Ignore Your Audience, F*** ‘Em, Be A Leader First


Guest Post by Jason Fonceca:

We human beings are selfish.

We are! Self-preservation is hard-wired into us.

“You don’t really care, in all honesty, and I mean this with the utmost respect, why I’m here. You don’t how I feel. You don’t care about my agenda. You don’t care if I’m terminal, you don’t care if I’ve got a tooth-ache, all you care about is I sure as hell better give you one heck of a benefit and a pay-off in the 3 hours or you’re
gonna be pissed. And that’s human nature… you can’t fault human beings for being human but you have to appreciate, respect, and empathize how they look at life, and you’ll be able to harness…all the opportunities that abound.” – Jay Abraham

Jay Abraham is a very wise man, he understands this, and uses it to communicate with people better.

But it’s not just your market that’s selfish at it’s core — It’s you, too.

And by selfish, I mean that everyone of us, at all times, on a deep, celluar level is sensitive to what feels like pleasure to us, personally, and what feels like pain.

So, since we’re all selfish at our core, why are so many websites in the blog-arena going on and on about “know your target market” and “catering to their needs?”

And I’ve seen a bunch more.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love these blogs and authors, and all these articles are helpful. (I read copyblogger often, I’m new to Peter’s and Paul’s sites, and I follow Firepole like
it’s practically a religious experience.)

Danny Iny (FirepoleMarketing) even acknowledges how over-done this talk of targeting, niche-ing, and ‘knowing your target market’ is.

“I am absolutely certain you have heard, perhaps too many times, about the need to niche and to focus [on a target market].” – Danny Iny

So people know this advice is everywhere, and I keep bumping into them. (Maybe it’s a sign… lol)

I swear, I feel a little bit of nausea wash over me when I’m scanning an article and my eyes see “know your market.”

(well not really, but it paints a picture)

I stand for Sexy Success, and hearing so many blogs talk about ‘knowing your fans’ and ‘getting inside their heads’ is not sexy to me.

It’s boring.

Saturated topics become un-sexy, fast. Everyone wants something new, and that’s okay.

Maybe you’re not like me, maybe you LOVE all the talk on this subject. Maybe you don’t even run into these posts – I don’t know, I don’t pretend to be “inside your head” <grin>.

And you know, I contribute to the saturation, it’s not like I’m some high-and-mighty guy who’s never written about the subject.

In fact, recently I wrote my own article on “audience segmentation” — of course I feel like it’s one of the most out-standing pieces on the subject, , but regardless, it was me talking about ‘knowing your target market’.

I wonder, are all these bloggers who claim to want me to know and talk to my audience, really talking to me? Do they really know me?

Because I’m not super jazzed to read about this stuff, for the most part.

I’ll tell you what resonates with me, and it’s not “knowing my target market” – that doesn’t move me. The advice, which is basically telling me to “be personal and get inside their
heads,” and yet… the advice itself feels abstract and impersonal, and like the people who are writing it don’t get me well at all.

If they did, they’d talk about what resonates with me.

Success. Vision. Fantastic, thrilling, imagined futures which can and will come to pass!

Here’s what resonates with me more:

Those are some things I like, and I think you like them too, but to be honest with you, I’m just saying what’s in my heart. This is my first guest post on Ryan’s site, and it might be that I don’t know his tribe super-well, but I get the feeling they’re similar to him. (Ryan, jump in here anytime buddy :P)

If the bloggers were talking about this leadership + influence stuff, I’d be more impacted, eager to pay attention, and to act.

To me, talking about being an influential leader is sexy, and I’m riveted by it.

It’s selfish. It’s what I want. It’s what I enjoy. It’s how I see myself and the result I’m after.

I’m not focused on ‘knowing my target market.’

I’m not against it, I’m just not psyched about it. Is anyone? Does anyone wake up and say “Man, my life dream, what I really want more than anything… is to know my target market! Yeah!”

And that’s okay, be selfish, focus on being the leader you know you want to be.

Now watch…

…Because I’m going to give you the same message all these other blogs are giving you, but I’m going to give it to you in a fresh, new way.

So, here we go.

If you want to feel like a powerful, influential leader… if you want your content and business to be a life-enhancing thriving experience for your tribe instead of a commodified seller of stuffif you want to feel like a shining, trusted, communicator who is deeply listened to… If you want to be rewarded and
in your business and your offers —

all you have to do… allll you have to do — is do what you love, and be yourself, no worries at all of ‘knowing your target market’…

…With one super-tiny detail.

In that vision of the leader you could be, with everyone hanging on your every word… surely you’ll have to be communicating with some other human beings.


Your clients, your team, the media… somebody!

So you’ll have to communicate with them, like a good leader does.

So, at times — and only at times — you’ll need to know them, to be a good leader.

Want to know how to have this super-necessary leadership skill, so you’re not left out in the cold? Check out my article: “How To Find The ‘Lots Of Money’ That Is ‘Out There’

If the articles I was reading went something a little more like that, you can bet I’d be focused, listening, and ready to act.

Let me offer you another example – cooking for guests.

Have you ever made a dish for some guests, where you just made whatever you had around, whatever you liked, and your guests knew you, trusted you, and liked you, and so… not surprisingly… they enjoyed the dish?

That’s what I’m talking about. That’s my kind of interaction.  That’s what I want for my business — I make awesome stuff that I like and am confident in, and the people I connect with like sharing

And for the most part, people have no problem doing this. The thing about it is, you already have some experience

eating. You *know* what will go over well with the guests, for the most part, but you may not have the same experience in your business.

It’s not complicated, people do it all the time. You be yourself, you cook what you like, and your guests enjoy it.

A host is a leader. They lead the party. They want to please their tribes and lead them well.

Of course they want to know their tribes, but they don’t know they do or why. When they’re standing in front of a table of food being untouched, they don’t want to hear “know your guests!!!!! 111! 111!”

Before telling someone to ‘know their tribe,’ I like to focus on helping them feel like a leader first. In business, in social media, and in life.

So, let’s say now they’re thinking about leading their tribe; now they’re thinking about influencing others…

…now you bring up the super-tiny detail. (know your target market)

Sometimes, when most of the guests aren’t eating, and you don’t feel like a leader or a good host, and being ‘yourself’ feels a bit awkward, because the real you – the leader you – would investigate.

“Is something wrong with the food? Is it too cold? Are the guests allergic?” Etc. – Here check out this article called “Know Your Guests: How To Get People To Eat Your Food — Fast!”

Then Help Your Tribe | Ryze

Being results and benefits-oriented for ourselves is human nature. Being selfish is human nature. You need to know who you’re talking to.

So, my message to all these bloggers giving me advice on knowing my target? Practice what you preach a bit more, front-load those articles with pain + pleasure buttons that appeal to ME, the entrepreneur, the business owner, the tribe-leader who may-not-feel-like-one.

Then get to the ‘know your target market’ stuff.

You want to find your best buyer, and know your one person… why? Because it’s a vital, essential, necessary tool that all great leaders, entrepreneurs, and success-stories have, and it’s f***ing
easy. You have it at your fingertips, be a powerful influencer, learn it.”

I’ll end with this quote, re-quoted from article called “It’s Okay To Be Selfish” from Psychology Today, by Jennifer Garam.

“I want you to be really, really selfish. The more selfish and nurturing you can be for yourself, the by-product for those that you love or work that you do is greatly enhanced” – Greg Gumucio, Yoga For The People

Doesn’t that sound fantastic? Doesn’t that APPEAL to you? Doesn’t that make a much more compelling case for knowing your target market? Know them when and if you feel compelled to be that leader and that influencer you know you are. Know them after you’ve focused on What You Want First.

When you focus on What You Want (being influential and getting people to take action), you naturally end up learning to “know your target market”. If you focus on “knowing your target
market” there’s a high-chance of it “not sticking”.

So how about it? Am I talking to the right target market, in the right way?

Would you guys prefer me just to give you another semi-lecture about ‘knowing your market’ or is it more exciting if I talk about feeling like a powerful, influential leader, and from that position,
show you why it’s important to communicate and learn about your people?

Do I know my tribe, or don’t I? Or do I not even really care about that, Jay Abraham-style, and am I focused clearly on what I want?

Let me know in the comments 😀 <grin>

Jason Fonceca stands for “Sexy Success.” He helps people get from where they are, to where they want to be, with clarity & style. He offers fresh perspectives, a free Success E-Course, and rock-solid guidance athttp://RyzeOnline.com. He’s been featured on FirepoleMarketing.com, Building Digital Empires, and Technorati. Follow him at @ryzeonline