Know Your Audience
The other day I was talking to my husband about plans we needed to make to juggle our schedules as we do every week. We wanted to go out on a date night but needed to decide who would watch our kids. In comes our four year old daughter, in the middle of the conversation, and starts asking questions.
“Where are you going?”
Thing is, because we weren’t talking to her, she was lost. When she walked in she felt confused and wanted to shift the conversation to her and her needs. But, our conversation was fine before she got there because we knew the goals we wanted to reach and we were doing a great job communicating without her help or distraction.
Do you ever find yourself doing that with your audience? You’ve picked the audience you connect with and you begin to talk to them. Everything is going along well and you’re building a great synergy, then someone who wasn’t really meant to be part of the conversation jumps in and wants you to speak to them, so you do. Then someone else comes in and wants you to speak directly to them, so again you change your focus.
When my daughter came into the middle of our conversation, we didn’t adjust it for her, we simply asked her to listen and we’d inform her later of what was happening. If we shifted every time she walked in and wanted the conversation to be about or for her, there would be a lot of confusion with no one feeling fully heard or understood, let alone communicated with.
When you pick an audience, the best thing you can do is focus on talking directly to them. Trust me when I say, all those who would like to distract your conversation will either catch up, catch on or move on and that’s okay. What you want to do is keep the conversation going with the exact people you want to do business with. Everyone else will enjoy the conversation, join the conversation or leave.
Why we lose focus
There are a few reasons I believe we lose focus when it comes to our target audience but I’m only going to talk about three here:
- We’re afraid – We’re afraid to have anyone walk away from us because we believe there won’t be another person to replace them. So instead of letting them go, because the conversation we’re having doesn’t truly interest them, we try to find out what they need and adjust the conversation to include them along with our first audience. Thing is, it doesn’t usually stop there. When the next person comes along and doesn’t seem to be excited about our message or what we’re selling we again adjust our conversation. By this time, the audience we chose, the ones we were talking too first, become confused and lose interest. So now we continue to maneuver in fear rather than in focus because we no longer trust ourselves. . .
- Lack of trust – We don’t trust that we’ve made the right decision in choosing our target audience. Instead of believing in what we’re doing and the audience we’re excited about, we begin to doubt ourselves when things don’t move along quickly enough, or when someone walks away. We don’t trust in the work and effort we’ve put into our businesses, so we look to the audience at large (not our target audience) to validate what we’ve done. Problem is, they are not thinking of you or your business, but of themselves.
- We’re confused – Sometimes we’re confused ourselves about who it is we want to talk too. We decide on an audience, not because we’ve done our homework but because we’ve assumed they would be the right audience. Then when they don’t respond we go searching for a new audience while still hoping that the first audience will work. We haven’t taken the time to really get to know the people we want to talk too so it makes us nervous to see others not responding to our message.
Here’s the thing, if whenever I spoke to my husband I spoke so the kids would always understand as soon as they walked into the room it would make for very dull conversations with my hubby and we’d all be frustrated and bored.
Don’t change your message for every person that comes by. Talk to the right audience and more of that type person will come and be attracted to what you have to say. Be patient, focused fearless and kind with yourself. You’ve done the work of figuring out who you want to work with, now put yourself out there and trust that they will come.
Do you have a story of when things went off kilter because you kept changing your story? Or maybe, you changed your story and found the right one in the process! Share with me in the comments below, I’d love to hear your story.