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Communicate with Relevance and Connect with Your Audience

By Dec 23,2013 Follow Me on Google+

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Summary
In this article, Harrison states that one of the biggest secrets behind successful marketing is communicating relevantly with people. The more the relevance in communication, the more people are willing to respond. Going the traditional way to communicate does not always work. Understanding your audience’s needs is of prime importance and it works wonders connecting with them in a personal way. You need to bridge the gap that exists and reach out in the most genuine manner. People need to trust your interest in their well being and only when this happens, will serious communication take place.

One of the biggest secrets in marketing is the more relevant your communication, the more willing people are to respond. You can read and study everything you want about marketing, but if you are not communicating with relevance to your audience, nothing else really matters.

When you apply for a job, or when you work for someone, you need to make your communication as relevant as possible.

I’d like to tell you a quick story about someone I hired four years ago who communicated to me with relevance.

One day, I received a phone call from a man in Europe, telling me he intended to move to the United States for work. He told me he’d researched our organization and was impressed. He told me what areas of the organization needed work. He communicated in ways that were relevant to me and despite the fact I didn’t know this person, I opened up and began speaking about our company.

He then told me if I would like to speak further with him, I was welcome to fly him to the United States for more discussions. When I took him up on his offer, he discussed with me what he felt the organization needed, and he continued to communicate with relevance. I ended up having this person come to work in the U.S. I had him live in my house for six weeks of training, and even paid all sorts of immigration and other expenses to bring this person over. He now manages one of my most important companies. Since he started with the company, his salary has doubled.

This person never sent me a resumé.

This person never applied in response to an advertisement.

This person contacted me, the CEO of the company, by calling and doing everything he could to make a connection.

This person never would have been hired had he simply sent a résumé or gone a more traditional route. He might not even have been hired had he volunteered to fly himself over. Making our organization pay for the flight got the company invested, and certainly made me pay attention.

This person probably never would have been hired had he not researched exactly what our company did, or exactly who we were and what made us unique. The fact he was able to speak in terms of what made us unique was very meaningful to me, and also established a connection.

And here’s an incredible secret: I hired him despite the fact the company had no openings whatsoever. In fact, this person was hired for a company that was not even operational, which only got off the ground about 30 months after the person started! Companies and employers will hire people who go out of their way to make a connection.

When I was at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco in 2008, I learned about the different ways people communicate, and how it relates to the future of the Internet. I saw the founder of Facebook, the CEO of Twitter, the CEO of Salesforce.com, and several other very high ranking people in the Internet sphere. As I looked around at these people, I thought, why are sites like Facebook so popular? Why is Twitter so popular? Why are so many sites on the Internet growing so quickly? The growth of sites like Google and others is absolutely stunning.

There must be something these sites and the people behind them are doing that others are not. There must be a common thread that drives their success. What do these companies mean for you? What does this have to do with your job search?

These companies are surrounded by legions of venture capitalists and others who are not only interested in giving these companies money, but also in understanding what they do. What these companies do is really something that is as old as the hills, but far too many people miss that.

What companies like Facebook, Twitter, and others do is allow people to reach each other. They allow people to form connections. Companies like Google allow advertisers to communicate with relevance when people are searching for information. It used to be if you wanted to find car buyers, for example, you needed to put a huge advertisement on television and hope the buyers would see it. Today, a manufacturer can sponsor ads for, say, “four-wheel drive, hybrid pickup trucks,” and every manufacturer that has relevant products can reach this demographic. Businesses and brands that communicate with relevance are the ones to which consumers always flock.

The importance of communicating with relevance has always been around. Direct-mail advertisers have long known that the more focused and personally directed an advertisement is, the more likely you are to open it. Publisher’s Clearinghouse, for example, would write: “HARRISON BARNES OF PASADENA HAS WON $1,000,000!” on its envelope, in order to get me to open their package when it arrived.

When looking for a job, the more focused you are on exactly what the employer wants, the more likely you are to get the job. Facebook allows users to connect with people they know. Like Facebook, you need to connect with your “audience” – in this case your future employer, through commonalities and direct and relevant communication.

When you are on the job it is also important to connect. Professionalism is stressed in many workplaces, but you also want your employer to understand you and to know who you are. This connection is necessary and is what makes you human. It is much harder for an employer not to give someone a promotion or to fire someone with whom he or she has made a sincere and legitimate connection. You need to make a serious connection with your employer both before and after getting hired. It’s important to understand your employer’s motivations and to let him or her know that, on some personal level, you share those motivations.

In the 2008 presidential election we saw two very different candidates. If you think back over the last 100 years, this election was no different from many others. The person who connected with the most people ultimately won. ‘Connection’ means different things at different times and places. Our recent election winner was the one who did the best job of communicating. He text messaged his supporters and communicated in the language of the people whose approval he was seeking.

Always communicate with relevance and you will connect with your audience.

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