“The narrower your focus, the broader your reach.” That’s my take on what author Bill Schley (affiliate) calls the “Universal Paradox” of communication.
It’s a paradox because it seems impossible to be true: if you focus on narrowing your message, how can you possibly reach more people?
The simple answer: clarity. When you focus your message, you’re more clear not only about what you’re trying to say, but to whom, and why.
Think of it this way: Remember the visceral experience of actually turning a radio dial to get the station you wanted? Even if you don’t, you’ve probably still had the experience of driving out of range of your favorite radio station, or finally, finally driving back into it.
The static. The snippets of sound. Almost hearing it… but not quite.
That’s not a fun experience. Especially with a super small physical dial — the tiniest fraction of movement could mean the difference between the annoying SHHHHHHHHHH of… nothing… and the sweet, sweet sounds of the yacht rock. (Yes, that’s a Spotify playlist my husband put together. I know, I know: I’m a lucky woman!)
Then suddenly? BAM. There they are, loud and clear. Ahhhhhhhh.
The station comes through because it (quite literally) only broadcasts at one frequency. It’s focused there. You know when you hear it that you’ve found it. You recognize the station based on the sound (assuming you didn’t tune in during an ad break).
But, like a radio station, you can’t “focus” on reach. You can only focus to reach. That’s why the Universal Paradox is true. If you focus on reach, on trying to aim your message at multiple audiences (multiple frequencies!) at the same time, your message loses strength.
No one wants to listen to static. In fact, no one does. They tune out, they tune away.
So if you want to broaden your reach? Focus on focus. Focus your audience. Focus your outcome. When you do that, your idea will come through, loud and clear.When you focus your message, you're more clear not only about what you're trying to say, but to whom, and why. Click To Tweet
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