Take your mes­sage to the mil­lions

What does it take to grab the at­ten­tion of your tar­get mar­ket? Clar­ity, rel­e­vance, au­then­tic­ity... and quite a lot of prac­tice

Life & Style Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - If you have a ques­tion you’d like an­swered, email Car­ren on info@car­ren­smith.com.

AF­TER speak­ing to more than half a mil­lion peo­ple across the planet, I’ve dis­cov­ered a few se­crets you ought to know about get­ting more peo­ple to know about what you do and what you have to of­fer.

SE­CRET 1: You can’t sit in your of­fice or shop and think peo­ple will find you.

SE­CRET 2: You must step up and step into the spot­light and learn how to ar­tic­u­late your mes­sage in a way that peo­ple can em­brace and say yes to.

Now just about ev­ery­one I have trained as a pub­lic speaker has grap­pled with stage fright. Even I did when I first started on this jour­ney. Truth be told, I re­ally sucked when I be­gan speak­ing to groups.

I used to lis­ten to other speaker ex­perts and try to em­u­late them and model their be­hav­iours, think­ing it would come more eas­ily if I fol­lowed some­one, who in my es­ti­ma­tion, re­ally nailed it. It didn’t!

I had to go through the mo­tions my­self and af­ter a hand­ful of blogs, videos, speak­ing for net­work­ing groups and so­cial me­dia I started to get the hang of what it takes to grab the at­ten­tion of my mar­ket. With this in mind, here are a few point­ers to get you started if you feel like you’re a bit of a wall flower when it comes to ‘get­ting out there’.

Get clear on what you would say to your ideal client if they were right in front of you, right now.

Who is your ideal client? How old are they? What do they do? Where do they go? What do they watch? What do they read? (This is a great way to dis­cover how to reach out to your ideal client. If they read ar­ti­cles, start writ­ing. If they are on so­cial me­dia, build your fol­low­ing. If they are big on net­work­ing groups, get a gig as a speaker. Get the gist of where I’m go­ing with this?)

De­fine your com­mu­ni­ca­tion out­come. What do you hope to achieve with this mes­sage to your mar­ket? Do your re­search; know what you are talk­ing about and who you’re talk­ing to. Never wing it.

Talk about your­self a lit­tle, talk about them a lot. There is noth­ing more off-putting than some­one who is spend­ing the en­tire ar­ti­cle, blog, in­ter­view or speak­ing en­gage­ment talk­ing about them­selves. I know most of us think we are pretty cool and have great in­for­ma­tion and sto­ries to share but here is the rub – you’re only as in­ter­est­ing as you are able to make your ex­pe­ri­ence rel­e­vant to the au­di­ence. So if you’re go­ing to talk about your­self al­ways in­clude “what that means to you is…”

Be au­then­tic. Don’t try to be like any­one else. Just take 10 deep breaths be­fore you speak or write and then pre­tend you’re speak­ing to your best friend. Use lan­guage that is com­fort­able for the au­di­ence to hear, use the words they would use, don’t try to be too for­mal or pol­ished and what­ever you do, don’t drop the F-bomb! If your au­di­ence knows you like a best buddy and that is your style, sure, go for it.

But for the most part, we are con­nect­ing with new peo­ple when we are em­bark­ing on this jour­ney and in­clud­ing swear­ing and crass lan­guage is, again, very off-putting.

Re­lax. You’ve got noth­ing to lose and ev­ery­thing to gain. I prom­ise you won’t die (be­lieve it or not, sta­tis­tics sug­gest that most peo­ple would rather die than speak in pub­lic). Just keep in mind that the time will come when this will be just as easy as clean­ing your car or putting on lip­stick, so hang in there and build your mileage. It gets eas­ier with ev­ery gig.

Now get out there and let’s see you make some se­ri­ous magic!


De­ter­mine what you hope to achieve.

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