In the last article of this series, I focused on why you might want to shift your mindset when it comes to marketing. In this post, we’ll take a look on how you can teach your audience.
We know that we give attention to people who taught us crucial lessons. Now let’s see how they do that.
Teaching on Scale
Teaching on the web has a couple of challenges. You probably don’t know your students (/ readers / listeners / audience) as well as a schoolteacher. It can be particularly hard when you’re just starting. Should you just start creating content? What if the material is not right for the target audience? That’s why it’s important to know the people you’re communicating to even if you’re operating at scale.
If you know who is on the other side of the screen, it’s pretty easy. Talk with them and find out what they are struggling with. If you don’t, you can make your life easier by thinking up persona. Teaching an imaginary individual can feel better than just putting information to servers.
How to be a good teacher without being a teacher
Let’s face it. The way you want to teach is different from what you know from school. Teaching is not your profession, but you still want to help other people by sharing what (you think) you know.
An easy way to do that is by sharing your own challenges and how you overcame them.
You want to make sure that you’re always a bit ahead of your students. Don’t think that you’re not expert enough. The closer you are to your audience, the better. At least when you’re talking about something specific. Bigger ideas can be shared with everyone.
Another objection might be that a lot of people already know what you’re talking about. That’s ok. This is the internet. If people don’t benefit from something, they’ll not click it, no one’s harmed. That’s why it’s so amazing to let people come to you, instead of pushing information to people. You’ll draw the attention of the people your content is speaking to.
Teaching is egoistic
Teaching also helps you with reflecting on your own thoughts and mastering your learnings. By articulating the things you already know, you’ll think more clearly about how you’re using certain knowledge yourself.
Take me as an example. I thought I knew the things that I’m writing here, but as I’m writing, I realize that this information might not be a perfect fit for the people I do want to talk to. That doesn’t mean that no one will care about this article, but my target audience is on a different level than this blog post.
I want to help people who already teach. Writing about why and how to do that doesn’t seem to far off, but it’s not a perfect fit for my persona. I might even draw in the wrong audience with these articles. Let’s not worry too much, back to topic. I will also get more specific from post to post.
Where? The web has many places
We now went from not knowing whether you have anything to say to knowing what you’ll say. You still need a medium to say it. Speaking of media, you could use:
A great way to get your message across and utilize a preexisting audience.
- Roll your own blog
You’ll have to bring the viewers, or wait for them to come through search engines and other sources. Having ownership of your platform has many benefits, but it’s harder to get people on board.
This one is gold. Instead of just publishing what you think people need to hear, you can answer people’s questions directly.
All of these have one pattern that comes with the nature of teaching and building an authority. The effort you put into the activity is rewarded exponentially. It’s a long term game.
There are also many other platforms you can use. You should probably use social media to let people discover you. The ones I mentioned are also only for blogs. I wonder whether you have some suggestions for other media like podcasts?