When you market with people, not at them, this is when things starts to gel.
However, there are times when you have to share with people, who are hesitant, what the future will look like.
None of it should feel forced.
This article is about why there are times to look at the world through someone else’s eyes so when it clicks for them, it becomes easier to convert.
When you go on a first date with someone, when two people are not that familiar, it is never the best when one starts looking to impress from the outset. If both people are familiar with each and ready for that date to flow, then it’s a win-win for both sides.
When the time together starts from not being aware of each other and no prior connectivity, this is where the problems lie.
The latter is what I experienced, first hand, last week.
What you are going to read is what I faced head-on and then figured out (so isn’t all bad). The reason I am sharing with you is from two aspects:
– The audience you can genuinely build, share with others what the future will look like
– You don’t need to impress everyone, only those who want to walk with you and you make them look good, feel safe and connected to others
Where It All Began
Last week was the start of the You Are The Media Winter Tour.
I learned a lot from it.
This was funded by the Dorset Growth Hub, who have been fantastic allies as the You Are The Media project has found momentum. They provide learning in many guises. Have a listen to the You Are The Media Podcast where Richard Burn shares the importance of facilitating wider learning for business.
The topic for the workshop was sharing how I have managed to build an audience who have stayed, with the intention for others to do the same, without a heavy reliance on third parties ie. social media, advertising and throwing the net out in the same sea as everyone else.
This ‘tour’ is taking place in two venues in Dorset during February. It took me a full week to focus on and prepare the presentation. I was ready and chomping at the bit to share with others how everything had built organically from zero.
It didn’t go as planned.
Whilst there were a number of people who I knew, others were fidgety and was perhaps something that was different from what they signed up to. Yes, even some people left (albeit I did have a very valid reason from an attendee and a situation with a client).
What started to become apparent was that a number of people in the room were not familiar with You Are The Media.
The audience who attended were predominantly those who had an affiliation with Dorset Growth Hub, not You Are The Media (the old building your house on rented land scenario, read more about that here). When I say not familiar, I mean were not aware of the weekly email, did not know there were Lunch Clubs and the other activity that circulates in different channels during the year.
Explaining how something worked to someone who was not aware, immediately put distance between me and someone else.
To those where there was no connection or acquaintance ie. receive an email on a Thursday, this made it difficult. This set the distance straight away. For instance, some people perhaps wanted to hear about converting a subscriber to purchase in the shortest time possible (You Are The Media is not about that), or wanting to know more about the tactical side and how channels such as LinkedIn can work.
Looking back, the problem was not the audience, it was with me.
I painted the occasion with one broad brush. My bad.
From those people who had never heard of You Are The Media to those who are part of the YATM audience, this was one giant love-in. There was one tweak that could have changed everything and brought everyone together and make it easier for those who wanted to leave, an earlier get out clause.
The thing I missed was to share what the world looks like for someone else when it all comes together. This was by looking at the world through someone else’s eyes and not just my own, to present how everything worked (and everything lead with, ‘I did it like this’).
By sharing a future that brings people together, better clients, a shared belief, a case for people to get behind, is stronger than explaining how to put a URL link in the first comment after a LinkedIn post.
What About You
When it comes to people coming to your side, that starts with leaving their email in return for ongoing value, you have to understand them and figure out why they stepped forward with you in the first place.
We all need to learn to see, rather than dictate our own agendas.
These are the lessons I learned, that relate to people coming onboard from different points of the journey of exchange. This relates to having meaning with someone else, so it isn’t hard for them to figure out:
1. It is always helpful to start with what does someone already know.
When someone makes that tentative step forward, whether that is a business inquiry, to someone you are not familiar with signing up for something you are creating, from an event to an email, find out how why they made that step to commit. If this opens up the conversation, then you can trace the breadcrumbs to where you both stand and where the path started.
2. Recognise why someone wanted to spend some time with you.
There has to be a reason why someone took that step beyond the easy wins of clicking the ‘follow’ on Twitter, to something more substantial, where there is a mutual exchange between you and someone else. There is a reason why you have effectively taken out the middle man (read this article on taking out the middle man). Whether it was your message stood out for them, someone else recommended, or they read/listened/watched something from you on another channel, everything has a reason.
3. Strangers want to know how their life will be better, not yours.
It is far too easy to tell others what to do, but the only way for others to make that connection is to show them the way and how they will reap the rewards. We are all tired of reading that others know best on LinkedIn, but few document how things work and how it can be reciprocated by someone else. It is easy to use big words, as that creates a sense of self-importance and immediately take us back to school where there is a hierarchy to be quiet and listen.
4. Personalise the experience, not a will to be liked.
Whatever is intended for someone else, from a blog article to an event, there has to be a real sense of sociability, where it is easy to understand and come from a genuine place, not a cut and paste effort to look worthy.
5. Focus on the people in your world who look good because of you.
If someone else steps forward for the first time, they have to be directed to those who have benefitted. Stop caring about what people think of you, share with them others who have done well. Put the spotlight on others who have supported and progressed. If you do this then the world around you looks better.
6. It is all about showing others that they are in a worthy place when they commit.
When you share with others what the future looks like, it becomes easier to interpret and piece together the jigsaw.
One of the things that I did during the workshop was to encourage what could be unfamiliar to some, to start becoming a bit more accustomed. This is something that you could put into place when it comes to attracting people to come to your side and sign-up.
During the You Are The Media Winter Tour, I made it clear that the centre of my universe is the subscription page for the weekly email. It had to be put to good use.
– It was easy to recognise the people from the session who had subscribed around a four-hour window (from during the event to early afternoon)
– This meant they all received a tailored email from me, that thanked them for coming, hope they enjoyed and some other places, if they would like to read or listen more
– From a reply, this could mean a more one to one conversation. For instance, one of the attendees went to the same secondary school as me. There can’t be a better way to create a familiar ground then a kinship around the same school.
– Encourage others to invest more time and to signpost. In my case, this is inviting people to come to the next You Are The Media Lunch Club at the end of February. It always helps when there are continual touch points.
Let’s Round Up
To make it easier for someone to come to your side, you have to:
– Show them what it looks like
– Give them a reason
– Make it personal
– Get them to trust you to show them the way
It is important to recognise that you don’t need everyone to come to your side, only those where they know they will receive value and feel a part of something new. This means creating work that doesn’t sit in the middle, but people still need to be clear on what the outcomes are and how it will look, taste and feel.
The experiences you create, is it by looking at it through your own eyes or the potential it can provide to others? Even if you can show people the proof, you have to put the results in the context of someone else’s world ie. making their life easier, more connected, more fulfilled.
Whilst we will always have biases, if you can show others the reveal, it can open up channels for stronger relationships and a better way of connecting with others who are ready to step forward with you.
It is time to make others look the star. Show them the love.