One simple way to capture your audience’s interest
What do you do?
We’ve all been asked this question before. How you answer it will either encourage further conversation or create a swift exit. You need to capture your audience’s interest. One simple way to do this is to start with the problem you can solve for them.
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To capture your audience’s interest, you have to break through the digital noise.
Tell me if this sounds familiar:
Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom.
If you are a mom, you know what I’m talking about. You know the feeling of everyone constantly wanting and needing something from you.
This is how most of us feel when we find ourselves on social media, Google or checking email. If you want to capture your audience’s interest, you need to think about how they feel every time they get online.
This is a problem that can make it very difficult to get their attention. Just like, as moms, we start to block out that mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, your customers block out a lot of the online noise. You need to know how to quickly capture their interest.
People pay attention when it benefits them
What if instead of incessantly calling ‘Mom’ your kid came up and said, “Hey mom, I see that you look tired. Can I rub your back?” You would pay far more attention to that statement because it is less common and because it benefits you, someone is trying to help you.
I want you to think about this concept in the online world. As I mentioned in the intro, we get online and there are hundreds of people who are competing for our attention. From our friends on Facebook, to our followers on Instagram, to the 10 different advertisements you see every five minutes when you’re on any sort of social media platform, or even websites.
It’s flashy, it’s noisy. There’s always somebody who needs something from you and, ultimately, they want you to purchase from them. This can become draining. Even when we don’t realize it, it becomes draining.
Start with the problem
But how refreshing would it be if somebody wanted to solve a problem for you? If somebody cares about you online, that is going to stand out. So here is how you grab people’s attention:
You must start with the problem when you are writing a social media post, when you are writing an email, when you are writing a page on your website, you must start with the problem that post or email or page solves.
Everything you do should solve a problem for your people.
This is easy if you really truly care about them and you get to know them and know what their problems are. If you struggle with that, go listen to episode #80 of The Goodness Squad podcast where we dive deep into how to really get to know your people so that you can solve their problems.
But solving their problem isn’t enough. You have to capture your audience’s interest so that they know you want to solve their problems. Too often we start by telling people what we do, or what we’re going to do in a post or what we’re going to say in a caption, instead of the best thing: start with the problem.
What exactly do I mean by start with the problem?
Here are some examples. The first two come from Donald Miller of Storybrand. This is where I first learned about this concept.
As I have started putting it into action over the last five or six years, it has changed my businesses. I want you to imagine that you’re at some sort of a dinner party and someone says, “what do you do?” You could say, “I’m an at-home chef.”
Now I know what you do, but that’s about it. What if instead you said, “you know how families don’t have enough time to cook and eat together? Well, I’m an at home chef.”
See how starting with the problem makes the statement “I’m an at-home chef” far more interesting? You are going to capture that person’s attention more, particularly if they have that specific problem.
Here’s another example. You’re at a dinner party and, once again, someone asks, “what do you.” You respond with, “Well, you know how people hate sitting in traffic? I sell scooters.” Let’s keep going down the list.
What do you do? “Well, you know how families these things can’t seem to find enough money to invest in their retirement? I create family friendly budgets.”
What do you do? “Well, I know that moms sometimes resent their kids because they give up too much for their children. So I teach about loving boundaries.”
What do you do? “Oh, did you know that many deaf children’s families don’t speak sign language? So I teach hearing people how to sign.”
What do you do? “I know that clutter and chaos make it really difficult to feel peace and calm in our homes. So I teach simple organizational tactics.”
What do you do? “Well, I didn’t realize until I was 40 why I really should have been wearing sunscreen when I was 20. So I sell skincare products.”
What do you do? “Do you know how people hate bland, healthy food that takes forever to create? Well, I create quick, delicious, but healthy meal plans.”
I hope that all these examples have gotten your mind going about how you can start with the problem that you solve on a big level, like the big picture promise at the top of your website. Or on a smaller level, like the micro problem that you solve.
In a caption on an Instagram post, try starting with the problem and I promise you that you will have far more success capturing your audience’s attention. And when you have their attention, that is when you will be able to change their minds.
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This post originally aired as an episode of The Goodness Squad podcast. New episodes are no longer being recorded, but you can still listen to past episodes on your favorite podcast app.
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