Tag Archive: Audience Centered


Turkey Dinner

The days are getting shorter…

The leaves have fallen from the trees…

The air has a bit of a nip in it…

Thanksgiving Day approaches.

While some people are feeling festive, many businesses are getting quite serious as Black Friday approaches.

What will their year look like: will they make it or break it?

It’s time to get serious and “Talk Turkey” about training.

It can’t be ALL fun and games ALL of the time.

ALWAYS LINK

Ultimately, you, as a trainer, are paid to get results: either enabling a culture change or training your audience with new knowledge or a new skill. Although exercises and games can be fun and may increase your popularity with students, the sponsor of your program is paying you and THEY WANT RESULTS.

Beware that those fun exercises (especially for soft skills training or team building) may sidetrack or hijack your training.

Debriefing the exercise is PARAMOUNT. Take the time, involve your audience: What did they learn? What does that illustrate? How can they apply that knowledge back on the job?  Yes, you could save time and explain to them what the exercise illustrates… But that may not ensure they ‘get it’ and can relate the lesson to their ‘world’. (For more on being audience driven see this blog post.)

I know, this sounds a bit like parenting: “What did you learn? Why? What will you do differently next time?” BUT many trainers don’t take the time to reflect on exercises, activities and games… perhaps that is because they are driven by the ‘happy sheets’/feedback ratings at the end of the session instead of the real driver behind the training: getting to results.

DESIGN FOR RESULTS

When designing a program, you start with the objectives. (What will be the result of your program/session? What will attendees walk away with upon completion?) From there you can measure and evaluate how well your program addresses those objectives (and ultimately impress your sponsor with your success.) [For more on interpretting training feedback, download the Strategic Feedback System whitepaper available in the box on the right-hand side of this page. I will be removing that download very shortly. So download it now and let me know what you think.]

However, what happens if your ultimate objective is something you can’t achieve with training alone? What if your program is  reliant on some outside event, equipment, activity or stimulus?

Why do I bring this up? Supporting culture change is challenging. There is a difference between what you can impact as a trainer and what needs additional measures to be successful. An understanding of culture change may help you be more consultative which may impact your sponsor’s success. For an over of culture change and the critical success factors, consult my most popular (and talked about) blog post: “What Trainers Need to Know about Culture Change.

GIVING THANKS

“At the end of the day”, focus on what you can impact, relate your training to the ‘world’ of your audience and thank them for their attention and participation. Remember you are a ‘guest’ in their world.

And this week be thankful for friends & family, health, happiness

and all the little things that we take for granted.

It can all be taken away in an instant.

DRIVE SAFELY, EAT WISELY AND LAUGH HEARTILY!

Thanks for reading… Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.  Gobble, gobble! 🙂

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Flickr Creative Commons Image by grapesmc

No, I haven’t disappeared.I was taking some online courses. The courses (and some lessons learned) that I’ll tell you about today relate to content marketing. Had I known these lessons, I would have saved myself a lot of time. I’ll also point you to a few remarkable resources, if you are so inclined to learn more.

BLOGGING BASICS

It is all about content. We are all creating it.

Why? To get our story told or to sell an idea or a product.

So, we really are MARKETING our content, whether we are sales people or not.

THE ESSENCE OF CONTENT MARKETING

Here are a few quotes from the content marketing course I took from Copyblogger:

“Content drives the Internet, and consumers are looking for information that solves a problem, not immediate sales pitches.”

“Content Marketing is a broad term that relates to creating and freely sharing informative content as a means of converting prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers ….”

RULES OF ATTRACTION

Let’s say this different way: you are trying to create a relationship, build trust and create a loyal “fan club” (repeat subscribers or buyers). In order to do that, Copyblogger’s advice is:

  1. Your content needs to solve a problem & be entertaining , AND
  2. You need to never take yourself seriously: so be yourself and write like you were having a conversation.

So, really it can be YOUR content with YOUR personality showing through, but it really has to be centered on YOUR AUDIENCE: give THEM value and the odd laugh. If you keep giving them value they will be your loyal fan (or customer) base.

ASK YOURSELF: What Content Am I Marketing?

In the beginning I created a lot of content with no real purpose in mind (only to learn a bit more about blogging). But now it is time to get more focused.

I took the advice from Copyblogger’s “How to Build a Better Blog” article was, everyone needs to use a strong About Me, page.

My rewritten About Me page now answers the questions:

  • Why would someone want to read my blog? (i.e. do I have any expertise?)
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What value can I bring? (i.e. what problems am I trying to solve?)
  • Why it is important to them?

I think my reworked page does a better job at addressing what you, my audience, would want to know before you subscribe to my blog; however, what do you think:

  • Do you have any suggestions on how my About Me page could be stronger at selling the value of subscribing to my blog?
  • If you are my target demographic, what problems are you facing?
  • What questions would you like answered?

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It’s All About YOUR AUDIENCE!

To recap,  you should:

    1. Ensure your ‘About Me’ page compels the reader to stay by clearly stating WHAT your subject is and WHO you are writing for.
    2. Create compelling content that has value (and is entertaining)… and ‘lighten’ up: don’t be too serious!

      Remember, it is really ALL ABOUT THE AUDIENCE, not about you.

      Thanks for reading. I suggest you check out the resources listed below.

      REALLY REMARKABLE RESOURCES

      Copyblogger has some great free self-study courses and articles that I have talked about:

      Another really great Content Marketing class is available from Sonia Simone from Remarkable Communication. She is a marketer for people who hate marketing. Sign up for her free Content Marketing course. It will be delivered to you via an auto-responder (which sends you email installments every few days). It’s truly remarkable… No pun intended.