Three Free Ways You Can Reach Your Audience
Hey there do-gooders, welcome to the Lodi Live blog! I’m so excited to have you here. I’m excited because that means you’re out there doing good stuff and bringing more awesome things in to the world- woo hoo! This is a space where people from both small businesses and nonprofits who want to make an impact and help others (and are also probably working with a very minimal budget) can come for innovative marketing ideas to help you achieve your goals without draining your small business/ non-profit budget
One of the things I get asked about the most is how to reach people in your community to share the good you’re doing. If you’re in a position where you’re really, really excited because you have something great, but all your energy has been focused on creation and not outreach, this will be a good read for you. Here’s the good news: if you’ve created something and know it can truly help others, people will want to hear from you. That’s the great thing about marketing good work, people are excited to hear from you because they know you can help them. You just have to figure out how to find the right people.
First, and most importantly, identify who you want to reach. Who needs to know about what you’re creating? If you take one thing away from this post, remember that no matter how wonderful your work may be, everyone does not need to know (or care) about what you’re doing. You don’t need everyone to know what you’re doing, but you do need the right people to know what you’re doing. You only have so much time, energy, and money so try your best to share your work with people who will be happy to hear about what you’ve created. If you’re at a small business or nonprofit, or you’re doing something independently, you probably already have what feels like a million different responsibilities. Don’t make your job any harder than it already is. Be easy on yourself and don’t worry about convincing the whole world about your cause or campaign. Just stick to the people who will care, your target audience.
Before you start with these tips, think about who your target audience is. Who is going to be excited to hear about the good work you’re doing? Again, save yourself the headache and don’t lie to yourself and think, “Jamie, what I’m doing is different. This really is for everyone!” No matter how seemingly wonderful your work is, there’s always someone who, no matter how hard you try to convince them, does not share your same passion (not everyone can have great taste like you, okay?). Okay, now that you’ve identified your specific target audience, start with these three hot spots to get your good news shared:
What groups or clubs is your target audience part of? Everyone is involved in some sort of social organization and community. Whether it’s a service group, a church, a parents group, a school group, a work group, or whatever, ask yourself: who is your audience involved with? Think about the social groups you belong to. You probably work, if you have kids they probably go to school (even homeschool kids are part of special communities), you might go to church, or belong to gym group. You have community and so do the people you’re trying to reach. You just need to figure out what communities those people are a part of! Identify the organizations they’re involved in and reach out to find out if there is someone you can talk to. Emails are good but phone calls are even better. Ask if you can be a speaker at a meeting or give them information to distribute. If what you’re doing really can help their audience, they’ll let you talk to them. In fact, if what you’re doing really will help others, they’ll want you to talk to them! These organization are always looking to better serve their members, so if you’re able to help them do that they’ll be thrilled you reached out. Bonus, they can probably also connect you with others who will want to hear about what you’re doing.
Do they use social media? Most likely the answer to this is, yes. Unless your audience is a 90 year olds or my dad, your audience is probably on social media. According to Statista, Facebook has 1.86 billion active users each month. Identify which platform your target audience is using. Almost everyone is on Facebook so that’s the easiest place to start but, depending on your audience, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest are also great tools. I like Facebook because it has the broadest audience (so I know my people are probably on it) and it’s the easiest to target who you want to reach and get the most clicks to your site. Facebook has great tools to help you reach people. If you have some money available, I’m talking as little as $5, try using Facebook advertising. You can target really specific audiences (way more specific than you could ever imagine needing) and create events. Events are especially helpful with local event because people can see which friends are going to events. It makes it more personal and people like seeing what their friends are doing. If you’re not hosting an event you can still start a page for the work you’re creating and easily invite people to it. It seems obvious but for some reason people miss this one: get your good work a dedicated space on social media. Create a page, create an event, do whatever is right for what you’re doing then start that conversation with your audience.
Where do they get their news? A lot of your potential audience is probably just like you, and gets a lot of their news from their social groups and social media (that’s why you need to be on social media!). But there’s other places we get news from too! Like a good old fashion newspaper! Community papers are great organizations to reach out to, and in my experience, the easiest. They need to produce a lot of stories (so your odds for coverage are increased) and it’s easier for them to curate stories compared to TV news stations. Does your target audience listen to the radio? Before you say, “Jamie, no one listens to the radio.” that’s not true. Doctors offices and business offices, places where there are sitting rooms, almost always have a radio station going. Depending on your audience, they may enjoy listening to different radio hosts too on talk radio channels (think sports casters or NPR). TV news stations are also great places to reach out to and where you can probably reach the most people. If you’re really organized, try reaching out to community magazines. For these you need to reach out at least three months in advance. This is probably the hardest spot to get coverage but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!
So there you go. There’s three quick and easy tips to get your good news out to the right people. Chances are there’s people out there who can’t wait to find you and what you’re doing, you just have to figure out how to reach them. It doesn’t need to be expensive, it just needs to be smart.
Until next time, do-gooders!