We all (well a few of us) make the assumption that … ”Build it and they will come” is no different than “Post it and they will like, comment and share”… but will they? Then more importantly… why do we care? If you are writing a blog or generating new content in any format, you have to constantly ask those questions because the people reading your stuff are asking that of you! Chances are you are sharing experience and expertise, and you have a story to tell, but are you sure it resonates with your audience?
What is your audience expecting from you? Are you just a good read, a leading expert, or someone who teaches new or inspirational stuff. What matters more than what you expect is what does your audience expect from you?
Teacher vs Marketer?
I teach at various classes locally and across the country. When you are employed (or shared) by others, you have to teach first and market never (or very little). That’s a fine line you have to walk. If you are blogging or promoting to your own audience, then you have carte blanche and can do what you want. When your goal is to educate, then you look at your audience a little differently. When you are teaching, educating, or hoping people are learning something other than how awesome you are, you tend to focus your messages more on your audience, and a little less on yourself!
It’s a fine line between caring and sharing, or flirting and blurting. Blogging is about expressing yourself and your views. Some people treat it like a giant advertising platform. The biggy question is who is your audience… and what do they want?
- Who Are You? – (Great “Who” song by the way!). We think we know the answer, but in this re-tweet, share it, and re-purposed world, do we really know who our audience really is? There is a difference between a broadcaster (one to many) and a relational-caster (one to a few). We all want to talk to millions, but sometimes it makes sense to talk to our biggest 100 friends, fans or fanatics! Fanatics, share your messages with their friends helping your message to go viral. Sometimes, reaching millions, can become just more noise.
- What Do You Want To Learn? – Granted, people who read your blog or information are interested in your information. Does that mean they are getting what they want? What keeps them coming back? Is it your social networking, face-to-face networking, email blasts? More importantly, are they looking for something from you that you could give them, but you are missing the cues? Again… Ask and be prepared to reply!
- Did I Teach You Something? – At the end of every presentation, I ask the audience a question when their questions have died down… “Now I have a question for you? Did you learn something today?”. Keep asking what they have learned and what you can do better to teach them more. That will give your audience the motivation to continue to check in and follow you. If all you are doing is regurgitating the same messages with different costumes, then you will start to loose people. Ask them what they want and work hard to give it to them (If it makes sense to you and your business?).
So I have to ask – Who are you? What Do You Want To Learn? Did I Teach You Something? Now it’s your turn to interact and share something…