What is it that causes people to want to hear from you more than anything else?
In marketing we talk about “value” a lot. Value is important, but I feel value often speaks to need more often than it does want. Serving needs is a minimum requirement. We want to stand out and be seen as more than that. We have to attract people who want to read our content, who are happy to work with us.
While you can certainly attract a lot of people by solving their problems and helping them achieve their goals, if you can add the “know, like and trust” factor then you elevate the experience of dealing with you to a much better place.
It’s the difference between being on hold listening to muzak and looking forward to a concert by your favourite band. Both are music, but the experience is clearly different.
The Geek Intersection
All of us are geeks. We all have the capacity to be passionate about something peculiar to our individual mixture of experience and interest.
I’m blessed to be geeky about probably too many things. If you see Tony Clark and I interacting on Twitter, yes it could be about work, but it is just as likely to be about Star Wars or gentle banter with Chris Brogan about how much Batman is not the world’s best superhero (that would be Spider-Man or Iron Man, IMO). People walk up at events, or in social, and ask us about content marketing, conversion or social media all the time. Will we answer? Probably. Want to get us really engaged in conversation? Have something real to say (don’t fake it) about something fun that we share.
— Chris Garrett ? (@chrisgarrett) June 20, 2012
You might not yet have found the thing that makes you light up so much that you can’t stop thinking or talking about it. Whatever your interests, when they intersect with someone else’s that is a powerful way to make a connection.
So why do people keep their passions buried? Why do we hide our nerdiness from the world?
We need to connect as humans. Your shortest route to connection is from your passions to theirs. The internet is a geekiness delivery system, so use it! Every topic imaginable has a community. When you can combine the things that make you you, with your personality, your valuable content, and your audience, that is when you really start to attract an engaged audience of people who like you.
Tony and I weave the interests we have in common into our podcast, The Mainframe. It’s about creating and launching products, and will expand into many more areas of marketing technology, but if that was all it was then it wouldn’t be us. Over the years I have mentioned comics, Terry Pratchett, Star Trek, robotics, retro computers and prog rock into most of my talks. Want to guess which pieces of my speeches people bring up years later? The only time I have had a bigger response is when I have talked about the birth of my daughter, but I can’t really go and cry every time I give a presentation.
Find what you have in common with your audience. What makes you light up outside of work, family and business. Find how that intersects with your community and your topic. See how it allows more people in. Then let me know how it works out for you 🙂