In my business life, I have, often, find tools and methods, which help me to understand better the environment in which I was operating in. It is important in my line of work to have good approaches, tested operations and trustworthy tools to help you listen carefully and on time the requirements and the needs of the people you serve in order to try to help them more effectively. To do that tools are not enough! It needs suitable operations, attention and a mindset focused on servicing your clients and associates.
A Cost-Free C3I Center
I have written this article on Saturday (2 days earlier from the appointed time of your reading time) in Evernote, which is part of what I call my personal C3I Center (Command, Control, Communication & Intelligence).
After I finish the writing, I will check my notification (listening) folder which aggregates many notifications and alarms about the things I have (or must) to pay attention. How am I doing that? There are many recipes, but you can find many (without cost) on the web and by using the IFTTT web automation tool.
If you are really interested, you can find some ideas in:
- What is If This Then That?
- 5 IFTTT Recipes to Power Your Day
- Evernote Recipes
- How to Automatically Archive Your Life with IFTTT and Evernote
- Automate Your Productivity with IFTTT and Evernote
- 9 ways to automate your life with IFTTT
- 9 Clever Ways to Automate Your Small Business with IFTTT
- If This Then Trello: Automating Trello With IFTTT
- Automate All The Things: How To Get Started With IFTTT
But this is not the topic of this post.
Automation is just a leverage to permit you to listen … carefully what needs to be done. If you are interested in how to automate more of your task and especially on how you are going to develop digital channels to help you listen carefully what your clients, audience, and readers really want, keep on reading.
Finis Africae, or not …
Finis Africae literally means the end of the Africa but in the book The Name of The Rose (one of my most favorite books by Uberto Eco), it means a secret known by a selected few. Just as many things appear to our modern digital economy to people strive after making the ends meet… (Optional: for more in-depth notions you can check Uberto Eco notes on operation systems, his ideas about the cross-reference of meaning, or why people tired of simple things, and why yourself is an open work)
As entrepreneurs, leaders, freelancers, consultants, etc. we always should know where we address our ideas to. We need clear paths and directions to do what it is important (for us and our business) but most of all we need to have a clear canvas (clear rules, operations, ways of contacts and communication) in which we can unfold our special contribution to the world.
To provide value. To everyone? We would like and we would wish so. But this is not always the case.
To do so, we should start by listening carefully the audience we choose to serve. And this is today’s topic. To find your audience, by knowing your niche and how to listen to the requirements of your prospects, leads, and clients in a way that you can handle in a business more (i.e. not information overload).
To do that, you need to develop your operations and employ the right tools. If you are a small business owner, you need to do it, with limited cost (or none at all, if it possible!).
Attention is the hard currency of the post-modern economy and a currency you can trade of many other commonalities (like shares, likes, sales, impact, influence, leadership, expertise, etc.).
The like economy of today is more about what you do and less about what you have. You do not own something but you have the ability to assemble the required resources to finish a task. This is a skill and competency little people have. And it is worth to be marketed and chased after. Moreover, as a modern business person, you should acquire it (or find someone have it and hire him/her).
To listen to your potential clients or the people you want to serve you need at least:
- To know your vision, purpose, and mission in the world
- To be clear at your goals, intentions and means of achievement
- To be ready to make a difference
- To have already defined your niche market and, most importantly, your target market
- To know who and how you want to serve
To perform these tasks you will need some operations, approaches, and tools, as:
- An overall approach to succeed
- To be serious on what you do
- To have the right ideas and to know how to sell them
- To focus on your audience
- A supportive group of people to help you accomplish the activities needs to be done
- To cultivate trust and acquire by the time the authority to influence people
- To establish an online presence
All these also need practices and operations you should establish, use, employ, tweak and change according to the results these going to yield. It is different to each man and woman and it is different to each entrepreneur.
In order to listen carefully to what your audience have to say, you might select:
- Google Alarms for monitoring certain events
- Feedly for checking the news and what is important
- Google Trends and BuzzSumo to check what’s going on
- IFTTT and Zapier for automating certain tasks in the web
- Amazon, Quora and Reddit to see what is hot and interests your audience
The tools mix are not so important as the processes you have to establish for using the tools you have selected in a consistent way. A way that serves you and your audience both in the best possible way.
Question: What do you say? You can leave your comments or your questions, by clicking here.