At our last session, we discussed our Avatars. Who are our potential members? What do they look like? What do they drive? Where do they go? What do they do for fun?
I know many of you are on LinkedIn. How many have contacts there that are doing the exact same thing you are doing? You’re architects talking with architects. Financial gurus talking with financial gurus. It’s a good network if all you want to do is impress other people in your profession just in case you want to jump ship from your current company. If, however, you are on LinkedIn to find clients, you have to build a network of people that aren’t IN the same business. You need to tailor your articles to people who know nothing about your business to get them curious enough to check you out. Why would a financial guru contact another financial guru? Why would a fitness trainer try to recruit clients from among other fitness trainers?
What kind of questions would you ask in your article? “Things that go bump in the night–could be your house is settling, or zombies. Contact me to discover the difference!” “Buying or leasing a car–the pitfalls you should look at.” “The endless meeting–How to avoid Power Point Coma!” You are defining your market by addressing problems that you can solve.
When recruiting new members for your Toastmasters club, you need to address the prospect’s most pressing problem. “How to make your Briefing Brief!” “Tips to avoid stuttering when speaking to supervisors.” “How to dispense profound wisdom without sounding pedantic and verbose.” “What do pedantic and verbose mean, and what better words could you use?”
“How not to do a wedding toast!” Then post a video of Sherlock Holmes’ toast at John and Mary’s wedding. Then explain what he could have done better. That would catch the eyes of people who are or will be giving a toast at an event. It would, therefore, appeal to people with a short-term need. They have a specific task they want to achieve. What path should they take? How long after the wedding will they remain members? “Do you hate stuttering and not knowing what you need to say next? If there was a way to make you less nervous and give you the confidence to get your ideas across, what would stop you from at least investigating it?” This would be a long-term need. This would reach people of varied ages and education levels. What path would THEY take? Will they become addicted to your club? Ask your current members what problem they wanted to solve when they joined. Ask them what brought them and kept them at your club. This will give you a much clearer vision of what your prospective member looks like and what they’re looking for. Then you can dangle the right solution in front of them and have them visit your club.
If you have a community club looking for new members, why would you dangle that solution in front of people who are already in 2-3-4 clubs already? If you are a corporate club, why spread the word to people outside your corporation? If you’re trying to attract the people in the IT department of your organization, don’t tempt them by describing what’s outside of their cubicle. THEY LIKE IT IN THERE! “How to write realistic dialog for your next adventure!” “How to use better descriptive words to bring your players deeper into the game.” “How to make your dating profile more believable.” Because in their cubicles, they can be and do and go anywhere. Their communications skills are off the scale, their imaginations beyond compare. They’re not used to looking at and talking with people face to face. There is always a barrier between people who communicate only online. It protects you and enhances you. There is no barrier in real life.
One we met, Chris, had tattoos all over. He spent all of his time at work in front of a computer, then went home and spent 90% of his time ALSO on his computer. He was fantastic at telling stories. His speech organization was impeccable. The questions he asked for Table Topics were really fun and inventive. He never seemed nervous in front of the group, but he never looked up. He couldn’t read body language. He had a problem with vocal variety. What problem was he trying to solve? He needed interview skills because he’d be interviewing in person and not talking to the HR person via computer. Many interviewers were put off by the disconnection they perceived between how they pictured him online and how he looked in person. He had to connect with people whose idea of internet games had to do with popping candy and farming eggplants. He had to recognize that the people with whom he’d be working were not the same kind of people that were interviewing him for the position. We did so well with him that he got a job in Seattle and left our club. Now, it would be easier to keep him as a member due to zoom meetings…
Be productive in your mining for new members. Don’t dig in empty holes.