Monday, October 26, 2015

Who's Your Target Audience?

We can easily get caught up in trying to be and deliver too many things to too many people. When looking to build our success it is far too easy to fall into the belief that the more people we please the greater our success will be.  However, it can quickly become overwhelming, and clearly impossible, to please everyone.  So where should you focus?

Your family and friends will always have input.
Your boss will certainly highlight their needs.
Your co-workers will offer their own take about what they want.
Your clients and customers have yet another perspective.

When you are just starting to build your career or new business it can become difficult to direct your energies to those activities that will best serve to propel you forward.  You have limited and finite resources.  You clearly can`t create a product that suits everyone`s needs, can`t deliver a speech that resonates fully with everyone, can`t complete a project in a way that satisfies all.  How do you decide what to do, what to say, what to deliver, what to offer?

Consider using the 2 Review process (with thanks to Seth Godin for this) to serve as your litmus test. When you look at the speech you intend to deliver, the business services you are offering, the project you're initiating, write two reviews for it; a five star and a one star review.

  • 5 Star Review.  Write a review from the perspective of someone who was blown away by what you did and delivered.  This is a review from someone who totally gets what you're doing and loves it.  They admire your ambition, your drive, your vision, your message.
  • 1 Star Review.  Then write a review from the perspective of someone who hates your message, who is critical of the work you are doing and the direction you are taking.
Now consider... who are you investing your time in pleasing?  Is your focus aimed at turning the naysayers into advocates or are you focusing on strengthening the deliverables to those who are championing you?

Regardless of whether you are just starting your career or business or have the launch of both well behind you, playing to those who love you will always prove to boost your success more than will trying to convert others to your cause.  

Becoming clear about what people love, whether about you or your product, and giving them more of it is the secret sauce to success.  There is a reason that corporations invest millions of dollars in consumer research... the need to continue to satisfy their customers.  You are no different.

The time that you spend in trying to minimize the negative feedback and criticism, to convert the naysayers, is time away from satisfying those that are ready to buy - you and your services. Typically, the greater your success the greater the number of critics you will have.
If you have no critics you'll likely have no success.    Malcolm X
All of the 'greats' in their field have clarity over their vision, and hold true to what their customers, not their critics, value and want from them.  Sure, it's hard not to take it personally at times, but recognise the source.  Typically, those that are critical of you, your message and your actions, are those who are not taking the steps that you are.  Their attempts to hold you back are more indicative of their insecurities than they are reflective of you.

Your goal should be to create with the goal of receiving more 5 Star Reviews and not with the intention of trying to avoid the 1 Stars.  Often, the best sign that you are 'making it' is that there are people who are ticked off by that very fact.  The best way to deal with these folks is, of course, to follow Taylor Swift's advice and 'Shake it Off!'

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