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How the Power of One Can Take Your Blog to Many

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.

Just one

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.

For example

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.

Barb Sawyers writes, blogs, teaches, talks and plays in Toronto, Canada. Her book Write Like You Talk—Only Better, available soon in print and for e-readers, can be previewed here.

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Comments

  1. Hi Barb,
    Not to brag or anything but I just got another affiliate commission because of someone that I help often for free has decided to sign up using my affiliate link. It really is true that we have greater impact when we help on more of an individual basis than by mass marketing.

    I know that good sales people understand the importance of taking their time with every individual customer.

  2. Hina Naz says:

    Nicely drafted and informative to communicate about traffic improvisation. During reading your post i remind various consequences so far and its a good memory to remind those to refresh again. I believe its a mind set approach that gives you insight to look into those corners that lead you the path of success.. Thanks and keep up the good work…

  3. Its interesting, because when I first started making videos I was talking to just everyone. I changed it up and started talking to the camera like I was talking to someone I know and I immediately got a better response.

    I am a bit of a nerd though, so I probably speak to nerds haha. This is excellent though as it makes you think about how your message is actually being presented.

    Thanks for the post,
    -Gabriel Johansson

    • Barb Sawyers says:

      If you are trying to connect with other nerds, that works. If it’s somebody else, you need to work with the pat of your personality that appeals to them. Just like conversations.

  4. Jeremiah says:

    Justin,

    I have also received affiliate sales because I actively helped people for free. When they know you truly care about their personal interest, they’re a heck of a lot more likely to take your recommendations. Just make sure you’re not putting your own interests ahead of theirs in making the recommendation.

  5. Lucy says:

    This is what I’m trying to use for my new blog. Figure out what keeps people from doing things and make it easier for them to take that leap. Its all based around the premise that people need more than just a map, they need a little red dot telling them there they are and putting all the pieces together for them.

    I’ve just started, it’ll take a while, but I’ll get there!

    Thanks for the post!

  6. Justin Dupre says:

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Marco Lee says:

    Being big starts by being small but hungry. I’d just strive to help people of my reach and then I know it could go snowballing.

  8. Hi Barb,

    Keen idea, and drills home the point we play an energy game, not a numbers game.

    Connect with like-minded folks, on a similar energetic wavelength. These folks introduce you to more like-minded folks, interested in similar causes. This is targeted marketing, law of attraction style. Don’t waste energy chasing numbers. Spend your energy wisely by connecting with folks who want what you have to offer. Check that, connecting with 1 folk, who can reach other like-minded folks ;) Or if not 1 person, a targeted group of individuals.

    Thanks!

    Ryan

  9. Good point Barb. I think it might be easier for people to blog if they just imagined they were trying to communicate with only one special person, not the whole world. And I think the message would be clearer too.

  10. Monja says:

    Very nice article, barb and so true. We often lose focus on this in the Daily Business – thanks for the reminder

  11. James Greg says:

    Its true when you help someone and the others read about it your respect grows and people believe in you. People have many different tastes some like to keep up with news others tend to spend more time in gossip. Helping Mary here is something like gossip to others who are not Mary and gossip tends to spread faster. The tribe will grow surely. Good points and helpful for especially advisers.

  12. Dan Thorley says:

    Really interesting, and I agree, I ues the same tactic of speaking to an indivdual rather than to a list through my own e-letter, which then gets posted on my blog. It makes it more personal and helps build a better customer relationship by offering more for less.

  13. Chris Moon says:

    This post came at just the right time. My blog has moments of clarity, then **splat.** I think I need to focus more on what that one person is looking for – thanks. All the best – Chris

  14. Guy Hogan says:

    This makes sense to me. I have heard it said that Judy Garland was a great live performer, not because she was a great singer, but because she sung with passion and because each member of the audience thought she was singing to each one of them. I guess you are saying the same thing about blogging.

  15. Guy Hogan says:

    This makes sense to me. I have heard it said that Judy Garland was a great live performer, not because she was a great singer, but because she sung with passion and because each member of the audience thought she was singing to each one of them. I guess you are saying the same thing about blogging.

  16. EF Cussins says:

    Thank you. It is because of my own short coming that started me dig up a nickname, and start writing. My blog TheShoppingNazi.com not only takes what I knew about saving money. It has brought about new ways I can change my own shopping methods, to save more money.

  17. Hi Barb!,

    It’s reassuring that other website owners like yourself respond on an individual basis. I can never ignore an email, even if my reply can be short sometimes.

    All the best,

    David Edwards

  18. Great Article Barb,

    I think it is very important to remember that we all want to connect and feel like we made a difference. Understanding that and implementing it into your interaction with your readers/clients/friends/family etc. makes them feel like they make a difference and are special.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Matt

  19. Hi Barb

    This post makes so much sense to me. It is hard to write ‘for everyone’ when are trying to teach something like how to paint watercolours digitally with Corel Painter. My audience is split between people looking at art (and hopefully buying) and people wanting to learn something specific from my demonstrations and tutorials (the larger audience).

    Great to meet another Torontonian blogging! I really enjoyed your blog. Very helpful advice.

    Cheers,
    Joan

  20. Great post Barb, you are right, we should be focusing on one person instead of a certain type of people.

    I used to think I should write for buyers of the product or service I’m trying to promote, but I’m going to give your theory a try because it makes so much more sense.

  21. Vikas Bhatt says:

    Blogging is fun for me. I enjoy doing it a lot.

  22. Blogging is also not just about writing blog posts but also commenting on other blogs if you have something you think you can share or help other people out there. Like a problem shared is a problem halved or better out than in or if you have information to share with the world then share it. Thats what the Internet should be about IMO.

  23. subjex says:

    Its true when you help someone and the others read about it your respect grows and people believe in you. People have many different tastes some like to keep up with news others tend to spend more time in gossip.