It’s easy to become disconnected from your core or target audience. It doesn’t happen immediately. It’s slow and sometimes even unintentional. Then one day we wake up and are surprised that the world around us has changed when we, in fact, are the ones who have changed.
The temptation to think that the way we think, the things we like, and the feelings we have are shared by everyone is always present and seductive. (Doesn’t everyone see and experience the world the same way we do? Of course…NOT!)
I see this most often in professionals who don’t spend much time with the clients they serve. The more removed from the tension your product or service solves, the less likely you are to share the same worldview with the person or entity most likely to benefit from the product or service you provide. It’s easy to place all your stock in what statistics, analytics, and data tells us. The only problem is that we have to know enough to connect the dots and draw not just reasonable conclusions but conclusions that keep us in touch with our core audience.
Here are four easy ways to stay connected to your core audience:
- Find an insider. Look for someone who fits your ideal customer or client profile.
- Ask lots of questions. You need to ask good questions. Don’t try to convince them how right you are.
- Listen. Just stop talking and soak it in.
- Imagine experiencing the world through their eyes. Read books they would read. Watch movies they would watch. Visit places they would visit. Do as much as you can to create similar experiences.
Just like relationships with our families, spouses, and children take effort, so do the connection we have with those we exist to serve. It is a dangerous place to be when we assume that the way we see things is shared by others (or really anybody else). Those of us willing to do the hard work necessary to remain in the midst of the tension of our clients and customers will find a new level of insight that will ultimately lead to a breakthrough.
When was the last time you checked your assumptions about the people you exist to serve?
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.