Knowing the people who are with you makes it easier to produce one unified voice.
These are the subscribers, the people who stay, the clients who pay and those who won’t stray.
It has never been more important to scale back and know who these people are, so you can address in the way that you want to. You cannot equate success to volume if all you are driven by is collecting people. This has no way of deepening any form of relationship when a goal is mass.
This article is about knowing those who want to stand with you and tailoring your content for them. No one wanted to build something for others just to window shop. You want people to commit, not cast an eye and walk on.
If you can recognise a way to keep people with you and you have their attention, that sounds far better than always looking to convince strangers that you are worthy of their time.
Pinpointing Your Audience
When it works and you know who is running with you, the individual voices start to help with far greater reach. They start to combine for a common cause, which is either togetherness or the values that you instill (the link between what you say and what aligns with your business). What happens is that one voice starts to make an impact.
This is how I have made it work, where I have a better grasp of those people who are part of the You Are The Media community and to give people what they want, rather than what you think they are going to want and then everyone gets bored and you fizzle out (You Are The Media has been going for nearly six years). This is about locking in and finding out how everything ticks and going with your gut, rather than a prescribed way of how to keep people tuned in.
It doesn’t matter one bit if you start to lean into AI, retargeting or automation if you don’t understand who the person in front of you is. It works by:
1) Identifying those who are with you. This is actually taking time to get to know others so there is some form of familiarity. It works best when you can start the dialogue via email after someone subscribes. Identifying those around you is not that one person you followed on Twitter back in April 2014 and they never posted again, but you still consider them as a valid member of your ‘audience.’
2) Start to create segments. If you can break your audience into groups, it starts to become easier to know who you are addressing. For instance, I break my world up into three segments. People will either be a subscriber (just receive the Thursday, You Are The Media email and we will never have much contact), participant (these are the people who come to the live events such as Lunch Clubs and the You Are The Media Conference and feel a part of a wider group) and clients (where there has been a decision, based on the content they receive a decision made to work together).
3) Find insights from others. This is about being tuned into other people and knowing what they are expecting from you. If people made a decision to subscribe, there has to be a reason why a choice was made. Was it because your message it felt familiar? Was it because the overall message felt different from the other options out there? Was it because someone else recommended and there was the importance of trust?
4) Note your pivotal partners. These are the people who can help and amplify your message. This is about creating a support network where everything you do, does not sit in isolation and just in your lap. For instance, on the You Are The Media Podcast, Jon Espirian has his LinkedIn Sofa. Jon shares his segment via Linked a week or so after the show is broadcast. This does help with a wider reach and amplifies the content. You need people around to help amplify (and a huge thanks to people such as Gordon Fong)
The points I am highlighting here all comes down to knowing who people are, shaping your message for them and how they can help. A joint effort becomes so much more rewarding.
Knowing others and building a dialogue does not come down to overwhelming everyone via the ease of technology and delivery. You Are The Media community member, John Jocham says, “The march of technology in the last couple of decades has got us to a point where we can reach almost anyone. However, that very push for technology has made us forget why we are doing it. When I started out in business (this was pre-internet and the ease of mobile) the true test of success was in the quality and depth of relationships. That truth is still there (and always was) – it is just been hidden behind a digital cloud.”
The Results When You Know Others, Not Just A Follower Count
If you can glean insights from others, not bombard them with sales messages but make them centre stage where the communication is fluid and two way, things start to change and a new momentum starts to take shape.
This is the result of knowing your audience and the content you create for them.
If you take the insights from others with curiosity rather than always paying to promote and interrupt, here are some of the very real outcomes that can be achieved:
1) You become a part of someone else’s week/month and play a valid part in it. The unwritten contract you have with someone else means that there is an expectation to deliver. The more of a rhythm you can build, the more accepting people become. I now know that a weekly email has been the way that others can recognise that I am committed and not going to jump ship, throw in the towel or deviate to a completely different place that people are not common with.
2) You get to know other people better, as well as yourself. Your content becomes the magnet that draws people in, that opens up the doors to be a welcome ally for others. It also helps you recognise what you can bring to the table, what you cannot and what you are comfortable with. It is ok to open up, people won’t see you as weak, just a normal person. Whilst the majority seem happy to tell you about their best lives that they hope you become envious of, it’s good to be grounded in the normal, vulnerable and realistic.
3) You don’t always need to be driven by analytics, more a twisty turney path of insights. Having social dashboards are great, but they provide a look at what has already been done. In an article in Financial Review (11th April) that looked at what people focus on, “Primarily it is measurement that’s driving the thinking of where to spend, as opposed to stepping back and saying where are we actually getting value. The problem has been that marketing is incredibly tough to measure.” When looking at insights, this is how what you share resonates with others, do people come back and comment, does it lead to a further discussion to elaborate further?
4) Instinct is more important than a Yoast plug-in. Similar to the point above, you do not need a robot to tell you if you are going to be found by others. Everything that you create has to be centred on a perspective for someone else, not just a key term for random strangers to find you when they are searching for something that they cannot find elsewhere.
5) You know which side of the fence you live on. The more you become tuned into your audience and find a voice that sits in a unique space, the easier it becomes to know the things that you stand for. Click here to read a piece that helps you recognise the one word you stand close to. Knowing the things that you are not, is just as important as knowing the things you are.
6) Asking for the involvement of others becomes easier. Creation does not always have to sit on your lap. When you know the people around you, it becomes easier to ask for them to help and contribute. Bringing in the excerpts of others can create a sense of togetherness. I originally thought that credibility was from asking those who were more ‘well known’ ie. the writers, the speakers and primarily from overseas (I went with this for around 100 interviews in the Talking Content Marketing series). However, I now recognise that putting the spotlight on those who are part of your audience resonates deeper with a shared kinship.
Let’s Round Up
The audience you build is all about others buying into you, rather than you buying for anywhere to be accepted. When you know who people actually are and create a live lab that keeps moving, you have longevity and remain relevant to others.
You can’t live in a world where you are relentless telling others to ‘look at me.’ You have to know the types of people you want to bring to your side. For instance, I am all about those business owners who want to build their message in the spaces that they have control and be self-sufficient. This is how you maintain trust.
When you know people by name, not just Twitter profile, both parties can benefit.
Understanding is a two-way street.