Focus on the Audience’s Goal
To celebrate a year of Find the Red Thread, we’re going to get back to basics and spend each of the next five episodes focusing on one piece of the Red Thread. This week, we’re looking at the Goal.
When we’re trying to share our irresistible idea with someone, we need to make sure that they have a reason to keep listening. The idea itself is not enough because our brains are focused on outcomes, specifically, outcomes that will help us. We’re wired to be self-interested. This means we often focus on explaining why our ideas are important to us, rather than why they’re important to our audience.
How do you make sure that you address the audience’s goal? Make sure that you start with something that audience finds wants that isn’t our idea: an irresistible outcome. Something they want that our idea will help them get, the audience’s goal. It’s not what you want for them, it’s what they want for themselves.
– Welcome to Episode 53 of Find the Red Thread. I’m your host Tamsen Webster of tamsenwebster.com. And in celebration of kicking off this new year of Find the Red Thread, I thought it would be a good time to get back to basics, to spend each of the next five episodes focusing on one piece of the Red Thread. First up, the Goal, and it’s not your goal, it’s the audience’s goal.
I get it, your idea is already totally awesome and totally irresistible, so why do we need to think through these steps to make it irresistible to other people? Because of something you may have noticed, which is that just because an idea is irresistible to you doesn’t mean it’s irresistible to other people, at least to start. And we need to make sure that when we’re trying to share this irresistible idea with someone, that they have a reason to keep listening.
And the idea itself is not enough, and here’s why. It kind of has to do with how our brains work. In order for our brains to pay attention, to even process ideas, we have to see, our brains have to see, an irresistible outcome before it’ll continue listening. It’s trying to figure out, “How do I succeed? How do I stay alive; how do I avoid trouble?” It’s looking for an outcome that helps you. We’re pretty self-serving that way. And that’s why, so often, we get this wrong when we’re trying to put our irresistible idea out to other people, is that we focus on what’s important to us, first, rather than what’s important to them, first. And remember, in order for them to listen they have to hear that.
So the big shift that we need to make, and what finding the goal of the audience represents, is making sure that we start with something that the audience finds irresistible that isn’t our idea. That we start by giving them an irresistible outcome. Something that they would readily agree that they want that our idea, that they haven’t heard yet, will help them get.
We call this the Goal. This is the audience’s goal, and that’s the thing to keep remembering, it’s the thing that the audience wants, and the thing that the audience would readily agree that they want. Because that creates an irresistible outcome if they hear it, and that’s why when we’re putting the message around our idea together, we have to start there. And we have to give that goal to the audience pretty early, so that they hear this irresistible outcome. “Oh, I can get that. I can solve this problem that I know that I have. Well then, I’m going to keep listening.”
So that’s why we start with the goal, and finding it comes back to understanding your audience in the first place. This is about understanding who is this idea really for, and sometimes that means who are you for? What do those people want? What do they struggle with? What do they value? Those things together will help you shape what that goal is, but remember, it needs to always be something that they would readily agree that they want. It’s not what you want for them, it’s what they want for themselves. Because that, to them, makes listening irresistible, and that’s the first step to making your idea irresistible.
I’m Tamsen Webster of tamsenwebster.com and this was Episode 53 of Find the Red Thread. If you enjoyed it please share, please like, please subscribe, and we’ll see you at the next one.