I love street markets. Besides the obvious allure of a bargain bonanza, the streets always seem to mirror life in its most unfiltered of forms. I used to frequent the market in Rezende Street, Harare, every Saturday. Dozens upon dozens of vendors would line the streets with their wares on display, each trying any and every trick in the book to get your attention. Some will scream of their low prices, others will shout about their vast collection, while others still will sing about the quality of their merch.
Business, like life, is cutthroat. The competition wants your customers, they want all their attention, they want to eat you alive. And the competition is everywhere, always.
If you’re a content creator, you have over 1 billion other content pieces to compete with on a daily basis. That’s a lot of noise to cut through. Why should the audience give your content attention when there are so many other options to choose from? Why you?
Here are some ways to make your voice stand out from the crowd:
Know thyself. Know who you are. Know what you offer. Know what value you bring. Communicate that always. Your voice must be identifiable and recognisable from within the noise. Your audience must know when it is you who is talking.
Here’s the good news; there’s no one else like you. Your particular blend of passion, personality and purpose is unique to you. The key is letting the uniqueness of your voice and message shine through. Opinionated? Shout them from the mountain tops! Analytical and insightful? Drown us in your excel sheets, infographics and presentations. Observant and thoughtful? Bring us to tears with depth. Be yourself and be bold about it.
This is closely tied in to the above point, not only must you be yourself but you must stay true to yourself. The reality is not everyone will understand you, embrace you or love you. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with you, quite the contrary! The business of building audiences is about narrowing choice and connecting with like minds and hearts. When people realise your voice is not afraid to sing its own tune, a tune that they resonate with, they will gravitate towards you.
We are what we do. Which means others know us through our actions. If our actions are haphazard and all over the place, it becomes difficult for our audience to know us, like us or trust us. We must be consistent in using our voice. We must be consistent in the things we talk about. We must be consistent in the content we share. We must be consistent in engaging with our audience. Consistency builds trust and trust is the foundation of all relationships.
Know your vision, your objectives, your goals. Know where you want to go. Take daily steps to get there. Do not be distracted. Your voice is a constant work in progress and focus is critical to ensuring it is developing in the right way.
As content creators, our lives and businesses are defined by our audience. We are in the business of nurturing and developing audience relationships. Our voice is what attracts our audiences to us and gives them a reason to be interested in us. Make your voice distinct, make it clear, make it worth listening to.
Written by Wenyu Dutch.