Are You Starting Conversations And Listening?
There’s an old saying you might have heard. It sorta goes like this…
God gave you 1 mouth and 2 ears for a reason. You’re suppose to do more listening than talking.
When it comes to blogging, email marketing and many of the things we do in this line of work, it is really easy to get into a stuck flow. That flow is… YOU TALKING.
It is a one-to-many flow of communication, from you out to your audience. And, in a lot of instances, you honestly don’t even know if your audience is listening. You may imagine that they are. You may assume that they’re as into what you’re saying as you are, but… do you really know?
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One of the biggest concerns of bloggers (and I know because I surveyed it) is that feeling of working hard and producing what you think is great content, but getting little to no feedback. It begins to feel like you’re talking to yourself. And it sort of sucks when you’re feeling unacknowledged.
Truthfully, that was why I decided to stop talking about the tech stack and, instead, ASK you whether you actually gave a crap. I was sitting there doing my thing and I was getting very little response from you guys. It takes a lot of work on my part to craft The Edge. It takes even more time to develop something like that tech stack. And I honestly didn’t know if anybody gave a crap.
It is easy to get into a stuck flow. But, let’s remember how communication actually works…
Communication requires 2 parties who are paying attention to each other. It involves an idea moving from one party to the other over a medium, arriving to the other party. That party understands what was said, then acknowledges it.
So, it is a 2-way thing. At least it should be. That’s how conversations work.
If we’re sitting there talking and the other party (our reader) isn’t really paying attention, then no real communication is taking place. I mean, just imagine that in real life. Imagine two people sitting there and one is just talking at the other one, but there’s just no interest there. That’s a waste of time and, frankly, looks awkward. 😉
If the other party (our reader) never returns the flow by communicating back to you, then no real communication is taking place.
And, only when real communication takes place is there any hope for that reader to become a fan, a subscriber… or a customer.
So, my question to you is…
Are you starting conversations? Are you spending time listening to your readers?
Are you having those one-on-one interactions with them as individuals? Or are you just talking to the imagined masses who you only assume are paying attention to you?
Sometimes it can be a real slice of “humble pie” to realize that the people you have been talking to aren’t paying as much attention as you thought they were. But, it is much better to know and to adjust as needed.
So, how have you started some conversations lately with your audience and your market? How have you helped facilitate more complete communication with them by actually getting them to talk back?
Here’s a few ideas:
- Send out an email to your list simply asking them a question and asking them to reply back to you.
- You could also send an email telling them to respond by clicking on links. That’s what I did in my last Edge. I just used the analytics on the email to see what you guys clicked on and I registered that as feedback.
- Run a little survey.
- Post a blog post where the sole purpose of it is to ask a question and have them answer in comments.
Oh, and whenever anybody replies back to you, you acknowledge them and reply back. Always. Every email. Every comment. Even if it is as simple as a “Thanks for your message”. Just acknowledge.
Communication should be two-way. You should be doing everything you can to make it be that way.
I would MUCH rather have a small audience of 100 people who were actively engaged and we were having two-way conversations often… than an audience of 1000 who I just blindly talked AT and never knew if they gave a crap or not.