Audience connection is the lifeline of any business. If you don’t have a good connection with your audience, then it will be a struggle to get your business off the ground. Starting a business isn’t cake walk because there is a lot to learn. But, if you are connected to your audience, it doesn’t feel like you’re slogging through mud.
Every time you’re presenting your content, always ask yourself, “why am I doing this?” It is important to find the purpose and why you’re providing that content. (For deep dive in the “why” check out this TED talk)
Yes, we’re in business to make money but the core of what we do should always go back to value and purpose. If we don’t know our purpose or the value we’re providing to our audience then it will be very hard for us to make a connection with them. And our business will suffer because of it.
What is audience connection, really?
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to understand exactly what audience connection means and what it represents.
The trap many of us fall into is putting the blame on our audience when there isn’t connection. We find excuses for why they aren’t engaging with us, for not buying our products, etc. It’s easy to do. However, it is a pretty good sign that we don’t know our audience very well. If we don’t know our audience, we can’t create a connection.
Another misaligned focus is looking to social media.
And interpreting likes, follows, and subscriptions as audience connection. This type of interaction serves a purpose and an important one. However, what can you interpret from a like or a follow? Not much.
Connection means there is interaction between you and your audience.
Where you start to get to know your audience is in the comments they provide and the questions they ask. Once you have a good sense of what struggles people have, then you can create content that is more focused.
When you are doing a live stream via Zoom or other platform, the chat feature can be a gold mine of information about your audience. Always save the chat!
Audience interaction creates deeper connections
No matter how you’re presenting your content, audience interaction is vital. Whether it’s a video, live stream, or an in-person session (lucky you), it is impossible to create a deeper connection without engagement of some kind. Those deeper connections lead to a stronger customer base and more steady sales of your products and services.
Live Streaming (e.g. Zoom)
In a live stream or in-person session, interaction is easier to do. For live streaming, I already mentioned chat. There are other methods as well like breakout rooms. In my Engaging your Zoom Audience series, I provide several other suggestions for engaging your audience.
Challenges have been very popular for a while. And for good reason. It is a great way to interact with your audience on a more personal level. You can get a good idea of where your audience pain points are. And that then gives you the ability to create even more started content, products, and services.
For an in-person session, you have even more options. Ranging from the quick ‘raise your hand if…’ to sharing with someone sitting next to you to small group hands-on activities. Of course, with any type of interaction it must align with your audience and the context. Trying to do a challenge in a one-hour webinar doesn’t work well.
Building trust leads to better audience relationships
Connecting with your audience really boils down to having a mutual trust between you and your audience. And the only way to build that trust is interacting with your audience. By interacting with your audience, you learn more about them and are able to serve their needs better.
While it takes time to build trust and better relationships, there are a few engagement strategies you can use that help this happen more quickly. All of these options work well for live streaming and in-person. Some work well no matter how you are connecting with your audience.
Quick Engagement Strategies
Several of these strategies for building audience connection can be used in a longer presentation or use one for shorter session.
In a small group, greet those attending individually. Make sure you smile and express gratitude for their time. For a larger group, greet a few of the audience members before starting. And make sure you say hello and welcome as you get started.
Whether you are creating a video or talking to a live audience, speak as if you’re talking to your friends or colleagues, not strangers.
Always remember, your audience doesn’t want you to fail. They find value in what you have to offer. Don’t doubt yourself.
Having a clear message ensures your audience will stay tuned to what you have to say.
As I already mentioned, ask questions for your audience to answer and ask for comments.
Building an audience connection ensures you can grow your business. The content you present must be in alignment with what your audience needs and wants. Creating engagement with your audience, no matter the format, is the best way to learn about where they struggle. This in turn allows you to create relevant content.
In the comments below, share what methods you use to build audience connection. Have you used any of the strategies I mentioned? If so, which one resonated with you the most. Is there a suggestion you can add to the list?