Hang Out With Your Audience

David likes Mugshots hamburgers. Knows the lyrics to every 80’s hit. Is down from 463 to 412 pounds. Carrie’s favorite color is orange. Has 3 girls and a boy. Can rock a stage as a speaker like nobody’s business. Chances are good you did not know about Mugshots or the color orange simply because you don’t hang out with David and Carrie. You’re not friends. All sorts of words are used to describe relationships… colleagues, associates, co-workers, partner, acquaintance, etc. But those are terms of distance. Words that show you know people, but you don’t KNOW people. Since we’re looking at KNOWING your Audience, lets take the relationship deeper. Get to know them as friends. Go beyond the shiny surface. Hang out with your people. Spend time with them. Become their friend. Here are three of the easiest and best ways in our hyper-society… #1 Facebook It’s no accident that you “friend” people on Facebook. Folks love to share their lives. Often they over share. Don’t just stalk. Interact. Use “likes” and comments to show your engagement and to further conversation if needed. Later on, as you get to know your audience, you can ask about their children, work, events, etc to show you you’ve moved from another name on the list to someone who actually cares. #2 Forums While it’s easy to spend too much time in forums, people do tend to ask a lot of questions and even rant in forums. It’s a more emotional medium than Facebook as well. People feel they are in a trusted arena. Facebook is broad and forums are narrow. The focus...

Eat with Your Audience

My boys and I love Waffle House. Maybe it’s the golden waffles. Maybe it’s the bacon. Maybe it’s the risk associated with less than stellar health ratings. Regardless, we talk, we laugh we have a blast. That’s usually what happens when sharing a meal. So here’s the suggestion… take your audience out to eat. Literally. Reserve a table for five. Then tweet or post or email or podcast an invitation. The first four to reply get a seat at the table. You pick up the tab. Begin by having everyone give a self-introduction… Name. Where they live. What they do for a living. Ask four questions during the meal… #1 What was your favorite thing to do as a child? #2 What event shaped your life more than any other? #3 In five years where do you want to be? #4 What’s your biggest challenge with _______? The blank in #4 is your main topic or market. Most of the time we sit around trying to figure out what’s happening in the hearts of audience. Just take them out. Ask a few questions. Stop guessing and imagining. Get to know real people. P.S. This is the third article in the Know Your Audience...

Mom Turns 70

My mom turns 70 today! For most of my time at home she was a single parent. I was a mess. And they had not diagnosed or medicated whatever it was i had! But she worked hard. Supported me and my sister, and I look back with a lot of smiles and great memories! Saturday night we had a birthday party for her and she was super surprised. There were a lot of laughs, tears and good times. One of the biggest reasons for my success is because of mom’s complete bias. She always pumped us up. Always told us we could do anything. Always said we were the smartest. Always cheered us on even when we were losing. Always comforted us when we failed. Always celebrated with “I knew you could” when we succeeded. Here’s to you mom and other moms around the world who keep encouraging, building and...