If there is one thing that all my work comes back to, if there is one tip I can give to people, a particular thing that they can apply, it is this.
What people experience influences what they do.
What we see and hear, influences what we think and feel, which determines what we say and do.
It’s a very basic way to look at how human beings work, but it's pretty much the way we do.
Why is this important?
What people are seeing and hearing from you, or about you, is going to influence what they think and feel about what you’re offering, and, whether they will do or say something about it.
So, if there is one thing that I think you should focus on, one job to do each day, it is to look at what people are seeing and hearing in the experiences you provide.
What people see and hear before, during and after will decide what they think, feel, say and do.
That is if they will sign up, what they think when they show up, and what they will do and share with other people afterwards.
What are they seeing and hearing from you?
The experiences you are providing come from every interaction you have. Any content you share, a post on your platforms or interactions you have with them in person, are all the things they see and hear from you.
What are they seeing and hearing about you?
Naturally, we don’t control everything in our audience's lives, and in fact, it’s more likely they will see and hear something about what you’re offering from other people or other sources. And usually, it’s a good thing, people want to talk about the things that we are offering. Sports and events are interesting, and our natural sources of conversation or social posts.
But, we also know that people like to talk about their challenges, and the problems they have had, more than they do the good things that occur. That's because we invariably talk about the things that went wrong, the poor customer service, or the horror stories we have, as this seems to make for good content around the water cooler, school yards or cafes!
What they are feeling, and then, thinking??
Another thing to keep in mind with this 'cue-and-response' process is that it’s more likely people will have an emotional rather than a rational response to what you are putting in front of them (or they are hearing about it).
That’s because psychologists tell us that whilst we think that we are thoughtful, logical beings and that we have full control of our thoughts and emotions, it’s actually the other way around.
The emotions we feel influence the thoughts we have.
Who is deciding what they do?
You may have heard of the analogy of ‘the rider in the elephant’.
The ‘rider’ is us, and 'the elephant' is our emotions, and the reality is that the ‘elephant’ has an overriding influence on where 'the rider' goes, and it often controls the paths we take.
We think we are in the control seat in our lives, directing our minds in certain decisions, but the reality is our feelings are what most often guide us to our decisions.
So let’s use these emotional connections for a positive effect.
Let’s make sure we are offering ‘an experience’, something that stands out from everyday life. Because if you can capture imaginations, you will win their hearts and their minds.
You may be in control of what people are doing and saying, but if you need some help influencing what they are thinking, feeling, seeing and hearing, please do let me know.