Make it a point to stop and listen before speaking!
There’s a tried and true saying that reads ” there is a reason why we have one mouth and two ears.” It is because we need to listen twice as much as we talk, and more importantly, we need to tune in to our audience before we begin to talk, and engage with them. Getting clarity on who our specific audience is and what type of content we need to create for them is key. It’s important to remember to focus on delivering value and connecting effectively to create continual business growth. Being in business means that we have a specific problem we are trying to help others solve, but listening first makes us better helpers, and better solution providers.
First and foremost, it is important to discover who your target market is, why, and where they hang out. Then focus on learning more about their pain points, questions, and possible objections they could have to your products or services. Listening before you suggest a solution will ensure that you’re not just taking shots in the dark, but that you are genuinely interested in helping them. The very best way to do this is to show interest in them as individuals, have compassion and fully understand the problems they are having, and why they are so invasive in their lives. Over time, intuitively, you will come to know the most common reasons why people are interested in the solution you provide. The best way to develop this “knowing” on what they want is to truly listen without judgment, and without trying to get something from them right away.When researching your audience, you want to do it from the perspective of a friend, someone who actually cares, and isn't just trying to get something from them. Click To Tweet
Find your target market in their environment
Get up close and personal with your audience, and blend in with their environment, where they are already at. Get to know them, here are some questions that could help you research your target market with more curiosity.
- What language do they use to describe their problem?
- What frustrations are they are experiencing?
- What do they need advice on or help with?
- What human need are they looking to meet?
- How invasive is the problem they are having?
- What is their urgency to solve the problem?
- Which things have they already tried and failed at?
- How long have they had this problem?
Tune in to what they are not saying
When researching your audience, you want to do it from the perspective of a friend, someone who actually cares, and isn’t just trying to get something from them. This approach will give you space to learn what their hot buttons are and to talk to them directly. Remember that your marketing efforts need to be tailored and directed towards your specific audience and not just sound like a canned sales letter that came from a how-to template.
When you listen close enough you will also hear the things that they are not saying directly. What they are NOT saying is very important to listen for. They may not express their direct need, but through their behavior and language you could discover things about them that they didn’t even know about themselves! This kind of information will help you stand out from the crowd and make your content seem more credible and trustworthy. This is also how you can uncover needs that people didn’t even know they had, giving you a competitive edge over people who just sell and don’t listen first.
The more you listen, the more you grow
The more time that you spend listening, the easier it will be to create content, products, and services, catered specifically to their specific needs. Listening will give you more content ideas and make it easier to find topics to cover, that really speak to them. You will discover certain patterns and trends over time, and learn easier, faster, and better ways to serve them. It is imperative to not stop listening, as most people do once they already have a following. Forgetting to listen, and getting too product or service oriented is a big mistake. By not listening, engaging, and conversing, you will see less engagement from your followers, as well as take more time to build trust, relationships, and sales.The more time that you spend listening, the easier it will be to create content, products, and services, catered specifically to their specific needs. Click To Tweet
Here is a list of the top ways you can listen to your audience. This will vary widely by industry but overall these resources and ideas will be easy to find online and are completely free for you to use.
Where do they hang out?
- Google Hangouts
- industry specific forums
- YouTube videos / channels
- Places they go to for fun
- Places they shop
- LinkedIn Groups related to your topic / industry
- Facebook groups and events
- Twitter lists
Who is already influencing them?
For this particular phase of researching your market, forums are a great resource because people feel more open sharing with other people in their same field or with their same interests. Often forums feel like more tight communities than other mainstream social media networks.Often forums feel like more tight communities than other mainstream social media networks. Click To Tweet
Finding your client in their natural environment and simply stopping to listen will enable you to deliver greater value and connect with them easier and on a deeper level. Knowing what inspires them and how to get them to take action is golden. This will help you easily grow a sustainable business that is focused on innovation and profitability, through staying attentive and flexible.