This guest post is by Barb Sawyers of Sticky Communication.
Changing the world, one person at a time. I first heard this expression back in the eighties as the tagline for Apple Computers. Since then, it’s been borrowed my thousands of causes and brands. It’s that good.
But still, people are appealing to market segments, stakeholders and other big-box groups. Bloggers are often advised to know their niches. Though smaller, a niche is still an impersonal group.
Flip your model
If you’re not getting the results you deserve, try flipping your relationship model from many to one. After all, that’s how you make friends.
This individual should be the person you most want to connect with. Not your happy fans, customers or followers, nor the people whose minds are firmly shut to you. Pick the people who are sitting on the fence, just waiting for a gentle push to your side.
Actually, I should say person, not people, because I want you to think about one person who represents those fence sitters. Maybe this person resembles someone you know fairly well, from personal experience, market research or whatever. Probably you to have to use some imagination to fill in the gaps.
Now ask yourself: What gets this person up in the morning? What keeps him awake at night? Answer those two questions and you can tap into these deep passions and fears that nudge the fence sitter to your side.
Let me use a cause blogger as an example. You blog because you are passionate about helping starving children. That gets you up in the morning. But you wake up in the middle of the night worried that you aren’t conveying the passion or knowledge that will persuade people to donate.
Normally you write for your niche, well-educated, well-off people in urban centres and a list of other stakeholders. Today talk to one person who you have invented, based partly on the woman you enjoyed chatting to at a recent event.
You know that this person, Mary let’s call her, is genuinely concerned about a lot of causes. She enjoys working as a family lawyer, but she loves doing what’s right for her clients’ children. She loses sleep when these kids get caught in tough situations and because her grown children no longer need her. Now write for Mary.
You will not only connect with Mary, but you will attract people like Mary. Your tribe will grow.
Let’s take another example, the blogger selling search engine optimization services. Make me your fence sitter.
I get up every morning excited about what I’m going to blog about, how to connect with more people through writing. But I ‘m often lying awake after midnight, worried I’m not getting enough page views but afraid of choosing an SEO dude who will rip me off or, worse still, incur the wrath of the algorithm gods.
You need to reassure me with examples of real people just like me who you’ve helped. You need to explain, in non-nerd terms, why the search engines are cool with your approach.
That said, I don’t expect any quality improvements in my SEO spam. Although they pretend, the spammers don’t read my posts, let alone think deeply about people like me.
Catch the best
Sure, there wouldn’t be so many spammers and other blind mass marketers if it didn’t work. If you cast a wide enough net, you will haul in some stupid or desperate fish.
But if you want me, Mary or other smart, nice people to jump over to your side, start with just one.
Take a bite of the apple in the knowledge that everything starts with one person.