Communicating with Your Audience
How many emails, newsletters, phone calls, etc. end up in your inbox that you never have any intention of reading? Not even including the newsletters that you have signed up for, emails from people in your network, etc.? How much does your company contribute to the noise? How much unproductive time and energy are you spending trying to sort through all of the mess in order to be as effective as possible in running your company?
More than likely, your situation is not unique. As business leaders, we need to be committed to measuring how successful our communications are – because that is how people become aware of us in the marketplace – and what that return on investment is. If we are making investments and not receiving a return on it, we are simply wasting resources that could be committed to something else.
Consider this, for a moment. Of the hundreds of emails you receive in your Inbox, which ones are you more likely to open? Is it those that are asking you to purchase something…perhaps those that are from a company that you are following, perhaps a whitepaper or a video…or, perhaps the veiled marketing email that is telling you about “the next opportunity limited to the next 10 people to invest in XYZ.” More than likely, you would probably open the emails that create some level of value for you. Am I right?
Another question: do you prefer communications that “seem” to be personal, or those that are actually personal? Which one would be more likely to cause you to act?
“Hey, Rick…take a look at this video!” Hmmmm…this is something from someone who has taken an interest in me/my company. I trust that they aren’t simply trying to get me to buy something…or if they are, it is something that they really feel I could benefit from…let me take a look.
Is that your thought process? Would you be more likely to take a look at the video? I certainly would.
Interestingly, I have found that I am willing to do that from people who are connected to me through LinkedIn. As a matter of fact, I have probably taken a look at nearly everything that was sent my direction…just because these people had taken the time to personally invite me, whether to get my thoughts, opinion, feedback or whatever it was. Why do I do it? It is important…but it also opens up conversation.
Conversation is the basis for communication – the two-way engagement between people wherein information is exchanged – ideally, an exchange of value.
What is the benefit of conversation? It creates trust. You as a leader, as a company, get through to your audience through regular, authentic communication.
Think about the more popular television commercials. Would you agree that some of the more memorable ones try to instill a level of trust with you? Think about it…they use contemporary use of words, (XFinity – “the future of Awesome”) – they are very personal and normal (Flo – Progressive commercials) – they make the serious, dry and boring laughable (Allstate – Mayhem commercials) they get you to believe in something (Coke – “Open Happiness”) and on and on.
All of these have the commonality of being able to start a conversation – communication. They try to open the doors to have a conversation with you about how they can help you accomplish your very own, personal goals or fulfill your very own person needs.
Imagine how you can take what they have done to start conversations with your stakeholders – i.e. everyone that is impacted by the existence of your business. Think about not just what you will say, but how you will do it and why you are communicating with them. Besides “to make money” – how can you help them achieve their goals or fulfill a need that they have?
How can you communicate with your audiences? How can your messages be authentic, personal and open the doors to product communication? You are building an extraordinary company – how can you have those conversations so that people ask you how you can help them solve their individual needs?
Perhaps, with the words of Simon Sinek: Start with “why.”
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni Business Consulting, an Operations & Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated helping business leaders DESIGN | CREATE | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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