Stop hunting. Start farming.

By: Ignite Partnership

Yes, farming. But we’re not talking real dirt, soil, fertilizer, and seeds. Nor are we talking about tilling the virtual soils of FarmVille or SimCity. We’re talking about a dirt-simple position (sorry for the pun) that seems relevant for this time of year: If you spend all your time hunting an audience that knows how to hide, you will likely perish under the fallen snow until someone trips over your frozen corpse late next spring. Instead of hunting for them, commit to cultivating your ideal audience. 

Invite people into your company’s fold with entertaining content packed with real value. Be relevant, interesting, and useful with everything that you deliver. Feed people’s passions and enthusiastically share solid information that helps them make good decisions. Do this and not only will they gladly sit at your table, your audience members will bring their like-minded friends to do the same.

How do you get started? We’ve got a few tips for you: 

  1. Do the work to learn what people want and think they need.

These items will vary by segment and where people are within the sales cycle. This deeper understanding will help develop content that attracts and engages the audience and accelerates the individual’s movement toward your brand.

  1. Package information in an entertaining and engaging bundle that your audience will see as valuable.

The goal is to enrich the audience’s experience and let them see inside your brand. With each communication touch point, offer them more detailed information so they will be willing to take that next step with you.

  1. Deliver information whenever, wherever, and however they want it.

Audiences gather information from countless sources in physical, digital, and fully immersive virtual worlds. When you find out where your audience is and reach out to them diligently and transparently, you will build credibility and, eventually, they will give you information that allows for direct contact.

It’s key that this information is woven into a brand narrative that helps cultivate your audience. The goal is to attract, engage, and motivate people to move toward an elevated brand experience and show them some love when they take that step with you.

Our strong advice for entrepreneurs and CEOs, especially of younger companies getting ready to scale, is to focus on the vision. Understand and believe in what truly makes you different and better. Keep pitches tight to that vision and you will start finding prospects who have been looking for that and will value your expertise.

Keep “hunting” as a hobby if you love it so much. There is some value in it, especially if done in an interesting, unique way. Just don’t try to feed your company on it. Instead, build your business through the smart, focused cultivation of your most important audiences. It’s easier to sleep on a full stomach.