Why Showing Your Appreciation Keeps Your Audience With You
When you create work for an audience that has taken the time to subscribe to you, taking them for granted or feeling entitled to having their attention, can spell danger.
Whether you’re just starting out or have already built a sizeable following – taking the time to show you appreciate your audience, encourages loyalty. Weaving moments of this sort of gratitude into your work will also have further reaching positive impacts.
Showing Your Appreciation Matters
Sending out a signal that lets people know that they are seen can mean a lot. For instance, it’s in the thanks you respond with when someone comments on something you’ve written. They didn’t have to take that step and reach out to you, but they did, and you should always show you appreciate them for it.
Demonstrating this sort of appreciation has got nothing to do with hoping to trigger an action such as buying from you, further down the line. It centres solely on the impact simply connecting with others can have.
You can either talk with people, or talk at them. I know which I prefer.
I subscribe to a dozen or so email newsletters and whilst I have become a lot better at trimming down which of these I spend time with, those newsletters that do strike a chord, make an impact on me in terms of my thinking, journalling and in how they trigger new ideas.
As someone who creates a weekly email newsletter, I understand the demand and commitment it takes to produce work regularly. It may be another thing on the ‘to do’ list, but letting those people in your audience who have taken the time to engage with you directly know that you appreciate them, reaps its own rewards.
Radio silence from a creator is never a good look.
Maybe you’ve experienced that thing when you take the time to write something thoughtful and you get nothing back? I understand people are busy, but when you’re not in the Brené Brown/Simon Sinek league, getting a “thanks” back can do a lot of good.
Who knew that gratitude, just for its own sake, can be a business strategy?
Acknowledging the people who make up your audience, making sure they feel seen means that they’re more likely to stick around, not just through the good times but when things get rocky too.
Because a content-driven approach isn’t just about sharing your perspective and producing a bank of work, but about valuing the people around you too.
How Can You Show Your Appreciation?
Rather than keeping your audience at arm’s length – think about how can they become a part of your narrative. Is there a way they can contribute and be seen?
Of course you don’t have to do anything to include others, but if you want to keep things going over the long term, it will always come down to you to do the work. Getting others involved and exploring how your work connects with them is a means of evolving what you create, and making it more relevant to your audience. It can also lead to co-creation and having others step in to your space.
Here are some examples of how you can make your audience feel they’re appreciated:
Send an email back when they comment.
No one wants to be left in the dark, particularly if they’ve spent time preparing an email. For the first two hours on a Thursday, after the weekly YATM email goes out, I try to keep my time free, so I can reply to those who get in touch. I like the idea that people get something back that isn’t automated.
Highlight other people’s work, without them asking you to.
It helps those you’re connected to when you point other people in your space to their work. You don’t wait to be asked, you just step forward and share, and so extend everyone’s network.
Thank them when they buy.
If someone buys from you, you can just take the money and walk away or, you can acknowledge that they’ve chosen you and let them know how grateful you are. If you’re sending an email, let them know it’s from you and not from an impersonal info@.
Send something personal.
Linked to the point above, demonstrating that you’re there, in person, can heighten the effect of your message. I’m a fan of sending videos messages to new YATM subscribers, that way they know for sure that I’m there for them. I call them by their first name at least twice so they know it’s not a generic, automatically generated video message. I’ve also started using LinkedIn audio messages more as a way to DM people.
Make others central to what’s happening.
Doing all the work and keeping the spotlight firmly on yourself takes away from the energy an audience can bring. It’s good to put others first. This is why we have the YATM Takeover every week on the email, where someone from the community introduces the newsletter. Highlighting others in your work is one of the best ways for people to feel seen.
Some Essentials To Have In Place
Maybe there are people around you who can help? When you’re building an audience, think about the variety of skillsets and personalities that the people in that audience bring. Conversations can help with developing ideas and taking things in new directions. The feedback I get from trying out new initiatives is invaluable in helping develop YATM.
If you create blindly, according only to what you want to communicate, you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t, and how to fine-tune your message. Recognise what strikes a chord with others. For instance, for me, what started out as generic marketing-themed messages, became a narrative around the facility everyone has to build their own audiences and develop a distinctive voice in their marketplace.
You can’t go into every platform pretending you know the answers to everything. Stay humble, speak from your own experience and be grateful for having the opportunity to share what you know.
Ideas have their origins in all sorts of places. Being interested in what other people are doing helps you make connections, come up with metaphors and it brings your content to life.
The most important thing to realise is that taking the time to appreciate others and their contributions, brings us all that little bit closer together. When someone hears back from you they realise they’re a part of something.
Appreciation creates belonging and builds loyalty.
Choosing to show your appreciation is also a great way of reminding yourself how fortunate you are to be in a position to create and share in the first place.