Feedback from your tribe is priceless, isn’t it? It helps you figure out what’s working and what needs some work. And you don’t need to build surveys or try split testing or hire a research firm to get valuable insight and actionable improvements you can make in your business.
Instead, you can just check in with your clients.
But when the feedback isn’t what you expected to hear, it can trigger a strong emotional reaction. Oh, have I been there! After the initial sting subsides, try to make sure that you don’t allow your perception to get in the way of valuable information to build your business.
I was having a coaching session with a client I’ll call Tracy who created an extraordinary tool for busy families. Tracy told me that two customers shared how incredible they thought her product was. Amazing, right?
As Tracy relayed this story to me she said, “Clearly, I’m going to have to educate them because what I do is not a product.”
“Hold the phone, my friend”, I explained. “It is not your job to educate your customers. It’s your job to listen and let your customers inform you.”
Two days later, another client had a similar experience. She shared that most of her customers talk about their desire to feel good in their own skin. She interpreted that to mean that they want to feel empowered. Whether or not that’s true, that isn’t what her customers actually said.
If you want to make a big impact on your audience, you have to actually use their words. You must speak their language.
I am the first to admit that I have been guilty of this myself. As coaches, it’s so easy to fall into “coach speak” when you’re communicating with your tribe (Oops! There I go again… with your audience).
Guys, you might as well be speaking Swahili because if it doesn’t make sense to them, it won’t matter. If it doesn’t resonate, who cares. So, sometimes you have to take a step back and put yourself on the same page.
Rather than taking up the mantle that you have to inform your list, I want your list to inform you. How do you do this? You pay attention to the words your clients use when they talk about their needs, their fears, and the results that they want to generate.
When you speak the language of your target audience, you create a real connection; a connection that converts. So, use your clients’ exact words in your sales copy, your blog writing, your videos, your tweets, posts, grams, pins, snaps, you name it.
In the work I do with actors over at The Thriving Artist Circle, my signature program is the one I am most proud of, and it’s the program I know makes the biggest impact on the lives of my students. If I could force people to do only one thing with me, it would be this program. The program is called the Actor’s Business Breakthrough… and graduates of the class call it “that 8-week thing we did on the phone together.”
Why? Because I branded this program according to how I felt and what I thought sounded clever. I didn’t take into account what my clients need. I didn’t use the language my own clients speak. These students NEVER say, “Boy, I need a breakthrough!” Ever.
On the flip-side, my most successful program, that I feel sells itself, is called the 42-Day Book a Job Challenge. And I feel like it’s obvious why. The desired outcome, what actors want most – to book a job – is right there in the title. And I even tell them exactly how long it’s going to take to accomplish.
So I learned the lesson the hard way, but now you don’t have to.
When I finally understood that all I needed to do is pay attention to the words my clients use, creating content became so much easier. Delivering amazing programs and sharing them with my audience has become a joy. Plus, I am building my reputation in the process because what I am creating is memorable and resonates more deeply with my clients.
So, my challenge for you this week is to pay attention to the words your clients use and then compare that against your current content. Are you speaking the same language? Or are you in totally different places?
Let me know what you learned from this process in the comment box below.
So funny, Dallas – As you know, I’m NOT your target market – I’m a writer who was at a real tipping point in my career, with some momentum that I didn’t want to waste but … UGH. I desperately needed some kind of “BREAKTHROUGH” to my own target market and that exact word is what resonated for me. Your 8-Week “Actors” Business Breakthrough was the closest I could come to what I needed. The class spoke to me, encouraged the type of thinking and languaging and bravery I desperately needed to push myself forward in this crazy career. So… as the “long tail,” I’m the exception to the rule, maybe, but my learnings continue to resonate and I continue to play the tapes to remind me how to build the cred and contacts needed for a TV writing career. Cheers to you and “breakthroughs”!
Also, let me say that if I hadn’t gotten to “know” you through the videos, and posts, and free class, I never would’ve taken that plunge. When I ponied up that charge card, I ALREADY TRUSTED that what you had to teach me about “breakthroughs” would help and I could confidently extrapolate from the “actor” part…
Dallas Travers says
Thanks so much for this comment, Valerie! ha! Yes. You’d be the exception to the rule, I guess. At least when it comes to my specific audience. But even in your example you can see the importance of language and choosing your words based off of what the crowd is looking for so you can present them your product, a.k.a. the exact product they’re looking for. 🙂
Yes — the blogs and the social media is what I do to create a relationship with my audience. I find it to be a crucial part in the whole marketing formula. But the reality is, I also genuinely have the back of my clients. And I want them to know it. My free resources and tips is how I let them know that before they ever decide to buy from me.
I’m so happy you continue to reference the breakthrough and have breakthroughs. Here’s to many more!!
This is such a great reminder Dallas! Sometimes I forget! You are totally right not speaking the same language creates disconnection with the client because they can’t relate to what we’re saying.