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Nobody Wants Your Message Shoved Down Their Throat

Yesterday I was a presenter on a Webinar called Is it Time for a Website Overhaul? for the TCA.  I presented a framework for the audience to objectively evaluate their website to see where they need improvement or if it was time for an overhaul.  Some of the key concepts we discussed were visual design best practices, user experience design (UX), persona and user journey development, content strategy, technical SEO, and more.

If you’ve ever been asked to do a webinar or participate in a panel, or do a speaking session, you understand the dynamic that’s at play.  The organization that’s hosting the event is trying to add value for their audience by finding a subject matter expert to talk about something that is topical and relevant to their industry or interests.

This is a great win-win for the presenter (like me) because you’re able to get in front of an audience that is most likely right in your target market, helping you gain some mindshare and in some cases you’ll even get lucky and have members of the audience that have an immediate need.

The unspoken rule is that your presentation shouldn’t be a commercial for you.  Your content needs to be agnostic and valuable to the audience.  But being in the position where you’re being presented as the representative expert in a field, and then delivering good, insightful content, an audience member that is likely to need your services will be a lot more likely to see you as their solution.

The more you contribute this valuable content to the community you serve, and the more you engage with them through these outreach opportunities, the more you will be seen as a thought leader.  Now, let me be clear I don’t consider myself to be that, there are much better examples in our industry.  We all know those personalities.  They’re the people we see at all the industry shows and events, see on the webinars, follow on social media, and read on blogs.  And they’re the ones we turn to when we have a need, or know someone that does.

That’s a very real marketing strategy, and even a business model for some, and it's the same underlying concept behind content marketing / blogging.  But it works in varying degrees and so you don’t have to be the keynote speaker at Channel Partners or ChannelCon to benefit from these kinds of engagements.

So anyway, after this webinar for the TCA one of their board members that was on the webinar reached out to me with a lead.  When we talked about it, she said how after the webinar she really understood our position in the market.  Now, this is a person that knows the space well, and she said that she realized what made us different was our commitment to design best practices, UX, and a data-driven, analytical approach (I’m paraphrasing a bit, but this is fairly true to what she said).

What’s interesting about her phrasing is that it's almost exactly how we phrase it ourselves on our homepage.  Now, I wouldn’t come out and say those things about us on a webinar, it’s not an appropriate forum, but the topics I spoke about, and the information and insight I provided, positioned us in her mind exactly the way we position ourselves on our homepage.  We didn’t tell her what we’re about, we showed her.

Let that sink in.  We didn’t tell her what we’re about, we showed her.  And she got it.

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