6 Great Ways to Better Engage

6 Great Ways to Better Engage

1. Get off your high horse…
and stop underestimating your audience

Ask yourself if you respect your audience the way you want to be respected. Your audience isn’t dumb. Nor is it composed of only the voices you hear the loudest. Your audience is a group of individuals with unique perspectives, and abilities, and opinions and qualities. Basically, they’re just like you. You don’t want to be generalized and neither do they. And those lurkers? May just be waiting to feel as though they’re valued.

2. Go to them…
it’s not their job to come to you

They aren’t getting paid to visit. It’s your job, your responsibility to go to them where they are and convince them they want to come back to you. Think outside sales. You wouldn’t sit in your office and wait for a random person to walk in your door. You’d be out of business before you knew it. You research, pound the pavement and then make your pitch.

3. Gain their trust …
You won’t have them at hello

Sorry to break it to you but engagement is rarely ever going to be love at first sight. You wouldn’t (I hope) ask embarrassingly personal questions to someone on a first date. So, don’t ask your audience. Introduce yourself, make the small talk. Get some lighthearted laughs. Have a little fun, and remember these baby steps are building lasting mutually beneficial relationships.

4. Gauge when they’re most comfortable…
it’s about their schedule, not your deadline

The dreaded deadlines. Most of us have them. But guess what? Your audience doesn’t. Do you want meaningful conversation? Then you need to engage when they want to be engaged. You’re on your way to a big meeting, your presentation notes are flying through your head and someone stops you in the hall. Do you really want to chat? No. Neither do they.

5. Give them what they want…
So ask them

Now that you know your audience isn’t stupid, you should also assume they’re skeptics. They’re surrounded by people and businesses telling them what’s best for them, what’s true, what’s real, and they’ve learned the hard way by now that a lot of that is just noise. And sometimes, the best way to be heard is simply to be quiet. When is the last time you asked your audience what they want? I’m not talking about looking at what’s popular in other forms of media. I’m talking LITERALLY ASKING YOUR AUDIENCE WHAT THEY WANT. Don’t just assume you know what they want or need. And most importantly? LISTEN to what that is, and give it to them.

6. Gather data & make a decision…
Data doesn’t matter unless you do something with it

All the data in the world won’t make a difference to what you’re doing unless you take action on it. You’ve been listening and talking and building relationships. Now grow them. Go back and look at what has worked, what hasn’t, and figure out what will based on this data. Then do it. Then do it again. Engagement isn’t linear. It’s a cycle, and a never-ending one.