Whether you’re a maker, a creative entrepreneur, a blogger or anyone else trying to reach an audience, one of the trickiest things to do is connect with them. At first, it can feel like you’re shouting into an empty void, being met with nothing but silence.
And of course, that silence is deafening. It makes space for your inner critic to rise up and take centre stage. Tapping the microphone it takes great pleasure in listing all the reasons why no one is responding, why you suck at this and exactly how you will spectacularly fail.
Now, I’m not going to smugly sit here and promise that with my tips you’ll connect with a huge audience who will immediately propel you to success… because, well, that just isn’t true (sorry).
What I will offer however is firstly the promise that even if you feel like you’re shouting into a void, it’s so important for you to KEEP shouting!
We learn by doing, trying new things, creating. If we all gave up because no one was commenting, the world would be a much emptier place. You also never know who’s watching from the sidelines silently.
I’ll also offer some of the ways you can connect with your audience. Try them out, see what feels natural and good to you and keep on trying. Audiences, and especially engaged audiences take time to grow.
Through your writing
Whether you write a blog, newsletters or website copy, your words have power. Your words are one of your greatest tools to connect with your audience. If you can capture someone’s attention through your words, you can connect with them.
A great way to do this is simply by providing value. Think about your audience, the type of lives they lead and what you can offer them. Is it career advice? Sewing patterns? DIY ideas? When you create value, you give people a reason to connect with you.
To take things a little deeper, getting personal and sharing your story with your audience offers connection on a human level. It’s a way to tell your audience you’re a human, just like them, with faults, flaws and feelings.
Within your writing, consider putting yourself in the narrative more – let your audience get to know you. This is how you build trust.
Through social media
Social media is a tool pretty much all of us use to connect with our audience (right?). It’s the perfect way to interact with your audience, make real connections and keep your brand/service at the front of people’s minds.
On these platforms, to engage others you need to be engaging! Be curious and inquisitive. Ask questions, start discussions, be, you know… social. This is also the perfect place to show off more of your personality and the human behind the brand.
Gaining customers/clients seems to be more of a slow-burn process these days. A customer may watch you on stories and like your tweets for months before actually buying something from you.
And in those months you’ve been providing value, showing your authority and letting them into your world. So of course, when they decide they need whatever it is you offer, you’ll be the first person that comes to mind.
Through video / audio
Podcasts and Instagram stories have become such go-to platforms for creators and consumers alike. Being able to see and hear the people behind a brand/service is just another way to connect.
I love Sara Tasker’s #talktocamerachallenge on stories as it’s encouraging us to get past our own insecurities (no, the sound of your voice isn’t awful I promise) and connect, face to face with our audience.
Chatting about work on Instagram
In real life
Thought I’d save the scariest one til last. Well, scary for me at least. Online I feel confident, knowledgeable and comfortable. Meeting new people offline, I feel small, awkward and incredibly uncomfortable.
But of course after that initial ‘arghhh’ feeling, I generally relax and open up (especially if wine is involved). And, I almost always leave smiling because there really is nothing quite like in-person connection.
So this would be my final challenge to you. Go along to that event, message that Instagram group, take connection into the real world. And of course, follow up with an email/message with any connections you do make – send them your website or social profiles, keep the connection going.
I hope these ideas encourage you to look at the way you’re currently connecting and spot any gaps you could fill. And if you’re already doing everything you can? Keep going. Your right people will unearth you like a rare stone.
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