How many times have you thought “I know there are people looking for my services or this type of class” but you’re challenged to find them through the conversations, web pages and methods you are using.
My introduction to achieving an audience was more like shooting fish in a barrel. My first audiences were engaged because the activities I was offering were based in engagement of fun at camps. Campers had a choice to fish, learn archery, swim, learn a craft, or to do a project. I was in charge of archery. (someone obviously didn’t know my skill level at archery, which is akin to sending a mouse to do a lion’s work) But by day two my audience of attendees had become the second largest group at the camp, and you might be surprised why. I was obviously the worst bowyer in the universe, I didn’t know how to shoot an arrow within 50 yards of a target, and my vision made it unlikely that would change, but each day more and more campers came. It’s not much different now that I’m an strategist for authors, speakers, and small businesses.
Folks who are ready to learn/engage/experience new experiences need to know 3 basic things:
a) What the learning is and how the learning occur (it helps to know also that no one will be humiliated or made fun of…regardless of the age or level of engagement, safe environments matter and you’d be surprised how much that is true)
b) What will they receive if they do the work (outcomes objectives matter, it’s all about the language, the need and the understanding of the goal)
c) If they desire to go forward, engagement with the class/offering/opportunity will be doable and enjoyable. (notice I didn’t say pain free or without effort, stretching, learning, re-learning can be an effort, but a worthwhile one)
At the archery area, I had to admit that I was simply not an expert in archery (that might have been painfully obvious by the first arrow I shot) , but I shared I would be well versed on the actions that mattered, learn with them and help them figure out which bow and arrow they needed to succeed, how to gain the ability to pull the bow string, how to choose an arrow and then to aim it, and laugh alot along the way. My technique is not far different regardless of what I teach.
While I was not an archery expert, I was a skillful identifier of base understanding and vocabulary, of procedures and directions for success with a bow and arrow, and with daily effort by the second week of camp I was quite good at what didn’t work and gaining ground on how to shoot accurately, which made me a better instructor. I did the work, I did the learning myself, and by summer’s end I was an exceptional bowyer despite my poor vision.
My mistakes, openly made with dialogue, allowed others to see their own. I demonstrated (and often by accident) what didn’t work, campers saw what did work first hand, and they respected the effort as well as we cheered each other own. Group interaction while engaging is another great way to build your business. Masterminds are not always for paid experiences, sometimes the group interactions are wonderful try before you buy experiences to see that folks gathered are a benefit when carefully grouped. The reason I am paid well as a consultant is my experiences allow for the mistakes and potential for mistakes in processes to be identified more quickly and my successes support identifying what matters in building products, creating curriculums and gaining audience share of purchasers.
In business I have a specific set of skills and services that I teach. When a newcomer hears of me or searches for me, they need to know what I do, they need to be able to assess if the level of the skills and services I offer is a “fit” for their level of business, and then they need to know that they can count on me to make sure that the learning/services fits their needs and/or the target of the instruction/consulting is appropriate for their level of skill understanding. They need opportunities to engage me at the level they can, sometimes that is pre-recorded processes, which are my ease to access price point. Others need to have a directed plan, so they may buy a conversation/consult and then work with videos and resources the rest of the way. Still others want a one to one or one to some experience, and that’s great for the folks who want guidance through a new process or improvement on an old one that isn’t as successful as it could be.
Very few folks engage if any of those areas are not answered before they begin. Even fewer remain if the goals are not introduced, addressed, and followed through.
Not every person is a fit for your skills, your services, or your personality. Can I hear an “amen” on that? I’m a high analytic, high creative personality. You’re not going to be comfortable with me if you’re looking for linear conversation or thinking that is slow paced or repetitive. It’s simply not who I am. I voice or teach through a single perspective, but on the whole, I’m going to speak from both sides of the street analytically and creatively. It’s not enough to know the how in most businesses, but the why and the how for most parts of your business. When value is placed on knowing when, how, and why you do what you do in business, enrollees learn!
Do you know how many folks offer an online or offline experience and never take the time to converse with their client except to upsell them again? They leave the most valuable part of the engagement with the client to chance. The relationship.
Your clients, your engaged listeners, audience, or purchasers are an important source of your success. Their movement through your offerings, their feedback is precious stuff. When we take time to listen, real time conversations and emailed ones, we can learn what is truly the market need for our services and perhaps even the next products you need to develop.
But how do you begin? How do you get that first group together? You invite them in, you may ask folks to simply let you help them. You may offer to teach at a community gathering, college, or college class. You may choose to go to a networking group or ask your social channel peeps to come taste of what you’re offering for free with the the intention of being of service to your attendees and then engaging them again to learn even more before you try to offer for a price that which they need more specifically.
Building your audience begins with building your experience and that means simply beginning. Begin to explore practicing your process. Begin to explore recording and listening to your process. Seek ways to be of service to others and then pay attention to that which is needed. Audiences are simple to find when you have engaged an understanding of actions that matter, the scope of who it matters to, and the knowledge of why and how to do it.
Are you ready to develop your audience? Develop the value that your potentials need in their outcomes and you’ll develop your audience when the two intersect.