During a free consultation call today, I found myself explaining platform to friends who have a wonderful book idea. “Platform,” I said, “is just finding your people and serving them well. When you do that, your ministry will grow.”
It really is that simple, but man, oh man, it isn’t easy! I’ve personally gone through lots of seasons when I was blogging like crazy and speaking often, but my numbers, the people in my audience, weren’t growing. I lost as many subscribers as I gained, my social media was stagnant, and my speaking calendar was sparse. Can you relate?
A few years ago, my friend Cheri Gregory started talking about something that should be a “no duh” to communicators, but it was a truth that I hadn’t really considered. Cheri pointed out that we can’t just decide what we want to talk/write about. We have to discern what our audience really needs. Do you see the difference? The first way of communicating focuses totally on the communicator. The second way focuses on the audience, the very definition of service. When we begin focusing on our audiences’ needs, then our ministry will experience growth. (I’m not promising big and fast growth because that hasn’t been my experience. Slow and steady is good too!)
Listening is the key to discerning your audiences’ needs. If we want our ministry to grow, we listen before we speak or write.
In this post and the next I want to give you simple ways to begin to listen to your audience. Next week I’ll share a fabulous interview with Cheri who has earned the nickname The Queen of Questions. You’re going to LOVE the two simple tools she uses to listen.
Today, I’m going to encourage you to virtually eavesdrop as a means of listening. Excavate the comments in your own social media posts and blog posts first. Then go to the social media accounts of other writer and speakers who are communicating on a topic similar to yours. Do some focused-eavesdropping with these questions:
- What topics are people talking about?
- What questions are they asking?
- What pain points are they agonizing over?
Make a list of the answers to the above questions, and begin planning your next post, blog, or message from that list. Your people have told you what they need. When you meet the need, you’ll be serving your people well, and your ministry will start to grow!
I help speakers and writers with spoken messages and marketing. If you’d like to do a free consultation call with me after reading the testimonial below, I’d love to talk to you so see if I can serve you with a need you have! Just fill out the form, and I’ll connect with you to set up a time to talk.
“I have been so very blessed by the outstanding coaching services Amy provided. I had no clue how to structure or develop the content for a website. Amy is not only humble and charming, she is very perceptive. She was able to understand my goals and assist me with the vision for my site. Her methodical approach was exactly what I needed to organize my thoughts and present my ideas. She also gave me valuable resources to use going forward. She is uniquely gifted to walk alongside you in your business or ministry journey.” ~Jill Thurston