July 2012: What's in it for them?

Whether you're in an informal or formal role as a business leader, thought leader or opinion leader, your job is to bring others along...to influence and inspire people to buy into, commit and act on a goal or mission.

Leaders often overlook the importance of making their messages relevant and meaningful to their audiences. Whether it's an employee, customer, peer, partner, investor, social media follower or other stakeholder, they're asking one central question: what's in it for me? When you frame your communication to address this essential question, you help people personally connect with your messages which increases the likelihood that they'll buy into, commit and act on them.

Before you communicate, ask yourself, "what does this audience really care about?" Different groups of people care about different things, and if you customize your messages to address their particular questions and concerns, your communication will rise to a new level of effectiveness. It takes a little more work to tailor your communication in this fashion, but it's well worth the extra effort.