If you think you’re distracted, imagine how your audiences feel? They’re being hit by the same wall of news, noise, pings and rings as you are. Not to mention the stuff you’re conspiring to add to their already loaded inboxes right after the holiday. So what can you do to make your message connect through such crowded and cluttered conditions?
The answer is relevance.
Relevance is how what you’ve got to say applies to your audience. Certainly relevance can be achieved through a benefit statement, like: this article will make you a better communicator. But what if you’re already exhausted by trying to be better? Or just exhausted in general? Then you’ve lost them at “hello”.
Sometimes relevance is established just by empathizing with your audience: I know you may be tired of struggling to be heard in such a chaotic marketing environment, but don’t give up.
Relevance is seeing the thing, whatever it is, from your audience’s point of view. If you’re making a benefits statement, put it in the context your audience can relate to, like: This article will justify the half hour you already spent on LinkedIn today by strengthening your messaging.
To be relevant, you have to know something about your audience. And you have to be willing to target your message and not write for every set of eyes under the sun. If you’re writing for everyone, there’s a good chance you’re just adding to the noise that is so annoying you.
Relevance is often the difference between a proof point and an actual message. A proof point is a supporting fact: I’ve been doing this work for 25 years. What’s missing is what that is supposed to mean to you: 25 years of experience has taught me that making the message personal is what wins.
Your audiences exists in a real time and place with real challenges specific to now. Speak to where they are. You’re just back from the holiday trying to figure out how to make your messaging more effective in 2021 …
Relevance starts in the first sentence or forget it. So choose your opening with wisdom and care. This will set up everything that follows for high significance to your audiences. It takes more thought at the top, but it’s worth it. The last thing you want is just to be another brick in that wall of noise.