I always roll my eyes when a social media maven attempts to bully their way into better customer service with something along the lines of “MY audience will _____(fill-in-the-blank) if you don’t ______.”
They presume they “own” their followers. That their posse will move in lock-step because, well, they said so.
It doesn’t work that way.
Because Peter Drucker was right: EVERYBODY is now a volunteer.
Your audience has a dizzying variety of choices—and can easily decide to make a new one.
So how do you enlist—and keep—your own volunteer base?
You start with the simple recognition that everyone you touch has competing options for their eyeballs and brain space.
You respect them.
Which means you are honor-bound to be exquisitely clear—about what matters to you and why it should matter to your sweet-spot audience. Show them how your “big idea” can rock their world.
Anything less is ultimately a waste of their time—and yours.
Your voice is crucial. It must be a consistent and real reflection of your value system, your point of view and your passions. Call it your personal brand, but it’s really your promise. What do you stand for? What truly matters?
It’s that clarity that will give you the courage to say no. To turn some volunteers away at the door—preferably kindly, because they may stay in your orbit and send the right people your way. To occasionally “fire” a volunteer, but with a graceful exit that paves the way for future recruits.
Enlisting and engaging the right volunteers is mission-critical to building your dynamic—and enduring—personal brand.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below: What triumphs—or challenges—have you had in enlisting volunteers?
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