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…
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.
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 of a forum is usually related to a specific topic, so folks feel more comfortable saying what they really mean.
Again, interact. Answer questions. Give advice. Private message if the conversation requires more privacy.
#3 Face to Face
Whether you share a meal together or meet at an event, getting face to face is the most important connection.
You get to see expressions. Hear the tone of the words. And you certainly feel the emotion of the moment.
With each of the encounters answer the following questions…
What are the recurring conversations?
What are the recurring problems?
What are the recurring dreams?
The answers will help you know your audience at a deeper level which helps you engage far below the surface.