The topic is positioning… specifically how you need to be mindful of the effects it has on attracting a certain demographic.
For the longest time now, since I walked away from my high flying corporate and government consulting days last decade, I’ve been dealing only with entrepreneurs. But until last week, I was overlooking the fundamental differences and how that affects the content I deliver.
To reach a wider audience, I decided to adjust my marketing to attract marketing managers of companies and brands to my 2 day workshop… and it did the trick, because over half of the delegates ended up being in employment roles (as opposed to self employed).
So day one arrives and as usual, I start my presentation speaking about the importance of mindset in order to achieve success on the Internet. Within 5 minutes I noticed people losing attention and putting up barriers in their body language. It didn’t rattle me or change my direction, but it stuck in the back of my mind why over half the room seemed almost dismissive of my opening module. After 60 mins of that, we proceed with the meat and potatoes of the workshop to delve into marketing methods and tips…. which was received with full attention and open body language.
Fast forward 2 days and after the event has concluded I immediately go into review and analysis mode to find what went wrong so I can adapt my systems to improve. This is a pathological pattern of mine… every time I speak on stage, I seek the feedback from those who are brave enough to speak their minds. While most people want recognition and validation by being told they did a good job, I always crave the criticism that will help me evolve.
A small handful of delegates were kind enough to tell me which parts they enjoyed and which they were not impressed with, which then helped me to make the following realistion:
Entrepreneurs want big picture strategy and will take on anything that can help their overall success. They believe in mindset and know that the biggest driver for results comes internally. Company employees are mostly concerned with the the nitty gritty details and will only take on board things that help the immediate task in front of them. Essentially, they believe that results are an external exercise that is driven by other people and tangible processes.
Neither of them is wrong, both are correct and justified for seeing things their way! But from my point of view, the biggest and most valuable lesson comes from learning that I need to adapt the content and training I deliver to align with the expectations and specific needs of the audience.
I learned that I can get a much better outcome and delegates will have a much more powerful experience, when I am synchronised with their expectations! That little tip right there will mean more to my business and reputation than anything else I’ve learned (externally) in the past year or two.
On a side note, to deal with the fact I failed to manage people’s expectations efficiently, I spoke with each of the company people immediately after the event to share my realisation and made up for it by spending 1on1 time with them to over deliver on my promise. The parts that they wanted and didn’t get in the workshop are now being delivered with personal attention so that in the end they are happy and have what is needed to move forward.
The outcome from this realisation is that I will no longer put mindset and witchcraft woo-woo into a training event for company people, while putting more focus on the instructions and tutorial content that they need more than anything else
So for those who run from criticism or try to hide their mistakes, I encourage you to flip that pattern and train your brain to seek the truth and learn from failure.
I’m grateful for this lesson, I’m grateful for my clients, and love that each step of this journey in business helps me improve myself.