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Why People Aren’t Listening And What You Can Do to Solve It

August 30, 2017

Have you ever been on a blind date? You’re sitting there, and as the other person starts talking, your mind begins to wander. Maybe you nod politely and pretend to listen, but deep down, you know everything is going out the other ear. In the digital age, the media is a lot like Tinder. Publishing your content is like you swiping right. Being ignored by the audience is them swiping left. It’s a mismatch.

So how do you make yourself compelling?

They don’t want an ad.

Everywhere you go people are constantly bombarded with advertisements. Whether it’s an infomercial or a billboard, everyone knows businesses want them to buy. If you’re incredibly salesy, not only do you sound like everybody else, but you also repel them.

With journalists, this sort of thing is even more annoying. This is their craft, their livelihood and their passion. As far as they’re concerned, you pay for ads if you want an ad. Instead, you really want to focus on how you can inform, inspire, educate and entertain. Because this fits their agenda and it serves their audience.

When you do this, you immediately stand out from other businesses that are saying “buy now” because you’re more than that. Yes, you’re a business, but you also have a story to tell. You have value to share with the media and their audience.

Objections are blocking the message.

People aren’t really listening when they’re busy thinking of what to say. Most journalists are inquisitive by nature. If your pitch passes the first filter, they may read your message and start to form objections. Does this product really work? Will my audience want to read this? Who is this for? Isn’t this old news? You might think, “If they’re asking all these questions, then that’s great. It means they want to know more.”

Right? Well maybe they want to know more, but it’s more likely for them to reject your pitch. Because they don’t have time to get into every detail when there are hundreds of other pitches to choose from. If you don’t make the cut, there’s a bigger chance that they’re just going to move on to the next pitch in line.

Likewise, the audience may feel the same way once it’s published. They might ask the same questions and simply move on to another article, blog post, channel or podcast. If they don’t get it, leaving is just a mouse-click away.

So what you want to do is reach out to your ideal audience, find out their common objections, and when you’re in the media, you can sneak in answers to those questions. You can inject it as part of your story, so when they have questions, you’ve already given compelling answers.

They’ve already heard it.

“But wait,” you say, “this is a brand new product! Nobody has ever seen anything like this before!” Well that may be true, but your way of presenting it is nothing new. Are you a tech start-up trying to disrupt the industry? Well so are a lot of companies not just in Silicon Valley but everywhere around the world. Are you an entrepreneur aspiring to create a multi-million, if not, multi-billion industry? With a few exceptions like non-profits and highly contented small businesses, you’re just like everyone else.

The only way to be truly different is to be you. That means you have to be personal. You have to connect. You need to be relatable. Take off that corporate mask, and show the human side. While it can feel very vulnerable, it makes you seem more real to people. Here’s the thing. No matter how many times it’s repeated, most people are afraid of being authentic, and they’re afraid to be themselves. Like a bad date, the more we protect ourselves the more we distance ourselves. So when you craft your story, dare to be open and spontaneous.

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