6 Ways to Be Heard in a Noisy Market

There’s more content available online than ever before. Your target prospects’ attention has never been in so much demand by so many. There was a time when you could create a website with some mediocre content and it would still generate sufficient traffic. Those days are long gone and a new approach to being heard is required amongst all the other content vying for your prospects’ focus.

How to get engage with your audience

  1. Find a platform where your audience gathers. There are plenty of platforms out there. Pick one or two and get good at those. We always recommend creating a Facebook Page; Facebook is the ultimate marketing tool – whoever your market is, they are on Facebook and FB’s incredibly analytics lets you target your prospects for as little as $5 a day. After Facebook, there’s YouTube, Pinterest or Twitter: choose the medium that is most suited for your content: YouTube for video presentations; Pinterest if your content is artistic/visual-based. Twitter is perhaps better suited once you have established an audience.
  2. Be smart about your connections and relationships. Having tons of Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections can be both good and bad. On the one hand, having a lot of people in your network gives you a higher chance of increasing your visibility, but on the other hand, it is unlikely that each of those people is going to be interested in hearing you. Quality beats quantity. It’s better to have a smaller, highly-engaged audience who are interested in what you do and say than a large, vague audience that is indifferent.
         Invest in nurturing the relationships with influencers and others who post interesting and engaging content. Not only is it a good way to learn, but it is very possible that these people might be in your network in the future. As you make more contacts, you can begin leveraging their audiences too.
  3. Ask your audience what they’re struggling with. You are not in the business of creating needs; you are in the business of satisfying them. Instead of guessing what you think your audience would buy, simply ask them. Many experts skip this process either because they don’t know how to do it or they rather get onto the fun part of creating products. This is a big mistake and more time, money and effort is wasted creating products that no one asked for than any other activity. A simple solution is to create a poll to gather data about what an audience is struggling with, i.e. conduct market research for future products. You can create polls on Facebook and the feedback (about 100 replies minimum) will give you a good idea of what to create and what to skip.
  4. Be helpful. Have an attitude of service. You’re there to help your audience as much as possible. This is how visitors become subscribers and then fans. Give more than you take. It’s the only way to compete in a content-rich world; you have to produce better content, offer great value and go further to help your fans succeed. Don’t see it as a waste of time or effort; by building a raving fan-base, you’ll find that your followers will start to do a lot of your marketing for you. They’ll share your content with their network; they praise your products and they drive new people to your list.
  5. Be scrupulously honest. A lie, even a small one, can betray the trust of a vast number of your customers and damage your goodwill permanently. We understand that making money is a powerful motivator and is the very essence of your business, but lying and manipulating customers into giving you money is the worst sales method on the market today. You may be able to trick someone once and get away with it but that person will never buy from you again – and they’ll tell others not to buy from you either.
    What makes this behaviour even more foolish is that it’s completely unnecessary. If you feel tempted to lie to cover a perceived weakness or flaw, don’t. Use that weakness or flaw to position yourself, i.e. you don’t have to be the #1 expert in the market, you could instead position yourself as a researcher, someone who is trying to see what works – and share your experience with others. There are enough niches and angles out there that you can create a platform for yourself by just being yourself. The good news is that the very fact that you’re open and honest with your clients is already making you stand out. Don’t let that go to waste.
  6. Focus on building trust. Here is a fact – people don’t know you. They know that you (hopefully) write excellent, engaging content, and your website provides great value. But they don’t know who you are. It’s harder to convince others to buy from someone they don’t know/have never heard of. Your goal is to build trust. One of the best ways to do this is via a webinar or video content, which is an excellent step towards building trust. Another important step is collecting social proof, such as testimonials. Building trust is a slow process, but the results from all these efforts is a solid marketing system that you can build an entire empire on.

Takeaway points

  1. Go where your audience gathers. Produce great content that helps them solve their problems in your area of expertise.
  2. Don’t copy others. Be yourself. Bring your unique personality and experience to your business. That’s your competitive advantage that no one can copy or take away.
  3. Have an attitude of service.

Action steps

  1. Create your Facebook Page.
  2. Choose a second platform, e.g. YouTube, Pinterest, Slideshare and start creating content for that platform. Don’t be tempted to try to be everywhere. Just choose 1-2 platforms in total and get good at those. Quality over quantity content.
  3. Practice presenting to video – it’s the fastest way to create content and build your brand. You may not plan to produce video content right now but if you’re serious about marketing and monetizing your know-how, you will not be able to ignore its value. If you’re not comfortable appearing on video, start practising now, dig your well before you’re thirsty.

Photo credit: Stefan Powell via Flickr.com / CC BY 2.0

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