Is anyone listening? Most of us have that feeling at times – why are we bothering to post regularly when no one seems to comment on or engage with my posts, my emails or my podcast episodes. Apart from asking more questions, and asking for more engagement (which you can of course do too), should you be worried whether anyone is listening?
This is an episode in thought leadership and is intended to challenge you to think.
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Season 2 Episode 16 FAQ Business Podcast transcription | Is anyone listening?
Do you ever feel like no one is listening to you? And therefore, why bother continuing to promote yourself on socials or other things like podcasts? Sometimes sure, you actually may be better off stopping what you’re doing, but in many cases, you never know who is listening and how important to you they could be.
00:27 Welcome to the FAQ Business Podcast hosted by Jane Tweedy
Welcome to the FAQ Business Podcast for business owners, covering four pillars actionable, education, inspiring leaders, businesses like you, and thought leadership where we challenge your thinking. Hosted by myself, Jane Tweedy I’m founder and lead trainer of FAQ Business Training, where we want to avoid you getting ripped off or ripping yourself off. We’ll feature an amazing diversity of guests with lots to educate and inspire you. Let’s jump into today’s episode of the FAQ Business Podcast.
01:03 When there’s hardly any engagement is anyone actually listening?
If you’re putting out all your content all the time, does anyone actually listen to it? That’s how it feels sometimes, right? Especially when we look at our numbers and there’s hardly any likes or engagement where our reach seems quite low. We certainly then feel like, is anybody listening? Is this worthwhile?
Unless your reach is crazy low, like only a few people, it is likely that there are people listening, there are people hearing your message, and they are people that want to know about it.
01:34 I often wonder is anyone listening to this podcast?
I’m Jane Tweedy from FAQ Business Training host of the FAQ Business Podcast. Yes, here again, solo. Oh my gosh, I have been sick now for three weeks. Turns out I had an infection, Covid, and Influencer A all at the same time. Woohoo go me, what a winner. Like anyone I have thought sometimes of why do I bother? Is anyone actually listening? Say to my podcast, or to my social posts?
02:03 This is often imposter syndrome kicking in
But the effort of producing quality content and feeling like no one is listening, you just go, is it worth it? Often this is actually more about imposter syndrome kicking in. We don’t have enough validation and so we think that we are wasting our time and then that starts spiraling out of control into a situation where we think nobody cares, what’s the point? However, you never really know who’s listening or reading.
02:34 Recently a lady joined my membership and I had no idea she was listening
I’ve had numerous situations where I’ve asked the person, so how did you find out about me? And in one case recently, a lady that had joined my membership and I’d never heard of her. I’m like, where did she come from? Years ago she found me on one of the Facebook groups. Because of my commenting, she had stalked me, in her words, since then. And then when I opened my membership up, she connected and she joined it. And then she’s arranged to have some sessions with me since.
But the thing was, I had no idea she was listening. I had no idea she was reading. She wasn’t engaging with anything openly, she wasn’t liking anything, she wasn’t commenting, she was doing nothing of the sort. So her name was completely out of the blue when I saw it.
03:26 One lady had been following me for a year and then booked 34 hours of work
In fact, in the extreme case of this, a few years ago, I had a person come to me, same sort of thing, how did you find out about me? I saw you a year ago. I’ve been following everything you say for the past year, and I literally mean everything.
She could quote me word for word on stuff because she’d read it all fully. And then she had come to me she booked a session with me in person after not commenting on one thing for a year. And then she booked 34 hours worth of work with me straight away. And I’m like, that’s crazy.
04:01 If I’d given up then they would not now be my clients
And the thing was, if I’d given up doing my posting, if I’d given up communicating with people, those type of clients would not now be my clients. You see where I’m getting at here? There are people listening. And sometimes we’ve got to remember that we can’t just judge things on what we see visually because there is things going on behind the scenes.
So when you feel no one is listening and it may be that somebody, just one person is hearing you, that one person could be the person, they could be the person that makes a massive difference to your entire life.
04:42 Had a few connections like this on LinkedIn
And I’ve had a few of these type of connections on LinkedIn, people that I connected with because I worked with them 20 odd years ago, like a long time ago. And when I said work with them, not closely, vaguely. And those people have then had other things happen in their lives, as I’ve had in mind. And our circumstances now are completely different to what they were then. But now we have crossed paths again in our new worlds, if you like, but only because of connecting, reaching out.
05:13 Two strategies to use – open posting , attracting and behind the scenes communicating
So do remember, apart from just things like posting on something like LinkedIn, there are two strategies you can have. One is to be sort of open posting, attracting, connecting with people. The other is to do a more behind the scenes type strategy where you are individually connecting with people. And I do kind of, I suppose a mixture of that. So I have some sort of openly communicating and then I definitely have some behind the scenes communication as well.
And I’m not talking about trashy sales post. I’m talking about something’s happened to that person. Maybe they’re in the media and I’ve taken the opportunity to reach out and go, hey, I saw you in the media the other day. What are you up to these days? Tell me a bit more about what you’re doing. And that’s been led to an opportunity which lead to another opportunity.
06:01 20 year old connection turned out to be mutually beneficial
Or in another situation. A lady saw me on LinkedIn post about an event I attended. She said, oh, are you in town? And I went, yeah, I am. And she went, oh, have you got time to catch up? Okay, like I said, kind of a 20 year old connection or something. And we caught up. And it turned out we had a lot of things that we could potentially link up with or that she could certainly connect me with, which was fantastic. So I had some things I could offer her to help her out. She had some things to offer me that could help me out, which was perfect.
06:32 Before you cut anything off ask yourself some questions first
So before you start thinking about cutting anything off, you need to ask yourself some questions. First of all, are you overfocusing on the negatives? Are you focusing on vanity metrics? Are you focusing on things that don’t actually count?
06:48 Often when you meet with people you realise they are listening
Now, what I mean by that is you might go, okay, I don’t feel like I’m reaching anyone. And yet when you go and meet with people, for instance, I’ve had this recently particular event had happened, and a whole bunch of people said to me oh blah, blah, blah, blah, blah about the event. And I’m like ah so you are looking at my stuff, you are seeing my stuff. Whereas sometimes, like I said, it feels like we’re not talking to anyone. It feels like no one is listening.
So those are sort of times when we can absolutely see that people are listening because they communicate back to us. They let us know, yes, we saw that post, I saw that. And even on a post the other day, someone was saying their engagement was really low and how could they fix it?
07:29 Some situations might cause reluctance to comment but they are still reading
And a couple of us sort of said, well, hey, you might find that people are actually listening and engaging anyway. They’re just doing it through a slightly different channel. They’re opening the post, they’re clicking read more. They’re not necessarily liking, commenting, etc.
And in some businesses, it’s really tough. So for instance, one of my businesses that I run is the job search business. When I do actively post in that business, I get crickets because who’s going to comment on a public Facebook post? Oh that was a great tip, that’s going to help my job search, when they’re secretly looking for work, right? It’s just not going to happen.
08:08 For example the subject of mental health may prevent people from engaging publicly
What about if it’s something to do with, say, mental health, or it’s a stigma attached to something or a perceived stigma attached to something? They don’t necessarily want to comment. And it doesn’t mean that they’re not going to engage. And it might mean they engage in a group somewhere, but they may not engage in public.
08:26 With emails you only have a 30% open rate but they still seeing your presence
So we’ve really got to remember, where are they engaging and how? Something like emails, you might have a 30% open rate, but did you know 30% open rate is actually considered a good open rate? The average open rate across all industries, according to MailChimp, is only around that 21% mark.
So if yours is 30, you’re actually above the game. It does become a bit of a numbers game. So you need numbers so that people can open it. Then you need numbers for people that might click through and engage and then the numbers that might actually buy. But what you don’t realise necessarily is that those that aren’t opening your emails are still getting something out of your emails.
And what’s that? It’s your presence. It’s a reminder that you exist. It’s a reminder that you’re there. And that way, if the person down the track needs your services, what are they going to do?
09:18 They will remember seeing your email if they need something in the future
They go, that’s right, I’ve got that person that’s emailed me, who are they? They’ll go back and look at their emails. That’s right, it was this person and they’ll reach out to you. So the thing is, by subliminally being in their emails like that, as they scroll through, they are going to actually reach out to you, potentially in the future. So all is not lost just because someone hasn’t opened your emails.
09:42 Might not open emails but they are still listening
And I’ve had that. I’ve had emails go out where they haven’t opened a single email. I’ve sent an email out about a particular topic or a particular offer I’ve got and they jump on it and they haven’t opened anything up in between. It’s just because that particular heading attracted them or that particular offer attracted them.
So you’ve got to remember, we don’t all jump on everything and sometimes people are lurking and they are listening. It’s just that they’re not telling us they’re doing that.
10:14 Another issue is strategy and poor execution
Another issue with this is strategy and taking action. So if you have no strategy and you’re just randomly posting random posts and randomly sending an email, then randomly doing a post on Facebook and randomly putting something on LinkedIn, you’re probably going to find you’re not doing a very good job. Okay, that’s pretty poor execution.
10:36 We are having a marketing strategist on the podcast soon with lots of ideas
So having some sort of strategy in place would be fabulous. And that’s why we’re going to have a marketing strategist on the podcast soon, so that we can get some ideas from her how to reset our marketing strategy.
Because we do need a strategy in place. You’ll have much better results if you do that. So it may be that you don’t need to stop a channel it just may mean that you need to have a more structured effort around the channel.
11:02 We need consistency to get good results
Sometimes as well it’s a lack of consistency. If we be inconsistent and we put a post up and then three posts up and then one post up and it’s very all over the show, then we’re really not likely to get very good results. The funny one I do find though as well is when I ask someone what’s worked for you in the past when you’re marketing and they say, da da da, I go, okay, when did you last do that? Well, not for years. You’re like, well, it worked for you before, why are you not doing it again?
11:33 Make sure our execution is on form
So taking action is really important, having a strategy, number one. Number two, taking actions against that strategy to actually put it in place, then number three is how are we actually making sure that the execution is on form? And that we can do three things like insights.
11:53 Our actions should be delivering results – actual money coming in
So if we’re taking actions and they’re not delivering results, and by results I don’t just mean things likes and engagements, I mean things like actual customer calls, actual customer bookings, actual sales, because that’s the thing that really counts. Clearly, actual money coming into our bank account.
12:12 Flyers don’t generally work except some exceptions
So the wrong tactic, the great example I give of this typically is a new start up business typically will go and produce flyers. It does poorly executed flyers, but it does flyers. And the thing is most businesses, flyers don’t work for.
12:27 The keeping up with the Jones’ – flyers may work
There are some exceptions, there’s the keep up the Jones type thing. So if you were a landscaper and or lawns guy, for instance, and you are doing a particular house in an area, you might go around and deliver to 20 houses around that area because they see that person’s yard, they see your sign up or whatever, they see stuff happening then they go, oh, we want to have our yard look like that too. So then they might reach out to you.
12:53 Flyer’s work for take away restaurants as people them
So that can be a good tactic. Another tactic where flyers can work is things like restaurants. Often people do put a price list or a menu for their local Chinese restaurant or whatever in their kitchen cupboard. How many of you have got those?
13:07 Better off using a tool to actually target areas
So the thing is, there is the odd flyer that works. But for most businesses, they’re an absolute waste of money and a waste of time. And usually, they’re completely not targeted. There are slight ways to make it better by using something like a tool, like in Australia we have id.com.au and you can actually go in there and find out using the Atlas tool, exactly which streets in which areas to actually target.
So instead of targeting a postcode, which in the case of my postcode is the five socio-economic areas in one, you actually target the area that you want to target. So if you want to target middle Australia, you go to this area. If you want to target the rich people, go to that area. If you want to target more the housing area, you go to that area. So there’s a very different range of people.
13:55 Execution is important – the way we present
So apart from tactic, which definitely has a play, there is also execution. So execution is super important in everything that we do. So it’s the way that we write our copy, the way that we write our message, the way we convey our message, the way we present our message, the way that we present ourselves, all that stuff comes into play.
14:16 Look at insights and analytics to check our execution
So we need to make sure that our execution is on form. And the best way to look at the execution side of it is to look at our results. So looking at our insights and our analytics, how many people went to the web page, we had a link in our post or whatever, which went to a web page, how many people actually clicked on that?
14:36 Watch our wording on Facebook
Now also, be careful, so for instance, at the moment I’ve been running a pricing series. The problem is when you start using words like discount and things like that, Facebook for instance, actually scans your posts for those type of sales words. And what effectively happens is your reach plummets on those posts.
So you might go, I didn’t get any uptake on that post, but it might be because that post really has been killed on reach because of the words that you’ve used. So be very mindful of that. Be very careful of using sales words in posts that aren’t sales.
15:11 Can be better to do things in groups
It’s very hard when you’re trying to advertise a pricing program. And that’s why it can be better to do that in things like groups where you have more freedom to be open about what you’re doing, whereas when you do it on your own page, it can be a little bit more tricky.
15:25 You might try Reels to be playful and fun
Or that’s where you might cover it up with something like doing Reals or something like that, where you can be a bit more playful and fun. And rather than use the text to try and talk about words that are going to set off algorithms and stop you from getting reach.
15:41 Before giving up on platforms really have a look at your strategy and execution
So before you make any changes, before you start cutting platforms or you go nope right, that’s it, I’m giving up on Twitter, I’m giving up on Facebook, whatever it is you’re giving up on, really have a look and see were you being consistent, were you delivering consistent messages, consistent pillars of information. If you weren’t, then maybe you need to do strategy and execution rather than changing the tactic.
16:03 Look at return on your investment and weigh it up
Other times you might go, you know what? Although that tactic kind of does work. For instance, I had years ago a guy that was in construction and he was putting ads in the local paper and it was costing him $18,000 to put ads in the local paper a year. And he was getting about $350,000 worth of sales out of it.
You might go, well, that sounds not too bad, but $18,000 worth of Facebook ads that potentially could have generated a lot of return. So you’ve got to kind of weigh it up, right? There’s a return on investment for different things. So return on investment in your time as well as your money.
16:39 You might decide you don’t need to be everywhere anymore
It is okay that when you first started up, you might have heard the Gary Vee be everywhere or something approach and you might have implemented it. And actually realised that you actually don’t need to be everywhere and as a busy entrepreneur, you can’t be everywhere.
16:54 Before you cut anything just make sure you are checking your insights
So that’s where you might go, you know what? I was everywhere and I really can’t afford to be anymore. And that’s okay to pull channels that aren’t working for you as effectively as others. You still might want to look at a little bit of your execution and things, but you can go, you know what? I can leave some of these channels behind. And obviously we’d probably go for the lower performing channels for those. But again, make sure you’re checking your insights.
I’ve had people on Instagram say, oh, I’m going to cut my quotes. And then they look at their track record and realise the quotes are the things that are delivering them the best reach and the best engagement. So you’ve really got to go, okay, what am I trying to achieve from this?
17:34 You only need to be more advanced than the people you are training
Another issue with is anybody listening? can be yourself, and it can be really that imposter syndrome type stuff creeping in and you thinking that you don’t have anything worth saying, and therefore, why would anyone listen to you? So in this case, I want you to bear in mind that you only need to be more advanced than the people that you’re training or the people that you’re sharing the information with.
18:02 You don’t need to be a million steps above
You don’t need to be a million steps above. And you think about it. If Tony Robbins comes to you in his multi-billion dollar business or whatever, and comes to you and tells you how to run your start-up thousand dollar business, that’s a very big gap. He doesn’t remember what it was like to do $1,000 business.
18:22 Reminds me of a show called Undercover Billionaire
And in fact, there was a show on Foxtel, well it’s been on Foxtel a couple of times, Undercover Billionaire. And really cool, because what happened was the original guy went in and who set the concept up. He went and did it himself. So he basically put himself into a town. He gave himself a vehicle. So a ute effectively in Australian terms.
So a truck in American terms. He gave himself a vehicle. He gave himself $100 and a phone with no contacts or anything on it. Okay. And he basically had to create as best he could, a million dollar business from that. From nothing. So he had nowhere to live, had nowhere for food, nothing. That $100 was for everything.
19:07 He turned around a struggling business – which went backwards again
And that was really interesting. So he did it the first year, and he found a business that had been struggling and he turned it around. But of course, then Covid hit. So he actually did a revisit to it in season three, or sort of a different version of it, if you like. And yeah, they had gone backwards a lot.
19:27 It was the management he’d put in place that had to be changed
So anyway, it turned out it wasn’t just the timing of Covid and things. It was also the management which he’d put in place and things that had to be changed. So it’s quite an interesting show. I’d suggest checking it out. So the second season, instead of him, he had three entrepreneurs in it.
One of them was Grant Cardone, and there were two others. And Grant Cardone is known as the 10X guy. And he’s one of those kind of big ra-ra speakers. Then you had two others, one that was very community, and very that kind of focused. And then the other one was kind of more of a property investor type.
20:03 It’s interesting seeing the way different people do things
Okay. So each of them had very different ways of making their money and of progressing things. So it’s worth having a look at, and seeing the way that different people do things. Because we all have different takes on the world. And the people that were listening to them was interesting, because they had nothing. They had nothing, no social proof, no nothing.
They couldn’t use their past, if you like, to get them ahead. And they all did pretty well. So, it’s an interesting thing to have a look at how they did it. But my point was, to remember my point because hey brain fog kicking in, was that you don’t need to be those people that are so far removed. Because particularly Grant Cardone, his particular one was quite interesting watching his journey. He really struggled at times, and at times he got really angry, because he just couldn’t make those first initial breakthroughs.
21:05 Be aware of who you are getting information from sometimes it’s not right
So he’s telling people all the time his 10X strategies and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But when he had to actually go do it himself, he realised how freaking tough it is when you don’t have that social proof behind you. So that’s a really interesting one to have a look, that there is that massive gap. So just bear in mind who you’re listening from, who you’re getting information from, because sometimes that information is not going to be quite right.
21:33 Emails are an example of thinking you are undershooting when you are not
So I mentioned emails before, and they’re really a prime example of maybe thinking that you’re undershooting when you’re actually not.
As I mentioned earlier, the average email open rate is only 20% to 25%. So it’s pretty small. But that 80% of people, that 75% of people that aren’t opening them. If they’re scrolling through their emails and even if they’re like me, they have a junk email list and that they’ll scroll through them. Not necessarily all the time.
22:02 Most people will scroll through and it is registering subliminally
But you scroll through them and you see those names, and you’ll see stuff coming up. You’ll also get annoyed by stuff that comes up way too often. So don’t be doing that to people. But the ones that are just there every now and then, or they’re there once a month or whatever, they’re harmless, right? So we don’t care about them, we just leave them sitting there.
The thing is, if you scroll past that, it’s registering in your brain subliminally. So even if you don’t actively notice the name, it’s going in there. And the thing is, it will help you in the future. If you need to refer someone or if you need that product or service again, or if you need it for the first time, you will remember that, oh, wait a minute, I’m on a list for something. You’ll go back to your email.
22:46 People do go back to old emails
Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s that person. I do that all the time. So I’m sure that you’ve done it too. So people do go back to old emails and things.
So just because they’re not opening your email up today, doesn’t mean that they’re not opening it. And even like the other day and this is some marketing strategies, tell you to do this. They say get rid of the deadweight in your email list. But the thing is, are they deadweight? So as if, for instance, I have had some things I bought.
So one is acoustic foam, that I used for creating sort of walls around my recording area in the garage, because it was very echoey. But I’ve got leftover bits that I actually use for my podcast and things. So I put them against my microphone and that’s just a floating piece of foam. But I haven’t had a need to buy anything else AV type related since then. I bought a microphone, I bought these foam panels, bought a lapel microphone and stuff.
23:42 Have not taken myself off the email list as it reminds me if I need anything else
But that’s it. I haven’t bought anything else. So I have no need to actively buy it. But I haven’t taken myself off the email list. I could do and then redo it later maybe. But part of me just goes, okay, because it just reminds me every now and then to think do I need anything?
So it does sort of trigger me to think about it. But then I just pushed aside, and don’t worry about it. But they actually sent me a note the other day and said, oh look, if you don’t respond, we’re going to break up with you, kind of attitude. And I thought kind of aggressive in some respects, because it’s like, well you can choose to do that. But they actually did like an automated type thing.
And then they also did the Chief Executive or whatever send out an email. Anyway, I replied to that email and I said, look FYI, I don’t have much need for AV stuff. And the thing was he goes, oh well then the email that was sent out, the automated one, can you click that to say that you’re happy to receive them or not? But the point was, I don’t really care either way if I’m on or off the email list. So if you don’t want me, because I’m not active enough, take me off it.
24:44 How often might someone need your product or service?
I really don’t care. So that was an interesting one. So just bear that in mind again. How often or how long someone might have a lead time to your product or service. Do they have a need to buy AV equipment every day? Probably not.
24:59 Just because I haven’t bought anything lately doesn’t mean I won’t in the future
So just bear in mind that if you cut off the email list because the gurus tell you to, that maybe your email list is something that people would only buy every two or three years anyway, like something off your stuff. So if you cut them off because they haven’t been active for a year, that’s probably not a clever idea. So do make sure you always consider your business, when you’re looking at things like am I going to stop sending emails, or am I going to cut people off the email list? Because in that case I don’t think it’s very clever.
Sure, I haven’t bought anything for the last year or two, but I haven’t needed to. Doesn’t mean I won’t in the future.
25:35 Look at your insights, look at your analytics, look at your sales
So before throwing in the towel, before getting frustrated and really asking yourself ‘is anyone listening?’ Really look into whether they are. So look at your analytics. Look at your insights from your social media and things, and actually see you whether you’re actually getting clicks through to your website. Are you actually making sales?
25:53 Do people mention things they saw you put online?
When you speak to people, do they mention something that you put online only? Did that come up and they mentioned it? Because if it did, think about where they got that from. They got that because they listened. So they are listening.
Even recently I found out that so many people were, because so many people mentioned something that I’d mentioned online, and I was amazed every single person was asking about it and go, oh so blah blah, blah. And I’m like that’s the only way they could have known about it, was through me telling them online.
26:23 You never know if your next ‘someone’ is going to make a difference
So although sometimes you really feel like you’re not getting the cut through, you really feel like you’re talking to no one, you might be pleasantly surprised that you are actually talking to someone. And you never know if that someone is your next ‘someone’ that will make a huge difference to you and your business.
I’m Jane Tweedy, thank you for listening in again to the FAQ Business Podcast.
26:51 Thanks for listening to the FAQ Business Podcast
Thank you for listening to today’s episode of the FAQ Business Podcast available on all good podcast services. You can subscribe today via FAQBusinessPodcast.com.au or directly on Apple iTunes, iHeartRadio or Spotify. Subscribe, follow, share and where able review our podcast or leave us a comment on either YouTube or our blog page.
Thanks for helping us to help you. The small to medium businesses who are growing and want to make a difference. Look forward to connecting with you again on the next episode of the FAQ Business Podcast.
Today’s podcast episode featured our host Jane Tweedy. Her details are as follows:
Jane is a Professional Certified Coach with International Coaching Federation (PCC with ICF), business advisor and trainer. She loves working with growing small to medium business owners who are doing the right thing, to help them do it right! Currently, Jane offers at least 50 live sessions a year to train small business owners.
Jane offers a variety of services to clients and her online school and membership site went live late 2021. Jane’s focus for 2022 is building the membership and online school out further, and offering implementable small group training – something she finds is often the missing link.
If you are interested in training, speaking, or anything else Jane has to offer, please connect via firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact forms on our websites.
faqbusinesstraining.com.au – our main site with a great blog
faqbusinesstraining.com – our new online school
faqbusinesspodcast.com.au – our podcast site
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