Everyone has a passion and often times we want to share this passion with others. Your message is important to you, but when you are delivering your message to others, you must consider where you deliver it, to whom you deliver it to, and how you deliver it. I was on the subway platform this week and I witnessed a woman going about this all wrong.
This woman was standing at the top of the stairs on the subway platform, and as everyone walked by she spoke, in the sweetest tone you could imagine, “Follow Jesus and you will go to heaven.” A valid message, but poorly executed. Most people ignored her. The few that did look her way often looked away as soon as they made eye contact. The worst execution of this message was that she even said it to a group of Hasidic Jew teens.
I stood and I watched as dozens of people came up the stairs to wait for trains and exited trains to go down the stairway and she continue to repeat the message to everyone. She didn’t seem to be connecting with anyone. So how could she have done it better?
Here are three ways:
1. Start with a Conversation
The end goal of her mission is to get people to believe her message, but she skips over all the reasoning. Brands spend a lot of time crafting the perfect message to push into the marketplace, but it is often not received. Today’s technology can leverage your message to start a conversation, which can be continue somewhere else with the people who want to talk with you. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your reasoning, values, goals and garner buy-in from your audience. With social media, even if you only convert a few people, with this method you will have people who have converted because they believe in your message. These people are more also likely to share it and, over time, this will build.
2. Know your Audience
Make sure you are starting a conversation with the right people. Pushing your message on people who are to devoted something else, only positions you for a debate. Converting people who have already bought into your competitors is the most difficult path. It is much easier to converse with people on the fence, answer their questions and help them make a decision. Almost every social media platform can assist with this task.
3. Know your Environment
This woman stood at a bottle neck of the subway traffic during high density travel times. Much like brand XYZ jumping on a social platform and expecting everyone to listen to what it says. It is disruptive, but irrelevant to the audience. Your message must be delivered in a place where people are willing to listen or prepared to listen. Just because you’ve identified a place with high traffic, doesn’t mean that it is the right place for your message. A better qualifier for the placement of your message should be reception, not traffic.
Of course, these rules only apple when you know your values, have goals, and are ready to converse with your audience. Gone are the days of pushing your message on to people. Your marketing is now a conversation, with informed people looking for more answers.