“How do I find my audience?”
There are lots of answers to that, of course. And, since I escaped the agency world and its focus on marketing tactics, I’m not going to give you that kind of answer.
Why not? Because all of those research tools, advertising techniques, and inbound strategies don’t work if you’re not talking to the right people.
“Now, hold up, Tamsen,” you say, “I know who my people are.” I’m sure you do. After all, you’re smart, capable, and good, right? (Yes, you are.)
So if the “right people” aren’t the problem, then maybe the problem is in the “talking to” piece. And this is where I see a lot of smart, capable, and good people stumble a bit. Why? Because they’re trying to solve the wrong problem for their audience.
“Alright, Tamsen, now you’re starting to annoy me. I know what problem I solve for my audience. And it’s definitely the right problem.”
But see, there’s the problem you know they have, and then there’s the problem they say they have. But the problem they say they have is the one they see as the barrier to what they want (their Goal).
So unless you solve that one — even by removing it from consideration through reframing — nine times out of 10 they won’t even listen to you about the “real” problem, as you see it. In many ways, they can’t. Because their irrational, decision-making brain is fixated on the urgent, known problem, not on a new, unfamiliar problem you’re trying to tell them is even more urgent.
You have to solve the problem they say they have before you solve the problem you know they have. Full stop.
The fix for this is pretty simple: Frame the problem you know they have in the language they’re using for it, in the questions they’re asking about it. Once you do that, they’ll find you. Because you’re the one answering their questions.
Next week I’ll talk about how to figure out which of those questions to choose as the starting point for your message, so here’s your homework:
- Write down the “real” problem you solve for your clients, customers, or audiences
- Brainstorm all the ways they talk about that problem now, even if it’s asking the “wrong” question. What symptoms do they feel? What do they want to know?
Even just that exercise will you give you new content to write, new openings for your message or topic, and even new ideas about where to find your audience in the first place.
You have to solve the problem they say they have before you solve the problem you know they have. Click To Tweet Frame the problem you know they have in the language they're using for it, in the questions they're asking about it. Click To Tweet