68687_10151382467244747_413082489_nI currently sit on a couple different boards for organizations doing really cool stuff. With my involvement on these boards, I have been spending a lot of time recently diving into how to maximize donor relations for organizations.

This is all so fascinating to me because it deals quite frankly with the psychology of those we are seeking to reach with our message of needs in hopes of connecting their resources to them.

The placement of various components for taking your audience through your message is extremely critical for leading them to your ultimate goal. Your ultimate goal of course being their buy in to what you offer.

Previously, I have discussed the importance of awakening the need in people and then to solve them something rather than sell them something. But, what are the stages we must lead them through to take them from “the who are you” to “I am totally all in with you?”

During a recent board meeting, we took part in a quick training on development. During this 45-minute training, I was so impressed with the presenter in clearly stating the various stages, which were as follows:

  • ignorance
  • awareness
  • interest
  • experience
  • participation
  • ownership

In looking at your messaging strategy, does it reflect these various stages? If not, what changes could you make to reflect these stages within your messaging strategy? How would you address them for your audience?

Now that we established these various stages, how will we communicate them?

I recently wrote this statement:

The heart knows not logic and the mind knows not emotion. The key is to move forward with balance. The same hands made them both.

What’s interesting with this is that people speak different languages. Some speak more of emotion while other speak more of logic.

Who is your audience? Are you speaking their language? Or are you lost in translation?

How can you communicate these various stages in your messaging strategy to your audience in a way that is most clear… to them? (not you.)

Take a moment and think about your solution to that which you are seeking to solve.

Write what you look like to your audience through the lens of those six stages in a sentence. If leading them through five stages gets you to the six, what does that look like? The goal is ownership.

  1. I have no idea who you are
  2. I am now aware of who you are
  3. I am interested in who you are
  4. I have experienced who you are
  5. I have participated in who you are
  6. I am all in

Notice how the first three lead you there, and the last three have you there. This is accomplished all with the goal of having your audience all in with what you offer.

Sometimes I think with the various strategies I see is that we immediately think from the get go that people will be all in. What we fail to see is that often times it is a process. This process much looks like the process of tasting and seeing and then to the gaining of trust.

What I love about this process is that if we do it right, by the time we get to stage 6, we will have set up a really good game of telephone.

A clear message in the hands of one who now owns it through tasting it is a message that will reap much dividend.

For me, the light bulb went off in this quick development training board meeting. In this, I found The Stages of Travel for my Future Audience.

Now it’s time to get to work.