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Shared Values As The Heartbeat of Audience Connection 

Content creation works when your message aligns with the people you are addressing.

It is so much more than putting your agenda onto someone else. 

People don’t share an idea because it helps the creator, we do it because it helps us.

When people find themselves as part of a community where ideas hit home, the group connects and joining in feels good, the collective experience is heightened.

It comes down to the message we share where there is an alignment between you and your audience.

When you recognise common values, beyond industry rhetoric, this is what makes you the right choice for them. To grow your audience, build your subscriber base and move people from passers-by who barely look at your work, to feeling a part of something, your work has to transcend industry jargon.

As an example, a newsletter can’t just be focused on your industry and clientele. This quickly becomes formulaic and predictable. 

That’s how I started out. I used a lot of terminology as I wanted to sound worthy of people’s time and by using ‘big’ words. To me, I thought it would help me sound more professional and a dependable choice for a client. 

The content you create will hit home better if people recognise the values they share alongside the messages you’re putting across.

Let Me Share What I Mean 

Taking a firm stance and harmonising your message with the values of your audience is how people choose to stay with you.

Consider: Who is your message intended for? What mindset and perspectives matter to them? Understanding this, over time, allows you to forge deeper connections. 

Let me share from a You Are The Media perspective.

The Message (Business Perspective):

Content creation

Content entrepreneurship

Audience growth 

Newsletter creation

Personal branding

Owned media approach

Monetising your work 

Common Ground Shared with Audience:












The Pitfall of One-Sidedness

Focusing too much on one side (message and audience) puts you at risk of irrelevance.

Let me share what I mean:

Overemphasis On Your Message – When you become overly preoccupied with what you do, over the role you serve others, everything takes a slant towards you.

What happens is that your message becomes myopic, fixated on what the business achieves and does, rather than its shared commonalities with others. 

Overemphasis On Your Values – It’s easy to compile a collection of values where all it becomes is feeding the mission statement ego. However, merely paying lip service to these values without embodying them loses their impact.

Living these values fosters something more believable and far more significant than empty words.

Understanding Your Appeal

Strike a balance between your message and your audience’s values.

What has helped me is by getting to know the people who subscribe to the YATM newsletter and as the years have progressed, how to cement bonds with the community and find ways that are worthy of coming together.

From a Game Nite, to the Lunch Clubs, to Creator Day when you recognise opportunities for communal interaction, it also helps to shape your entire approach. It helps you think, plan and to step forward (from new ideas to just progressing your thinking. Over time, people become tuned in and those people who move away (such as unsubscribe), that’s fine as your work was never meant for everyone.

What You Can Do

Your content creation efforts are elevated to a new level when you are not just motivated by goals but also looking to define themes that strike a deeper chord with your audience. 

Here’s how you can further refine your approach to align with shared values and foster stronger connections:

1) Understand Your Audience Better

To truly connect with your audience, you need to go beyond surface-level demographics and understand their values and aspirations. As an example, feedback can help you.

At the end of the YATM newsletter, I now include a box that asks for input as a way to encourage people to reach out. Particularly, people I may not be too familiar with. One thing I have learned is that when you ask for help, people do step up. Asking for opinions does not have to be reserved for a poll on social media. Find ways to address the people who have already committed to you.

2) Lean Into Ideas That Speaks To Shared Values 

The longer you create work that leans into themes that people recognise, the more you become aware of the people in front of you.

How does what you do fit into the wider lives and concerns of your audience? For instance, should you be talking about the sector you specialise in or making it more about encouragement, redevelopment, support, gratitude, building stamina and strength, where your industry becomes the grounding place or ideas.

3) Foster Interaction

No one likes to be ignored or where you just become a face in the crowd. It could be starting small, but ways to bring people together are key to encouraging a deeper understanding and promoting familiarity.

Live events have always been a huge connector for YATM, but if you wanted to start out it could be an online group, a meet-up locally or a way that invites people to share their knowledge and experiences. By fostering a sense of collective spirit, you strengthen the bond between you and your audience, turning passive consumers of information into active participants.

4) Lead By Example

A commitment to shared values is to live through your actions. It doesn’t just have to be supporting relevant causes or taking a stand on relevant social issues, it could be the place where you curate and share from.

For instance, Thursday 6AM (GMT) is the time when I have a continual appointment with my audience and the weekly newsletter. If I didn’t have the newsletter, ideas could just float into the distance. It’s the commitment you have that can help to reinforce your approach and integrity.

5) Iterate And Adapt

You can’t always progress with the way you want to see the world, there has to be a place to adjust. This can be through asking, reaching out for help or creating a focus group. This helps to gauge how well your work resonates with their values and interests. Use this feedback to refine your approach and experiment with new ideas to keep your audience engaged and connected. This represents paying attention to the people who are with you, rather than just your industry. This means people give you their attention in return.

6) Empower Your Audience To Take Action 

This means the ability to step up and make something happen. It could be getting used to a medium that was considered out of reach (writing, audio, video), or encouragement to lead on an idea.

What happens is that your audience participates in initiatives that align with how they think and feel. It contributes to positive change where people know that they can make a difference in their work and that sense of belonging to something that feels right.

7) Measure Beyond Metrics  

While metrics such as engagement, reach, and conversion rates are important indicators of success, you can’t overlook the qualitative impact of your content on your audience’s lives. This is where you pay attention to anecdotal feedback and stories of how your content has played a role in encouraging ideas or helping people progress with their own efforts. This helps you understand the real-world impact of your efforts. 

What I want to highlight with these seven areas that encourage a shared value approach is that you create work to connect with your audience but also foster a sense of shared purpose. 

When you recognise the values that have a connection on both sides, you’ll strengthen the bond between the work you produce and the audience who stand with you, over the long term.

Let’s Round-Up

When you step forward and share a perspective from your industry, it provides a viewpoint. When you do it with other people in mind, they can step up and you both sit at the same table. Over time, you create work that encourages others to step up and join in.

It’s a place from which trust develops, initiatives are delivered, and you can continue creating work that has meaning with the people who matter most to you.  

In this journey of shared values, we don’t just find an audience; over time we can build a community where our voices echo and collective impact is made.

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