How to sneak "vegetables" to your audience

How will youhide the vegetables_.png

You know how some people talk about sneaking vegetables into their family's food?

"I can't get my kids to eat the right healthy stuff so I hide it! Pureed vegetables in their meat foods; they never knew it was there! I'm am sneakily keeping them healthy even though they don't care about healthy. BWAHAHA!"

I want you to think about how you can sneak vegetables into your audience.


Ok, so here it is:

What we want and what we need are not always the same things.

What experts know we need and what we think we need are not always the same things.

That means that while we want to talk to everyone about the things we KNOW they need… they might not be thinking we're talking to them because they think they need something else. And that's why we need to talk about the "something else" and hide a bit of the stuff we know they actually need inside of it.

What your audience thinks they need to know

Let's use some examples.

Maybe you know that what people need in order to have more energy and feel better is to move and exercise more. You know that once they do that they're going to start feeling better all around, which is going to have a snowball effect on their lives.

Meanwhile, they're thinking, "I just wish I didn't look dumpy in every piece of clothing I put on."

What your audience really needs to know

You may know the problem isn't that they, "need to lose more weight" but that's all they can focus on right now. So, you need to talk about how to lose weight, and while doing that you need to work in some ideas of what they really need to know and do to be healthy.

Here's another example, you're a business owner and your business coach knows that business strategy, planning and working on your mindset is really going to help you move forward in your business. But you really just want to know how to market yourself better so you can get more clients and learn how to screen share during a Facebook Live. If that business coach pays attention and talks about marketing and gets your attention with some how-tos and simple strategies to get more visible, they can weave in the importance of business planning and mindset as part of THAT content.

You're not being dishonest

This is NOT being dishonest. It's giving people what they want, and learning that the best way to get the right messages to the people who need it isn't to yell louder and louder until people understand what they're saying, it's to get their attention with what they want and educate them while they're learning about that thing.

I don't know about you, but I know some people would never CONSIDER eating a mostly veggie based meal, but give them a good meat lasagna and they're excited and ready to eat. And if it was GOOD and REAL lasagna that had some healthy vegetables in it (no bait and switch here!), everyone gets what they needed and wanted.

How will you sneak "vegetables" to your audience?

So, how can you sneak vegetables into the things your audience really want? Thinks about the people you talk to on a regular basis... what are they asking you about? Are they often asking you for things that don't seem like the right place to start? Can you start there anyways?

Leave a comment telling me how you can apply this to your business or if you aren't sure how - come over to my Facebook group and ask and we'll brainstorm it out together!

Want more content and tips like this, with all kinds of vegetables hidden into the meat sauce? Join my free Facebook Group!

And if you want a bit more on HOW to provide value to your audience and figure out what they want, check out this blog post:

Are you creating the right kind of content?

We’ve talked about whom you should be talking to and how you should be talking to them in the past, but today I want to talk about what you should be saying to your audience.

What does your audience want to know?

Once you’ve figured out who your target audience is you need to make sure that the content that you’re creating is what they actually want to be receiving. 

This can be far more difficult than it sounds because most of us have a tendency to explain things as if we’re talking to our peers.  However, our potential customers aren’t our peers and that usually means we need to take at least two giant steps back before we start trying to explain anything.

Start at the beginning

While this isn’t true for every client base, a lot of the time what you need to do when creating content for your audience is make sure that you’re breaking things down for them into easy to understand and digestible pieces of information.

If you are a personal trainer you may want to explain the reasons why exercise can help a person feel better, stronger, and healthier instead of talking about the science behind how a body will feel better when consistently active.  Most people ready to make a change would feel intimidated (or bored) by anything too scientific.

If you’re a web site designer who works with business owners who don’t feel comfortable with technology, you may want to talk about the merits of different kinds of sites, the importance of having a web site at all, or how to make simple changes to your own site but you wouldn’t want to create tutorials on how to do code your own web site.

Or maybe in the middle 

I’m not suggesting that everything needs to be dumbed down. If what you specialize in requires people to have a certain level of knowledge, then you don’t have to start at the beginning, but chances are, you need to still take a few steps back from where you currently are.  

If you are a lawyer who deals in real estate law and you are creating content for realtors, then you know that you can use the language that realtors know, but you shouldn’t use legal language because your audience isn’t lawyers.

What do you want them to know? 

You want to create content that demonstrates your expertise and help lead your potential clients towards purchasing what you sell.  With that in mind, what kind of content can you create that will help you do those things? 

Think about the things you get asked when people are inquiring about your business.  Think about all the information you think people need to know before making a decision about whether or not to work with you.  Jot down 4-5 things.  If the answers to those questions aren’t on your web site right now, you have the topics for four or five blog posts or videos (at least) and the answers you give people to those questions are your draft content.

What do you think your audience wants to hear about?

Are you giving your audience value?


There are several phrases I use over and over again because they are key to online success. Today I’m focusing on one of them  - give value to your audience.

We’ve talked about the importance of understanding your brand and how important it is to be thoughtful in what you post, but there is something else you need to keep in mind. If you go too far off course from your brand, values, and promises, you will bore or irritate your audience into un-following you.

How do you figure out if you’re sharing content people who follow you value? Let’s break it down:

Who is your audience?

Can you describe your audience? Every audience is different and you need to take the time to really figure out who your audience is. Understanding who makes up that audience, what they like, what they don’t like and what they would like from you is critical in creating the kind of content that can help you build relationships that turn that audience into customers.

Once you’ve figured that out, creating and sharing content that can connect with your audience becomes a lot easier.

What do they value?

Not every audience is looking for the same kind of information. Make sure that everything you share has some kind of connection back to who you are and who your audience is. 

Think about why they followed you in the first place. What would people expect the content to look like coming from your brand? Make sure your content doesn’t go too far off from that.

Things that people value tend to fall into three main categories:

  1. You’re teaching them something,
  2. You’re entertaining them, or
  3. You’re giving them tools and knowledge. 

What don’t they want?

Nobody likes to follow a brand that is only trying to sell to them. That’s valuable to the brand, not to the audience. Make sure that you’re giving your audience something they want or can use so that when you do post some sales posts - and you definitely should - they think so highly of you they’re far more inclined to make the buy.

People don’t want information that has nothing to do with them or that they can’t relate to.

Let’s look at some examples

  • If your main audience is young women about to get married, interesting articles about retirement don’t make sense. 
  • If your main audience is men who want to home-brew their own beer, then funny cartoons about being a new mom don’t make sense.
  • If you promised tips and tricks to help them do something better, just sharing things you’re selling isn’t going to convince them of anything other than that you’re pushy and too sales-y.
  • If you sell hammers, make sure that you talk about the hammers, and the things you can do with the hammers. 

Spend some time thinking about your content and what you’re giving to your audience that they would value. Then share some examples (good and bad) of what you’ve seen or done that relates to giving an audience value.

Who is watching you? You'd be surprised!

When we try to figure out the value of all of our social media efforts, we look at the numbers.  Who is commenting, who is sharing, how many people are clicking….

Those are all valuable metrics, there’s no doubt, but sometimes we get overly discouraged when the numbers aren’t what we hope they would be. We all need to remember this: a fraction of the people seeing your message are reacting in a way that you can see.

Engagement is always what we most want, Edgerank on Facebook has made particularly sure of that, but even so, we often forget that most people don’t react to everything that they see online. That doesn’t mean they aren’t seeing it.

I recently had a friend tell me that her husband works with someone I worked with years ago. When I asked how they had possibly figured that out it was because they were talking about Las Vegas and both said they knew someone who had recently been.  Aside from the fact that it was very cool that they figured that out, what was most interesting to me is that this friend who I used to work with - I haven’t interacted with her in almost two years, not even on Facebook. Except I have, because she knew I was in Vegas because I talked about it on Facebook. What may have seemed like an interesting tidbit in her feed became significant later. And the whole time I had no inkling that she knew what was happening in my life.

Another example happened this week.  Karen and I were in a coffee shop when someone we hadn’t seen in a couple of years walked up and said hi. I have barely seen anything in my feeds from her in the last while but she knew just what Karen and I were up to, including the conference we’re planning. What’s more, she owns a local business that I follow (though I had no idea it was her) and she’s exactly the audience we hope is seeing our content. 

So, what’s my point?

Keep producing good content.  Keep sharing it and keep talking. People are listening, even if you don’t know who.

I’ve had people reference a blog post I wasn’t sure anyone had read,  and tell me that they finally got in touch after following my tweets for over a year.  I know people who don’t use Twitter but follow people’s Twitter pages, people who have their email readers set to not let your newsletter software count their open, and there are so many more examples. Only a fraction of the people out there are ready to tell you they’re there. Sometimes it may feel like you’re talking and nobody is listening - but you may be surprised just who actually is watching you. 

Do you have any examples like these? Share them in the comments!

It's all about them: Scott Sigler

In my second post highlighting people and brands who put their audience first, I’m talking about Scott Sigler, another one of the speakers I saw at New Media Expo.

Scott Sigler

photo by Amy Davis Roth

Scott Sigler is a New York Times best-selling novelist. He is the author of Nocturnal, Ancestor, Infected and Contagious.  He is also co-founder of Dark Øverlord Media.

Before he was published, Scott built a large online following by giving away his work in podcasts. His fanbase grew and grew and eventually helped him get a book deal. This is the point in the story where, without ever having read or heard any of Scott’s work, I became a fan.

His fans are his priority

When it came time to sign a contract with a publisher, Scott insisted that it be written into the contract that he be able to continue podcasting his books for free. Why?

My father had a phrase, “you dance with the one that brought ya.”

His fans got him popular by listening to his free podcasts.  Penalizing them for helping him get to where he is now didn’t feel right to him. That’s pure awesome.

It’s about relationships

There are a lot of other great reasons he continues to give away content for free.  Ones that fall so in line with “it’s all about them”.  Provide great content for free and people will come because it’s free.  The opportunity to connect with them, to grow them into loyal fans who then WANT to help you and support you is so much more valuable than someone who paid $15 once and never came back to your work again.

This is how you build a relationship with your audience that can be sustained. Appreciating and rewarding the people who helped you get where you are.

It really does pay off

Scott sometimes includes some of his fans’ names in his books. It’s exciting for the fans and they get to show off that they’re in the book.  And then things like this can happen:


Can you even imagine what this kind of exposure is worth?

Make what you do about your audience.  Where would you be without them?

Do you know of any great examples of this? Leave a comment and let me know so I can check them out!  And if you liked this post, please share! :)