Now, more than ever before, it’s important that we develop and nurture a platform where we can be heard. At the very same time that these tools become easier and easier to use, the world is more noisy. Add to this the fact that I believe we often forget a very important detail, and that this mistake might be costing you a lot of time wasted for very little return.
The Town Square vs The Marketplace
In times of old, most towns and villages had a central square. It was where government came to read their announcements, where religious leaders came to preach their doctrine, where scholars came to share their philosophies, and where crazy people came to rant. (Sometimes, one person fit all those categories at the same time.)
Away from that square sat the marketplace. That was where people who had goods to share offered them up to the people who came to buy them. If you and I both sold mangoes, it was my job to explain why mine were the ones you needed to buy. My job was to leave the marketplace with enough money to keep my business running and feed my family and the families of those who work for me.
My way to “win” in the town square is to have a good idea. My way to win in the marketplace is to sell enough to meet my financial needs. It’s two vastly different goals and mechanisms supporting those goals.
The Modern Marketplace
So here we are. We have blogs and podcasts and the like. If we don’t attract people to our town square, our little virtual towns won’t have enough people in them to wander over to the marketplace. If we’re not good at selling, then it doesn’t matter how good our town square ideas are. No one’s eating ideas.
We need both and we have to be really good at both. And further, we must consider the frequency of both and whether our efforts in creating material matches our goals.
- Do you want to be seen as having good ideas ONLY? How does this benefit you?
- Do you want to be seen as a marketplace ONLY? How will you keep people interested? There are much bigger marketplaces elsewhere. Why should they find you down this back alley?
- Do you want to use good ideas to entice people to consider your marketplace? You’ll need a mix of both types of presentations.
I see people spending far too much time in the Town Square. Great for ideas, but no one eats. I see others spending all their time in the marketplace shouting out how great their wares really are. Fine, except what keeps me listening when I’ve already purchased?
The simple way to build for this? Use an editorial calendar. Even just a Google Sheet will do the trick. 3 posts of Town Hall material to 1 post of Marketplace material is a good start. Adjust as you see fit.
How else? Get my free newsletter and learn the other ways I can help you bring more people to your marketplace. Hint: this post was one of them.
Photos courtesy of DepositPhotos.com