The Truth About the Hidden Lives of Your Audience

This was a very tough week.

Having your own business and balancing family and holidays is a lot of work. Throw in a death in the family and an unforeseen trip to Iowa from Seattle (and all the turmoil that entails…), and trying to get back in the groove seems insurmountable.

Consider this when you are crafting messages, boosting posts, networking, writing blog posts, speaking with customers and colleagues, and going through your usual day. What is the likelihood that any one of these people has “other stuff happening” in their lives? How does this affect how you reach out to them? How do you create, curate, and communicate online (and connect off-line…) in such a way that, while remaining relevant to those who are all right at this time, also takes into account those who are struggling in some way? This core authenticity, how you remain effectively Human (the foundation of Human-to-Human or #H2H marketing) online is both a strength in building relationships with people, and can make you truly different and more easily discernible through the noise that is the Internet.

An interesting way to think of this involves thinking about how you approach others online in comparison to how you approach others off-line. One of the conversational methodologies for off-line conversation is to speak more softly, rather than more loudly, in order to encourage others to lean in close and catch what you’re saying. Of course, they need to feel initially that what you’re saying is of value and interest (or funny…..). As you lower your voice, they will get closer to make sure they get the message. What might this look like on your Twitter feed or your Facebook Business page….or blog?
You need to have their interest, first. A story can be a wonderful way to bring them in closer.
I was meeting with someone earlier this week who has a fascinating story that led him from one strong, solid career to an utterly different one. I encouraged him to think how to tell the story in such a way that would highlight the authenticity of his experience, around which his new career and business are centered. The audience he desires to build, and many others, would find his story one of hope, value, and to which they could draw parallels that would encourage them to contact him, or at least come back for more.

The straightest line between a human being and the truth is a story.

How do you tell yours? How do you approach the stories of your audience and customers?

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