Dale Carnegie, author of the 1930s self-help bestseller How To Win Friends and Influence People, wrote:
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.”
Now, we’re not exactly avid readers of the book - but Dale does have a point. It’s a compelling perspective, one that can shed light on more than just interpersonal relationships. In fact, it’s something we bear in mind every day at Flying Object.
Our clients’ audiences are their top priority, which makes them our top priority too. And the catchy phrase “be interested, be interesting” is useful to keep top of mind when shaping relationships.
But what does that mean?
Being interested means really actually getting to know your audience
Talk to them and get to know their priorities. What do they love? What do they care about? What’s the biggest problem in their life?
Understand their digital and content consumption habits. You want to go to them, so you need to figure out where they are. Where do they hang out online? What kinds of media do they get their info from?
Find the connecting points of interest to the brand. What do you have in common and why do they care? Think: how can your brand, or product, help with their problems, or give them something that they care about?
And note - research reports will offer to give you these insights, but we've found it's always better to speak to people IRL. It's much easier to be interested in a person than a demographic.
Being interesting means giving real value in return for their attention
Don’t waste their time: entertain, educate or inspire. Draw your audience in, building trust and authority, rather than just telling them to buy from you.
Find what’s truly interesting, intriguing, or surprising about a product. Lead the audience to understand why it matters, and could matter to them.
Use audience response to understand what works and iterate.
We’ve found this simple framework can be super helpful for engaging with audiences, and winning more than just friends.