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The Hidden Value Of Familiarity To Bring People Closer

Being familiar with others helps build a closer association that goes beyond content creation, but comfort between you and someone else.

In a world of quick wins, bursts of acknowledgement and short engagements, having familiarity with the right audience is priceless.

Just because you have a podcast, newsletter, or post frequently, it doesn’t mean that you can hide behind them.

In this article let’s look at triggering that familiarity bias, where the effort you put in for others helps bring people to you.

What I’ve Experienced

Since the end of 2022, YATM events have expanded to other towns and cities. We now have events in Bristol and Bath.

One of the reasons was to help promote community leaders to take the lead with events. Whilst it is important to allow others to take the reigns and put their own stamp on occasions, I also recognise it can be a way to get to know others better. 

I originally thought I had to keep my distance. Almost a franchise-led approach, where it’s the logo and meaning of YATM that helped events to find momentum. I believed that if I joined in, I’d start to take away the opportunity from others. 

What I now recognise is that by just joining in and being a part of it, I have started to get to know others from different locations. Conversations are starting to be easier and when you say ‘hello’ at the beginning there is more of an opportunity to spend time together. 

Even by just chatting, you can start to truly get to understand your audience. Once you understand someone’s goals and aspirations, it’s easier to see the world through their eyes and embrace their motives.

This is something that many of us forget and it’s the effort you put in to get to know others that help progress your overall efforts.

From my own experience, being familiar with others and being a part of the YATM Lunch Club events in the new locations has helped:

– Form new relationships

 – Brought others closer who have subscribed to the Thursday newsletter or recommended Lunch Club to their friends/contacts

 – Stepped up and have a central role in events (we have a section where people introduce themselves and their biggest achievement from the past year)

 – People to promote what’s happening in their social channels

— Others to join the membership space YATM Club 

 – To start building happy friendships

Putting Into Context 

What separates creators who succeed and those who struggle, are those who have an audience around them. You have to put the time in to find common ground and be relatable. 

There is a sense of ease when you feel connected to someone else and where you know it’s not coercive ie. a loose relationship is a means to an end for someone else. When you find a middle ground between the message you share and who you are as a person, it gives meaning to everything you do, as you’re true to yourself. This is what helps promote that sense of familiarity with others, where it all feels easier.

In the world of psychology, this is called the mere exposure effect. This is where we tend to have a preference for something merely because we are familiar with them. By attending and being a part of the YATM Lunch Club events, the more I see someone who comes back, the more we’re getting to know each other. This also happens in the YATM Club and the ‘working together’ sessions we have on Thursdays. I have got to know Imogen Jones through this so was easy for me to ask Imogen to present on the stage at YATM Creator Day.

It goes back to being at school, when you pick a team, it’s with your friends, not the decision to be around strangers. It’s the connections we make that put us in a good place. 

I like this from advertising pioneer, Leo Burnett, ‘”The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships.”

What This All Means To You

At the recent YATM Lunch Club, our main guest, John Espirian shared that most of his conversations happen as private DMs. This just helps to cement the relationships and the rapport that grows. 

This is different from reaching out to someone you don’t know as a DM and pretending you know them. You’ve already put your line in the sand by beginning a relationship with a lie. 

The investment you put in with others means that over time respect is earned. When you add your expertise, relatability and insight, then loyalty comes into play. 

Sometimes we can be too focused on the work itself and not the role we play for others and the invitation to see if we can build a rapport.

What To Consider To Be More Familiar 

It’s good to be familiar with others, not just showing up, but commonality with what we say, do and believe in. It doesn’t matter what medium you chose. Whether it’s online or offline, the more you are there for others or allow others to get to know you, the more people become comfortable with your style, work and name.  

Here is where familiarity becomes such a strong allie as you grow your audience:

You Build Stronger Relationships. 

This is about putting in the effort to understand those who make a commitment. For instance, someone’s commitment to me is subscribing to the weekly YATM newsletter, I then think about how can I make that path from a presence in an in-box to something more personal. This was the reason I started live events in 2016. Over time, familiarity helps to foster deeper, more meaningful relationships.

You Get To Understand Others Better. 

It’s good to have a broader perspective that has relevance to what you do and how you help others. For instance, conversations can help spark ideas. A thought for future Lunch Clubs is to have a group discussion on areas that are relevant to attendees where people can be open. This understanding helps to become relatable to others and the challenges, struggles and joy that people face. It also helps to foster a closer sense of community.

It Helps To Promote Collaboration and Teamwork. 

Familiarity helps the progression of new ideas and also lets others have a go. You start to leverage each other’s skills and work towards a common goal more efficiently. What has happened with YATM over the past couple of years is that others lead different aspects. From the in-person events to sessions in the YATM Club, familiarity helps build trust and encourages a strong environment to work together. 

Developing A Supportive Network.

When the familiarity becomes multiplied, you create a community. This is where the network of friends and mentors grows. For instance, people from within YATM step up and help each other. This could be attending the events of others, giving feedback and rallying around each other. When you invest time and effort into getting to know others, a web of guidance, advice, and emotional support forms. This network can be invaluable during times of personal or professional challenges.

Enhancing Personal Growth.

Making that step to become familiar with others helps contribute to your own growth and self-awareness. It helps to encourage discussion and take on board different perspectives. This in turn helps you progress your own work, as you are in tune with others. It helps you gain insights, challenge your own assumptions, reinvigorates your work and develop a deeper understanding of the role you place and your own values and beliefs. 

Let’s Round-Up

Being familiar to others goes way beyond mere presence on a platform. You have to invest the time to get to know people better. This is where relationships flourish.

Having in-person events for YATM has helped to make that step up from subscriber to solidarity. By this, I mean someone who makes that commitment to receive information to a change in dynamic where unity, support and a mutual commitment is the bedrock of a relationship. The mere exposure effect reinforces the preference for what we’re familiar with. 

In a world that values genuine connections, being relatable brings meaning to our work. Familiarity with others is more than a strategic move; it paves the way for stronger interactions.


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