Small Business owners and solopreneurs are experts at what they do.
Often, we’re asked to inspire others through a talk or interview.
Here are some great marketing tips for small businesses if someone asks you to share your ideas with an audience.
I just moderated a panel for the New York Times and American Express Small Business Summit Conference, and this advice really works!
How to Get to Know Your Audience (Even if You Think There’s No Time)
Every speaker knows that the best public speakers are the ones who truly know their audience. But what can you do if there doesn’t seem to be any time or method for learning about your audience ahead of time?
Never fear – here are some simple tips for getting to know your audience when there doesn’t seem to be any time.
Know Your Audience
This is perhaps the cardinal rule of speaking: know your audience. But at today’s breakneck speed of business, these traditional ways of getting to know your audience aren’t always feasible or practical:
– Arrive early for meet and greet
– Talk to the meeting planner about the expected audience members
– Spend some time in the organization’s culture, getting to know the business itself
When you can’t do any of the above, there are still ways that you can get to know your audience. Try these tips on for size:
– Review the company’s/organization’s/event’s website. As you read the web copy, see if you can get a feel for what kind of person they’re targeting, as well as what they stand for.
– Do a quick online search for demographic information. What kind of search you do depends on what kind of information you do have about your audience.
For example, if you’re speaking on location to mainly locals, you can do a demographic search about the city or the neighborhood.
If you’re speaking to local real estate agents, you can search for current information about the local market. Check local news listings, etc.
– Interview someone – anyone – at the company or organization. If you can’t get face time with the CEO, don’t sweat it. In many cases, a secretary has her finger on the pulse of the organization, especially when it comes to the corporate culture or what’s going on with the employees.
– If the meeting or event planner isn’t connected with the people who will attend, see if you can get contact information (or at least a name) of last year’s speaker.
– Ask for a sample of the company’s product or service. Talk to satisfied customers. Find out whatever you can about what the company does and how it’s doing overall.
– If you can only ask key personnel (or the meeting planner, or anyone of significance) one question, make it this one:
What is the number one question or concern of the people who will be attending this presentation?
In many cases, this provides you with everything you need to know to craft a great presentation.