How Can I Connect with My Audience?
Whyyyyyy is content marketing so freakin’ challenging?
That’s easy: it’s because there’s no one right way to “do marketing” and no one right formula for creating good content that your particular audience craves!
Marketing feels slippery because:
- Nothing stays still - it’s all constantly evolving
- There’s no cookie-cutter solution
- Everything is nuanced & subjective
- What works for one doesn’t work for others
One thing that doesn’t change in the marketing world is that people buy from people they know, like & trust…
Which makes your goal with content marketing to connect with your audience – so they’ll come to know, like, & trust you.
But how DO we connect with our audience?
What DO we say? How DO we do it?
Especially when we’re overloaded with everything else in our lives and marketing’s the last thing we’ve got time for or want to take care of!
That’s why today I’m breaking down ONE vital way to help you connect with your audience more easily…
Relational vs. Transactional Content Marketing.
Relating recently became a struggle in my own home…
After months & months of stilted conversations with my teenager, one day I realized that most interactions with my 15-year-old son sounded like this:
Jack! Clean out the cat box.
Jack! Did you do your homework?
You know - real deep stuff. 🙄
These stunted conversations were creating a deep ache in me…
We’ve always been close and I really enjoy talking with Jack.
This kid is independent, smart, & funny as hell, and I continue to MOSTLY enjoy his company.
But these stunted conversations were creating a chasm between us. Not the “I hate you, get out of my life” type that was my teenage experience.
More like, “Mom, I love you, but we don’t have anything in common.”
^^In a fit of “honesty” he actually said that to me once. 💔
In my desperate attempt to engage him, I realized I’d been TACTICAL & TRANSACTIONAL with him…
relying on questions like, DID YOU DO THIS THING? or “conversation starters” like, DO THAT THING.
Shockingly, I wasn’t connecting with my audience!
The same thing happens in our marketing –
partly because we’re so good at what we do that we cut straight to the point in our efforts to connect with our audience…
Or we give “how to” information – which we THINK connects with our audience, but ultimately, it’s stuff they’re overwhelmed by and can’t take care of on their own…
Or we focus on transactional content: “I have this thing, and you need this thing, so buy this thing.”
Staying too long on the Transactional Path makes marketing WAY frustrating for us because the lack of audience connection creates a lack of conversions.
After deep personal reflection to consider how I could meet my son where he is & develop a more relational style of communication…
I realized my answers also work to connect with our audiences in our business marketing & content creation!
So – let’s start here:
Are you being ‘transactional’ instead of ‘relational’ with your audience?
Marketing today requires a relationship with your audience.
In the “wild wild west” days of online business, this was not necessarily true!
Many people achieved success with transactional marketing; trying to connect with an audience was not their primary focus!
Today – our audience has changed: they’re savvy, smart, and self-protective.
To connect with our audience is to respect them.
It’s to treat them like humans rather than a wallet ready to be opened.
I call it Humanistic Marketing, and it takes a lot of effort – not gonna lie.
Creating a connection with your audience can also feel like you’re doing all the heavy lifting in this “relationship”, making you feel this “relationship” is one-sided.
There will be many, many, MANY times when you’ll wonder,
Hellooooo? Is anyone out there?
Should I just open the window & yell out, for all the good this is doing?
You’ll feel like you’re telling your stories, sharing your value, creating worthwhile, engaging content – with very little from the other side.
That’s partially because right now, audiences are overwhelmed & at capacity, but they are still consuming content.
And they still expect to be “wooed” by you. They still expect to be engaged with and treated with respect.
They’re still eager to learn, wanting to move their lives & businesses forward, needing your expertise!
That’s why showing up regularly with bite-sized, interesting, useful, engaging content is your job to help develop this relationship!
How to create content that develops a relationship & connects with your audience:
Make sure your content is:
- Nurturing – you understand content marketing is a marathon and you’re willing to put in the time & effort.
**Do you have a realistic, sustainable marketing plan that keeps you on track and doesn’t burn you out?
- Consistent – your audience knows what to expect of you and looks forward to hearing from you regularly.
** This is a balance: what does consistency look like to you and what can your audience handle?
- Human – you’re not a robot. You share your stories, opinions, perspectives to attract your Exact-Right Audience, while repelling those who are NOT.
**This doesn’t mean you have to bleed all over the internet with an epic, from-the-depths-of-humanity story in an effort to connect with your audience, nor does it mean you have to share private aspects of your life!
But when you’re a personal brand, it does mean you need to show up as human –
Here’s how you can assess your content:
- When you email your list, is it to merely sell something rather than connect & engage?
- Could your audience tell that a piece is created by you – based on your voice, the details you provide, the stories you tell, your particular writing style?
- How regularly do you show up? Do you ghost your audience for months, then return to sell them the latest course you’ve been working on – which of course was the reason for your absence?
- Do you show your face in the visual aspects of your marketing?
This is far more important that you believe it is.
Trust me from first-hand experience in hiding for YEARS behind graphics in my content.
- Does your audience regard you as an expert & authority – and as a human being?
Me, showing my face. Again. ⤵️
How does this strategy look in my real life?
In my house, to connect with my audience of one, Jack, I changed some behaviors, and - sure as shit - they were HIGHLY INCONVENIENT!
For example, being IN the kitchen as he’s having second dinner late at night was a pain in the ass.
But the proximity to him invited conversation.
The conversations are often about the latest John Oliver videos he’s bingeing, a crypto article, or rap song he’s humming by some dude named Yung Gravy.
I usually have VERY LITTLE understanding of what he’s talking about.
Many, many, many of these conversations leave me shaking my head, wondering when I got so old that I no longer understand anything about the world…
BUT!! I’m in closer RELATION to him than ever before! It was SO WORTH IT!!
To connect with your audience, focus on knowing what they need to hear from you, using the words they use, the topics they’re interested in, and answering the questions that burn inside them.
Every week I offer a live drop-in content support call inside the Content Creator’s Studio!
It’s to help you UNcomplicate Your Content & make it all a lot easier!
This a group coaching program gives you weekly access to content support, accountability, and trainings that help your content do more FOR you –
Making it so much easier to achieve your business goals without spending hours each week creating content that no one sees…
Learn about the program here: