How to Get Your Message in Front of the Right People

A few weeks ago on the Location 180 Facebook page, a reader said he wanted to see a post on how to get your message in front of the right people.  I’ve thought a lot about the best strategies for doing that over the last month, and want to share what I came up with.

Having an audience means nothing if you aren’t able to connect with them.  If your audience is expecting blog posts on how to pull the perfect french press and you’re giving them business advice – it’s not going to mean much.

It takes a lot of thought and planning to provide something of value to the right people – while also finding those right people.

In all honesty, I think there’s times where I’m not as crystal clear as I should be in this regard. From a business perspective I specificially focus on how you can build a small business that can be run from anywhere.  Often times I’ll get readers that read one post on something a little bit different, and the rest of the message of this site doesn’t resonate with them as much – so they leave.

In those instances I haven’t done as good of a job of targetting as I could have.

So let’s look at what’s worked in this business, and how you can start applying some of these strategies right now.

Start With The People You Already Have

I’m going to make the assumption that you already have some of the right people paying attention to you.  Even if it’s a very small number, this is one of the best assets you have towards getting more people to pay attention.

Communicating with people on my email list has been an incredibly valuable resource for getting information.  Here’s some of what I’m able to guage:

  • What message do I think I’m getting across vs. what message I’m actually getting across
  • What are the people who are finding me really looking for
Like I said earlier, sometimes I feel like I’m sending one message, but getting a completely different response from new readers.  These conversations allow me to decide if I should:
  • Keep going in the same direction
  • Re-tailor my message to gear it towards what my current readers are looking for
  • Start targeting a completely different audience.
So what does this mean for you?

I try and start a personal conversation with every single person that signs up for my email list.  I’ll ask you to email me with a couple specific question, and I do my best to respond to everyone that takes the time to write me.

When you actually have conversations with people, you learn what they’re looking for.  This gives me the ability to create an offer based on what they want, or if it’s outside the scope of what I want to do, I can still provide value by pointing them in the right direction.

So, do you have an email list? Are you engaging the people on it, or simply trying to force your message on them?  There’s nothing wrong with email marketing, but you should be making it as personal as possible.

Still not getting the information  and feedback you want?

Give your audience a survey.  Be very deliberate with your questions in order to get the information out of them that will be actionable for you.

Again, the best way to get your message in front of the right people is by leveraging your current audience to figure out if your perceived message and your actual message are currently congruent.

The Right People Aren’t Necessarily Who You Think They Are

Regardless of what niche you’re in, there are probably some incumbents.  You know, the 5 to 10 go to people that everyone knows about.  Your initial reaction is probably “oh I have to get myself in front of their audience if I want to have success.”

Not necessarily true.

For instance, there are a lot of different people in my niche, and if I get a mention from Chris Guillebeau or Corbett Barr, I’ll always get a little boost.  But many of the people in their audiences already know who I am.  I’m willing to bet a lot of you reading this, also read those blogs on occasion as well.

No, the biggest boosts often come from places you’d never expect it.

I’ve written three times for personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly.  It would seem the message is the exact opposite of what Location 180 is all about.

However, you’d be surprised.  There are a lot of traditional thinking people over there, many of whom have never even heard of this idea of working remotely or building a lifestyle business.

That’s not necessarily the wrong audience – that’s opportunity.

One guest post over there has led to hundreds of new readers here.  I can track multiple clients and customers directly back to some of those blog posts.

Getting exposure outside of your niche is one of the best things you can do to grow your business.  You’ll probably find some polarizing responses.  Some people won’t resonate with your message at all, but the ones that do could end up being some of your biggest supporters.

How do you apply this?

Make a list of every blog, publication, or website that you’d think you think your message could potentially be a good fit for, even outside of your niche.  Make a list of their urls, the owners name, and their contact information.

Do research on the types of posts they have, and what their audience likes.  Then create a thoughtful and succinct email introducing yourself and take things from there.

This strategy has led to some of my biggest wins ever, even though at first I never would have expected these mediums to be “the right people”.

Make Them Come to You by Establishing Authority

You should be able to sum up what you do in 3 seconds or less – moreover, people should know exactly who you are and what you do within 3 seconds of landing on your website.

“Sean’s the guy that helps you build a business that can be run from anywhere.”

That’s what I want to be known as.  When you come to Location 180 one of the first things you see is the tagline:

“Build a Business, Live Anywhere, Achieve Freedom”

That sums everything up pretty succinctly.

I’ve spent the last three years establishing my expertise as this guy.  The more I do this, the more referrals I’ll get.

Who do you want to be known as?

One of the best things you can do to get your message in front of the right people is to make them come to you.  This is done in a number of ways:

  • High quality, on-topic content that people will link to. If you’re writing definitive pieces on your niche of choice, you’ll get recognized for that. The more you do this, the more recognition you get.
  • Search engine traffic – A function of above.  Google “how to build a membership site”.  Depending on where you are, this site will show up 1 or 2.  I wrote a definitive piece of content, in a niche I want to be known for, received links, and now get search traffic from the post.
  • Mentions from other authorities. The more often authoritative people mention you as an authority, the faster respect and stature increases.
  • Unexpected value. People love surprises.  They love gifts. They love feeling important.  How can you give them something unexpected that falls into this category?

Build Up Your Network

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  In a lot of ways, that holds true here as well.

The more people you know who have connections with “the right people” the easier it will be for you to leverage those connections.  Simply by virtue of this blog, I’ve got hundreds of friends in and around my niche that I can turn to for feedback, support, advice, and promotion.

How many people do you know that are connected in your desired niche?  If the answer is not many, it’s time to get to work setting up coffee dates and skype calls.

And I’m not talking about doing this so you can pitch you latest idea or project.  For this to work, you need to genuinely care and be interested in getting to know these people.  This is what will set you apart.

In the End…

So in the end how do you get your message in front of the right people? Let’s sum it up:

  • Understand what your message really is
  • Know who the right people really are
  • Leverage the audience you currently have
  • Establish Authority
  • Get to know as many people as possible

What strategies do you have for getting your message out there? Share them with us in the comments!

Joe Cassandra October 18, 2012 at 9:25 am

Great Sean!

Love that you reference Derek’s e-mail video (priceless).

I just started my blog and wondering if you establish yourself as an Authority and build your identity before you approach Top bloggers as yourself?

Or do you approach first and evolve slowly into what others see your the expert in while you build an audience?

Thanks Sean,
Cheers!

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Sean October 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

Part of what will establish your authority is building those relationships, so it’s never too early to start. Your first emails to them, should be short and concise – 5 paragraphs or less.

Don’t ask for anything, just introduce yourself and tell them specifically how they’ve influenced you.

You can tweak that a bit if seeking a guest post, but thats often much more effective after a couple emails sent over the course of a couple months.

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Missy Cooke October 18, 2012 at 9:36 am

Hey Sean, great stuff! It’s crazy, I launched my website today and was literally just thinking to myself about how to expand my stretch. Thanks!

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Nathan Richer October 18, 2012 at 11:24 am

Great post, Sean.

I find it interesting that the first 2 things you need to do is decide what your message really is and who you want to target. It makes so much sense, yet I feel like most people never take the time to think about what their message is going to be (or what they want to become known for).

Thanks for the reminder to sit down and write out what my message is and what I want to become an authority for. Once you have it written down, it is a lot easier to plan accordingly so that you stay on track and deliver that message every time.

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Jamie Alexander October 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I’ve started to realize how important the first one you speak about it. It’s funny how you try saying something and attempt to make it as simple as possible, yet it’s not what people read.

I spoke with someone on Gtalk the other day and it was very enlightening for this exact purpose. Sometimes email is great, but actually having a quick chat with someone is powerful. I can see myself doing some Gtalk/Skype chats every so often to take sure the message I’m trying to convey is the one people are reading.

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Carrie Smith October 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm

This advice comes at the perfect time for me! I’ve been conflicted over what my voice/story is and who my audience is while taking a new direction with my blog. I started out very passionate (and still am) about one topic and have now evolved into a slightly different topic (both professionally and personally). All this internal conflict has caused my blog to suffer and I’ve hit a plateau – which is very discouraging.

But I’m glad I found this site a few months ago, because it’s been inspiring and thought-provoking while still giving me a good kick in the butt. I especially like what you said about other people’s audience not being the wrong people to target, but instead an opportunity. That right there, was my “ah-ha” moment. Thank you, Sean! The clarity you provided is priceless.

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Turner October 19, 2012 at 11:31 am

Sean –

This was good. You lost me there for a bit . Keeping it tangible and direct is what I am looking for. These questions are what I have been thinking a lot about lately (direction, message, what do readers really want). And I have gotten great feedback from feedbackroulette.com from non-readers/web people, but havent gotten in touch with the readers I do have enough. Thanks for this. Keep this direction.

Turner

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Sean October 19, 2012 at 11:49 am

Thanks for the feedback man, glad you got some value out of it.

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Laila Atallah October 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Sean, I love your blog posts and this is no exception. While I don’t blog yet, I still found the parts you wrote about getting exposure outside your niche, getting mentions from authorities, and your detailed tips (thoughtful & succinct email link) on initiating conversations with people extremely helpful.

I haven’t attended many networking events, but attending this year’s WDS helps me understand one way these connections can be made quite organically. Also, I recently went to a retreat with a potential mentor (another first for me), and was blown away by the connection we had. I’m beginning to see, firsthand, how live events can really jump start the process of making strong connections with your tribe.

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artesana October 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Really great post. The tools i use to reach my audience are mainly online. I use a lot Facebook, twitter and google circles. Creating an email list it has been also a way to reach my audience. Getting guest posts on authority websites related to my target niche it also has been a successful strategy.

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