How do you grab people’s attention if you’re not Kim Kardashian? This question popped during a training session I delivered in London for a group of change-makers. They were frustrated by the struggle of reaching a wider audience when promoting messages of solidarity.
I’ve been meditating on this topic for long so I had my three-points answer ready:
Focus on your actual audience
Even when driven by the best intentions, our egomaniac souls can forget that we are not sharing to reach skyrocketing numbers, at least not immediately. We are working to see change, to inspire social good. And that can only start by focussing on who you want to speak to, which let’s be honest, is not the entire world population.
Learn the language
Kim Kardashian might be super visible, but instead of beating yourself up, ask yourself: how does she do it? Don’t accept the first answer that comes to mind but really dig deeper into the tactics she or anyone else is using. You might start noticing they are letting people in their lives for instance. Can you do the same or something similar? Can you share inside stories?
Set your mind to ask, what can I learn from this? And you’ll never be without ideas
One lesson I had to learn while filming the internationally produced documentary on African migrants, is that not everybody can be convinced. Because not everybody wants to be convinced. The documentary was all about fighting prejudices people have on African migrants. But as entertaining and informative and open and judgment-free my live sessions were, some people just didn’t want to change their minds. And that’s ok.
Then, how do you grab attention if you are not Kim Kardashian?
Grabbing attention is the aim of every marketing specialist, campaign and social good project. And I love that there are people doing it in their own way. Those are the people we can all learn from. In a nutshell here is what they do:
I came across life coach and motivational speaker Simon Alexander Ong, through The Other Box. Simon consistently shares inspirational reflections on life and building a business. He taps into the prime need of people of wanting to improve themselves and their lives and repeats to them what to consider when doing that.
Tell a story
Marketing teaches us that the majority of people make decisions based on emotions. And stories are a great way to tap into people’s emotions without lecturing them. Stories are much easier to remember, they can be shared and have the potential of travelling around the world (see Humans of New York)
We have this idea that in order to share messages about social change, we need to be serious and grave. But there is power in talking about important, world-changing issues while entertaining our audience. Comedians do it all the time. And the TV series the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is just one example of that.
Be Consistent and patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day. It was built brick after brick, every single day. Make sure you do your part consistently and authentically. And then patiently wait for the results.