As most of you already know, word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. People trust the folks they already know and like—and are more than happy to take their advice. By creating your own army of advocates, you trigger a continuous and ongoing effort that will win you more raving fans and a larger base from which to grow.
Mastering the One-On-One with Many
The title of this article may seem a little misleading. Even though I’m calling it “The Impact of One-On-One,” we’re still talking about messaging to many. There’s a simple reason for that—once you’ve gathered a certain number of followers, it’s impossible to touch base with them individually on an ongoing basis. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
In the 21st Century, however, there are any number of old and new media vehicles that will allow you to reach a large audience, vehicles that still allow for this kind of one-on-one approach. The benefits of this approach are multifold—it builds loyalty and increased motivation with your base, as well as strengthens your brand over the long haul.
The 7 “B’s” of One-On-One Communication
Effective one-on-one communication requires certain aspects of tone and content in order to create the strongest possible connection with your audience. Following are 7 of the most important elements you need to address to make that connection a real bonding experience.
We are going to go out on a limb and boldly predict robots will never take over the world. Why? Because people only respond to those who communicate with feeling–and robots suck at that. Yes, I’m kidding, but from a persuasion standpoint, they’re not mechanically equipped to demonstrate real heart…at least for now.
If, in their media and live appearances, MediaMasters can’t muster any spontaneity or genuine spark, folks aren’t going to respond to them. And by the way, when I say, “Be Emotional,” I’m not necessarily talking about being all warm and cuddly. There are plenty of MediaMasters who project a strong empowering persona that’s filled with tough and effective bombastic flourishes. The point is there’s emotion behind those powerful personas too—and that emotion will help you connect with a significant sized audience.
Be Positive (After You’re Negative)
All of us are bombarded with a lot of negativity in our lives. From the daily news to our own personal struggles, we all have enough stress dumped on our heads to deal with on a regular basis.
That’s why a MediaMaster ultimately needs to provide solutions and not just list problems. Of course, you’ll want to introduce pain points to make your message resonate, but that pain has to be framed in such a way that you are seen to be someone who can alleviate it. If your messaging isn’t ultimately uplifting, the public is going to have a difficult time getting on board with it.
Everyone likes to feel they’re part of something special that others either don’t know about or are not smart enough to appreciate. With this in mind, consider yourself the president of your own club—and make all your fans feel like they’re members. Create a “just-between-you-and-me” vibe that indicates they’re part of an exclusive circle and are being granted wisdom that others aren’t privy to.
Let’s get back to those robots I was talking about earlier. Robots lack empathy—they can’t relate to others. And people don’t trust those who don’t seem to understand them. There’s no reason, however, why you, as a human being, can’t avoid that fatal pitfall.
All successful MediaMasters know how to relate to their audiences and create a “we’re in this together” bond. By tapping into and acknowledging their emotions—and admitting you also experience the same emotions, you create a relationship based on your shared concerns. Use the kind of inclusive language that really drives this idea home. Phrases like “as you know,” “I’m sure you agree,” and “we all know” make your audience feel they’re a part of your select group.
This “B” seems incredibly self-evident, but many would-be ThoughtLeaders® get lost in the weeds when it comes to communicating their ideas. The old acronym K.I.S.S.—“Keep It Simple, Stupid”—still holds to this day. Just because you’re an expert on your subject does not mean your audience is, so you have to remember to keep your content and presentations grounded in the basics before you build to any lofty ideas or complex information.
There’s a piece of wisdom that’s well-known among advertising executives, which is this: Just about the time you’re getting sick of a campaign, it’s just beginning to register with the public. In other words, the only way to really make your message stick with people is to keep delivering it whenever you can, even though you may feel like a broken record that keeps replaying the same track over and over. Brands become memorable not just by being consistent, but also through sheer repetition—it’s the only way you can be sure that the most people not only hear your message, but also retain it.
You always want your audience to walk away feeling they’ve gained something. It can just be a new perspective on life, a new way to grapple with a life or career issue, some useful information or just some straight up hope and inspiration. It’s up to you as a MediaMaster how you deliver value. You just have to make sure that value is recognizable and memorable. If you don’t provide a benefit to your audience in some form, then, frankly, there’s no compelling reason for them to become a follower.
Modern Methods of One-On-One Communication
There are more options than ever before that enable MediaMasters to create the intimate impact of the one-on-one experience:
Podcasts give you the opportunity to directly talk to your followers and potentially grow their numbers—without censorship or commercial interruption. You’re also able to bring on other experts and ThoughtLeaders® that complement your message and add to your leadership positioning. The downside here is that there are a billion podcasts out there these days. So, you need to put together a killer marketing plan in place to boost the podcast’s popularity. The bottom line is it is a cheap and easy form to both create and distribute, so if you have something compelling to say, it’s worth the effort.
Where can you find many of the current MediaMasters who are under 30? Or even under 20? On YouTube. A couple times a week, these young DIY video superstars post content in which most of them talk directly to camera and establish that all-important one-to-one bond. Through this technique, they build the kind of intimate relationships with their fans that keeps them hungry for more. It’s another example of how the one-on-one template keeps morphing and evolving with technology.
Other Social Media Sites
Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, among other sites, are, of course, amazing places to interact with followers and create one-on-one conversations with impact. But there might also be value in participating on other social sites such as Quora.com, where users look for answers to random questions. It’s the kind of place where you can demonstrate your expertise and your brand to a whole new audience that’s already interested in the field you’re working in. Its pool of users may not equal those of the social media giants, but it still gathers 100 million unique visitors a month.
Newsletters or Magazines
For our money, the newsletter or magazine format is probably the most effective way to communicate with your base in a one-on-one manner. That’s the reason we make sure this magazine, the one we deliver to our 50k subscribers, is of high quality and constructed to make maximum use of the format.
We love to use our newsletter or magazine (we’ve had both) for our primary mode of one-to-one communication because we can juggle a variety of information and reach many of our MediaMaster goals at one time. It’s also very easy for our very busy subscribers to read it at their leisure and refer to it if they want to follow up on anything. We also, most importantly, send a physical copy (which may be what you’re reading now) to the mailboxes of our best clients and prospects. By changing the medium, from online to physical, it helps our content stand out from the crowd.
Using one-on-one communication is an integral part of any successful MediaMaster’s methodology. When your audience feels you’re talking to them as individuals and successfully reflecting their emotional wants and needs, they’re going to respond with passion and enthusiasm. And that can’t help but catapult you to higher and higher levels of success!