I was Facetiming with a friend recently while I was making dinner, and she wanted to see what was inside my freezer.
“I’m always interested to see what people keep in there,” she said.
I turned my phone’s camera around so she could take a look. After about ten seconds she groaned, “Oh my gosh, are those Eggo waffles?”
“Kind of,” I replied, looking at the frozen organic waffles I’d just picked up from Whole Foods. “What’s wrong with frozen waffles?”
“When I was kid,” she said, “my dad was in charge of making breakfast, and for probably three years, he fed us nothing but Eggo waffles. He needed something easy to make before he left for work, and Eggo waffles fit the bill. I still can’t stand to look at those things.”
“Hmmmm,” I said. “Why didn’t you ask him to make you something else?”
“I don’t know,” my friend said. “I just accepted what he gave me. At first, I loved them and gobbled them up. But then I got sick of them and then, REALLLLLY sick of them. He kept serving them up, though. After a while, I just stopped eating them.”
“Did he ever ask what you wanted for breakfast?” I asked.
“No,” she replied. “But if he had I would’ve said French toast.”
This conversation might seem a bit goofy, but it actually runs parallel to a lot of what we see—and may even deliver—as we create content and offers for our prospects, clients, and followers. Content like emails, blog posts, or videos, and offers like our products and services.
Most people joined our email list because the message we were sharing resonated with them, or they found our content helpful and applicable to the goals they were trying to achieve. Similarly, they may have purchased our products or services because they solved a problem they were having at that time.
But the longer someone is in our audience, the greater the chance that their needs and wants have changed. If we never ask our followers how their needs and wants have changed and how we might be able to serve them right now, we’re at risk of ending up like my friend’s dad–serving up Eggo waffles when our audience would seriously appreciate a gooey piece of French toast.
For your audience, that might mean they want fresh ideas for how to use your key concepts and ideas, or new tools for how to implement your content amidst the latest challenges in their life or business.
It might mean continuing to grow and evolve as a thought leader so you have new insights to share or creating content or offers in ways that are unusual or creative as a means to reach different groups of people.
You’ll never know the best thing to do, though, unless you ask.
Just like my friend, your followers aren’t that likely to reach out to you and tell you what they want. But if you reach out to them and ask what they want or need, chances are good they’ll tell you.Your followers aren’t that likely to reach out to you and tell you what they want. But if you reach out to them and ask what they want or need, chances are good they’ll tell you. Find out more: Click To Tweet
You can do this in a few key ways, such as sending an online survey, picking up the phone and calling a handful of your clients, or sending an email asking them specifically what they need.
We just did this yesterday with our own email list. One of our goals is to help business owners with the challenges they’re currently facing in their professional lives and to do that we need to know what they’re experiencing as well as what they need. The only way to find out is to ask.
When you take the time to ask your customers, clients, and followers about what they want or need, it might spark all kinds of new things you can create or write about. It might also let you know that your current content is right on the money and you don’t need to change a thing.
Either way, connecting with your audience and making that ask is always a smart thing to do. It helps you avoid losing followers that might easily have stayed engaged, as well as keeps you and your content fresh and relevant for as long as you run your business.
About The Author
Rachel Gogos is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for people, the web, and creating strong personal brands. She started her career at the United Nations headquarters in New York city, where she helped create the look and feel for the organization’s first website. Today, in her current role running brandiD, Rachel channels over 15 years of marketing and communications experience into each and every website for brandiD’s clients. Find out more!