The following comes to us from 1080 Group learning strategist Katie Stroud.
Finding an audience to speak to is challenging. It’s also vital and often overlooked. You want to reach as many people as possible so you cast your nets wide.
But that can actually reduce your success. The secret?
Write a one-person invitation.
Let me show you what I mean. In 1080Group’s market, we target organizations with high stakes in designing, delivering, or managing powerfully engaging and compelling webinars (or webcasts, or online presentations, or “synchronous computer mediated communications”). That potential audience (and breadth of our clients) includes people in sales, marketing, training, HR, inspirational speakers, political leaders, and the list goes on.
What kind of message would you deliver that includes all those people? How to deliver a “great webinar?”
I think a few might attend, but why would they attend my webinar instead of all the others sporting the same generic name? You could try tweaking the headline to see if you might be able to entice a bigger audience, but that’s still not the “power of one.”
Here’s an example with Sherri. Just Sherri. Let’s start by getting clear about knowing her.
Sherri is an instructional designer for a large software company with a large customer base to train. Her problem: how much her trainees retain and apply directly affects whether customers use her company’s product. If they don’t use her software, the IT department labels it “shelfware.”
There goes the renewal. And the bottom line.
Sherri and her team are not in a position to crack the whip and insist that her audience submit to taking a test and proving that they know the content. She can’t force them to do anything, so the content needs to inspire informed action, the visuals need to make them want to watch and engage with the instructor. She needs to trainees directly associate successful use of her software with their own success and, as a way of getting there, learning what she’s there to teach them.
Here are the two powerful truths in the power of one:
One, specificity sells.
In today’s short-attention span world, most potential audiences don’t have time to go hunting for meaning. Your headline needs to cut through the noise and, as best you can, say “I’m talking to YOU, I understand where you’re at, and I’ve got a practical solution for you.”
So what if we address Sherri’s needs in a webinar called “7 ways to help your audience remember your webinar content.”
Do you think anyone else will come?
Two, there’s a difference between target market and actual market.
Just because you speak to a single person doesn’t mean that’s the only kind of person who shows up. Roger tells a story of a firm he worked for in yesteryear who defined their target market as “a 51 year old white male with six-digits of investments in the market who trades in their own portfolio at least six times a month.” Obviously not all their clients were 51 or men.
In the case of Sherri, I think we would see people from sales, marketing, training, HR, and the list goes on. When you’re looking for an audience to speak to in your webinar, try talking to one person. You’ll find that one person is bigger than all the people who could benefit from your webinar message.
What do you think? How do you go about targeting your audience?