated for the medium you are using and the person who is active within it. This is all about creating with someone else in mind, rather than creating what you want him or her to see/hear/read.
It is about connecting with someone during the day in a way that is different from how the rest of the world operates. For instance, I was walking through the middle of Bournemouth last week and was approached by people from Virgin, three charities, to PureGym all looking to take away time. It becomes noise that you switch off from, with others pushing products.
That is the same for many businesses who put their own agenda first and look to sell from it. To everyone else, it just becomes background noise. This is why their needs to be consistency of approach, where someone else sees something worthy of spending some time with and there is a value exchange.
Everything has to tie back to an approach that is consistent in every place that you reside and the person who is spending some time.
Whilst you will never have the budgets the likes of Amazon have, it is the approach to present information in the way that you want it, rather than the one size fits all approach. From ‘more items to consider,’ to reading reviews of what you are considering to buy, the whole approach is consistent with who you are and what you want.
How to showcase your consistency of approach when you don’t have Amazon sized budgets:
- Engaging in conversation on social channels, rather than leaving every opportunity left with a closed door
- creating a two-way response from something that is sent to others ie. newsletter and then taking it one to one when some replies back
- Instead of chasing everything, you work with others who reflect your principals. They are consistent with what you believe in
- Everything you share and say ties back to your centre of gravity ie. your website, that cements your approach
- You create for other people in mind, not just search engines or likes
- Stick by something that you believe in, that isn’t necessarily covered by others within your marketplace
Questions to ask yourself:
- What do I believe in that is sustainable and not a two month ride that blows out of steam before the summer
- Who can come along for the journey (the audience)
- Where do they prefer to hang out ie. social, email, website, video, audio
- Is there a space that isn’t served that I can explore within
- Can this motivate my audience to participate with me
- Can I see my message transporting not just online, but offline?
Consistency of Message
From the consistency of an approach (centred on a belief) comes the consistency of a message.
Last week I highlighted reading the Jack Daniels advert on a tube station platform. It was a short story, not just an advert and this is one thing that the brand has been consistent with for decades.
Lynchburg, Tennessee does exist! Every message that I have read or seen always comes back to a narrative about how Jack Daniels is made, the process that goes into it and the people who make it. It is this consistent story that consumers tune into as a believable brand.
A consistent message is something that doesn’t detract. For instance, have a look at my early blog articles here. From generic business articles, the message is now concentrated on businesses having control via an owned media approach to build an audience who care and will buy. This has to be consistent in every place I am visible in order to build familiarity and trust.
Showcasing your consistency of message when you don’t have Jack Daniels sized budgets:
- When you say that you are going to show up, show up. If you have a sign up form that promises something from you on a day of the week, deliver it
- Become committed with an objective to be a better writer, presenter, speaker with an outcome to grow influence
- Whilst you might think that all areas of your industry have already been covered, have the guts to showcase your approach and the way you look at the world
- There is a fine line between communicating consistently and being consistently noisy, pick what you believe in and stand on that side of the road
- Make sure everything joins up and over time can help make the jigsaw puzzle piece easily together. You don’t need to jump onto video because someone told you to, it is better to have a clear point of view that you can shape over time within a channel you are prepared to jump in and be able to swim within
Questions to ask yourself:
- Am I getting led astray (because I heard that Snapchat was good) from one place to the other and spreading myself too thinly?
- Can I put time aside each week to become better at one thing?
- Is there a space within the marketplace that I can start to lean into?
- Are there channels I feel more comfortable in than others?
- Who else supports my point of view and where are they ie. from authors to other business owners
- Can I keep the momentum with this over a period of time and ready to roll up the socks and start digging deep for the long term?
To make an impact on others you have to show a commitment, rather than thinking that just publishing is the answer to building an audience that you have ownership of.
Lets Round Up
You will never build traction if that super slick corporate video is placed on YouTube and you stand back and believe that an audience will gather round with a standing ovation. They won’t! If there is no consistency from an approach and message, it becomes a waste of money, where the only mantra is dry product promotion.
You have to find the right people who are allied to your cause, this helps build audience, rather than sitting in isolation and looking back at something with fondness of the day you brought a film crew in.
Consistency of approach and message comes from a place of sharing real experiences, where you can act with knowledge, fact and influence. This is how you can reach out and bring others to your realm. They will see the benefit of having someone who is on their side.