Who is your target audience? Make sure your messaging resonates in a way they can and are willing to share.
Sitting in on a webinar/teleconference today, I realized all of a sudden that the messaging seemed stuck in the past, all while discussing the leaders of the future. This blog is my way of trying to sort out how to get messaging to resonate with my target market. I hope it may help you reach yours.
How Does Your Messaging Resonate?
When we attempt to deliver a message, the goal is for it to be heard and remembered.
Who is your target?
- Young Adults
- Middle Aged
I swear we all hear different frequencies. Like different radio stations. You know they are all broadcasting but if you’re not tuned to that frequency, you can’t hear what they are saying.
A child’s mind is amazing. Inquisitive and totally open until we scare them into protecting themselves.
Children are attracted to bright colours and fun sounding tunes. Raise your voice and you scare them. Try to make them do something and there is a chance they dig in their heels and you could be a long time getting them to listen any more let alone do what you want them to.
Typically, bribes work. Offer them a star and they’ll do just about anything. They are just looking for your approval.
Now, these are strange creatures indeed. I’ve read articles that claim that there is literally a disconnect in their brains. Not all the neurons are firing!
They reach that stage where they don’t hear much outside of what is going on in their heads. You need to get their attention but it usually happens on their terms. For example, my wife used to say she was glad she chose to work at home so that she was there when they came home from class. There was about a 10 minute window when they got home and were still excited about their day. If you missed the 10 minutes, the opportunity was lost. They have moved on and forgot all about what happened earlier.
If you want to communicate with a teenager, it has to be brief and when they are distracted by whatever you used as bait to get their attention! Once they figure out what you’re up to, they shut down and move on.
This group is a little more focused than the teenagers. They might even focus on your message for an hour at a time! If you can convince them you might actually know something interesting.
Teenagers and young adults use similar communication channels. You need to figure out what works for them.
- At the dinner table (Rare)
- Social Media (Don’t creep)
- Driving somewhere (anywhere!)
Meet them in neutral territory and give them respect. Rember they are adults now, not kids any more. You can no longer tell them what to do. You need to win their confidence and support.
If you are lucky enough that they “friend” you, don’t be obvious about watching what they are up to. They will shut that down pretty quick. Much like when you are in the room with them, listen.
Don’t talk too much. They will consider it preaching or lecturing when you carry on and it just becomes a buzz in their ears. Like that annoying fly at a picnic. Eventually they will tire of the droning sound and look to eliminate it. It can hurt when they reach the point they just want to squish it.
When you stop judging young adults and give them the respect they deserve, they can be quite exciting and a lot of fun to be around. The challenge is that most of us in the middle aged and seniors groups have a hard time accepting that they might actually know more in some cases than we do.
By this time, we have matured and have experience to draw on. When dealing with like minded people, they are likely to respect you enough to give their attention and then make an informed decision. You still need to win trust.
This group will be ok meeting in groups and you can pull out the old Power Point shows. Just make sure you talk to them and not just read the slides. They want you to prove you deserve their attention.
Don’t be telling this group what to do. Sure, they may accept that you have authority and have to do what you want. Until they quit.
There was a time when seniors meant retired and aged. These days, many don’t have the financial resources to retire and work well past their “best before” date. Good luck with this group. Seniors are more like children when you try to make them do something they don’t want to do. With some exceptions, most seniors don’t like:
- Social Media
- Pretty much anything electronic
With seniors, it’s belly to belly communication. They want to see your face and shake your hand.
Even if you have implied authority, good luck telling seniors what to do. They don’t care!
Know Your Audience
Figure out which group you are trying to reach and communicate in a manner that works for them. You may have to reach to each group individually. If you are lucky, you can find the leaders in the groups and they will help bring the rest to your table. When dealing with a mixed group, make sure you have something for everyone.
I hope this resonates with you.
Make it a great day!
P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for differences. I’m thankful for opportunities to share ideas. I’m thankful when my mind opens.
What are you thankful for today?
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