Back in April, I led a small group of changemakers through batching six month’s worth of impactful LinkedIn content, and one of my clients started sharing that content while we were still working together in the group sprint.
I’d look along at her live posts – as always, the creepy Mama Bear that I am, as she shared her perspectives and the stories she had shaped. And I remember thinking, man I wish she was getting more something. More likes, more comments. More reach.
It’s funny – I’ve de-hooked from tying my own content’s value with how well its received, but I apparently still needed to work on it on behalf of my clients – and I think it’s because I’m just proud and protective of them, especially from seeing on the back end how hard they’ve worked – internally and externally – at sharing pieces of their soul to move and inspire their audience. By the way, this episode is just as much for me as it is for you.
Anyway, after the 4-Week Sprint was complete, I read everybody’s follow-up surveys and it turns out this client had already received her next international speaking gig, she signed 2 clients of her own, and had plenty of conversations and attention from the larger, B2B type clients she works with on a 1:1 basis. Just from her handful of posts and consistent activity on LinkedIn.
She KILLED it, even though her posts – from an outsider’s perspective – certainly were not going viral. This is how it works. And I want to ask you: have you ever judged your own capacity and value based on vanity metrics? Or maybe you deleted a post altogether, because it didn’t get any visible traction? You are in great company.
And yet, an impactful coach, consultant or service provider, I’d argue that resonance is more important than reach. Quality is more important than quantity, and this is where we have to begin to unlearn the deep, entrenched inclination towards MORE. Towards always scaling, producing bigger results, or having access to the most eyeballs. None of that is actually necessary and honestly, it’s not even helpful.
And it’s important because as we center resonance as the goal, in addition to or even instead of reach, it creates self-assurance vs clinging to the whims of an algorithm. It creates deep enoughness, vs. fear and nervousness about things we can’t control. It releases the expectation to be the best, the biggest, the most perfect with instead, being more in touch with ourselves and emotionally in tune with our people. Because what we’re putting out there actually has meaning.
If you thought the world was noisy now, wait ‘til AI is fully integrated. There’s going to be a LOT more content, with less soul. But you know what? We can all become an influential, go-to guide for the people in our world for whom it makes all the difference because they’re facing a very specific expression of a problem, which has a direct line to our own lived experience.
So in this podcast episode, I’m talking about measuring the magic, or tracking resonance instead of reach when it comes to our thought leadership and visibility efforts. I’ll share what makes content resonate with your audience, as well as some clues on how we can find the signals of resonance on LinkedIn and through email marketing.
Highlights from the podcast episode:
Unlocking resonance to build influence online
Resonance – I love that word. But what does it mean? Kind of like thought leadership, it runs the risk of being a little intangible, or hard to grasp or define. Well, it’s actually a very exact physics term.
Resonance happens when a vibrating object causes another object to start vibrating at a higher amplitude. For us as coaches, consultants, and service providers working on our visibility and influence, it’s about showing up in a certain way that energetically inspires at least one other person to show up at that same level, frequency, or amplitude.
You know your message is resonating when people tell you:
- I feel so seen and heard.
- Wow, we’re on the same wavelength.
- Your posts really make me think differently, or maybe, they make me feel something.
- I encouraged my friends to sign up for your thing, because I always come back to your way of sharing.
- You’re reflecting back so much of what I’ve been thinking about and didn’t know how to put into words.
Right? Passion is contagious. I never want to hear someone apologize for being too much, or too passionate ever again – because that’s energy that can be harnessed into action and change, through thought leadership.
It’s easy to see and feel resonance in person, at let’s say, a community gathering or event. We can see our people, feel them, touch them. But how do we resonate when we’re talking to our people, online, and we can’t actually see their body language, their face light up, or necessarily hear their thoughts?
I mean, that’s kind of what this podcast is literally all about. You resonate, by doing the things we do at the campfire circle. You show up in community. You invite people in, and you share your stories.
Storytelling for Meaningful Thought Leadership
And stories are key here, because stories create meaning. It is our stories that attract others to us, as they see themselves reflected in your journey and buy into your shared vision. Storytelling helps other people get on the same page with you, with a shared sense of purpose and direction. Stories break the illusion that we are separate or isolated or different, when in reality we are all interdependent.
After all, remember going on tours of colleges or programs you wanted to attend? Think of who gave you the tour. It wasn’t the dean of the college, or a professor. It was probably a freshman, sharing their own experience. And they’re the perfect person to show you around because they’re relatable. Relatability creates resonance, so speak to the person you were when you were living through the problem you now solve.
Stories resonate too because we’re actually wired to empathize and relate through story. Before we had email sequences and LinkedIn and podcasts, stories have always been how we’ve passed on information from one person to another, one generation to another.
I have found that – as long as we have clarity in our thought leadership brand and the community we want to serve, it’s rarely the case that we’re asking for too much of something, or that someone didn’t have the time to get involved, or our services cost too much, it’s instead that we haven’t told the right story enough times or enough ways – those stories that share the why, and the value, behind what you’re providing. Because the outcome of storytelling is trust and resonance.
All right, so I titled this episode Measure the Magic mostly because of alliteration, but I guess I should talk a little bit about measurement or tracking, or at least getting a signal of how our work is resonating with our audience.
Building resonance on LinkedIn through authentic thought leadership
So first, let’s talk about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is about quality. You don’t have to post a ton, because your content has a longer shelf life on the feed. And, we know that only about 3% of active LinkedIn users post content regularly and consistently. That means, we’ve got a lot of LinkedIn lurkers. Back in Episode 29, I interviewed Mariah Coz about her Champagne Client concept, which I’ll also link in the show notes. But pretty much, she said that she’s realized there’s so many perfect fit clients and collaborators kind of waiting in the wings. She calls it “lurking in luxury” because our right-fit people are not necessarily commenting or engaging, they’re not the loudest, but they’re silently waiting to be spoken to, to resonate with, to feel something deeply. Which is exactly what happened in the example with my client, I shared earlier in the episode.
Trust building is invisible. So, if you don’t get as much engagement as you’d like and it’s making you feel some type of way, what are you making it mean? And how can you tell a new story?
One thing I know for sure is that your right-fit folks are responding, but in behind-the-scenes or even invisible ways. They’ll save your post, or forward it to a friend in a message. They’ll ring the bell on your profile so they can stay in the loop and be notified of your posts. Those things, at least as of right now in July 2023, you can’t actually see or track.
Things you can see, are them visiting your profile, maybe a couple of times. Or when you share your freebie, or your juicy, value-packed free resource for download, you’ll see people who have never engaged with you start to download it and get on your email list. And, they’re often people you are lit up about serving – the ones you had in mind when you started your work. When you venture out of the house into a community gathering, people will come up to you to have conversations about things you’ve been sharing on LinkedIn, and it’ll be surprising because they’ve perhaps never even engaged with you – but it just goes to show they’ve been building trust and resonating with what you’ve put out there. They’re now vibrating at a different frequency because of the ways you’ve been showing up.
And people are a whole world unto themselves. When someone resonates with what you’re putting down, it doesn’t stop with them. They then pass on that vibration to more people, maybe in the form of referring people to you, forwarding on a newsletter, telling their family members, friends, and work colleagues about your concepts and key messages – the things you’re publishing your perspective about.
Right? And because LinkedIn is full of movers, shakers and power brokers – the people who can help you make shift happen – that can create a huge ripple effect.
So, how does resonance show up in our email list? I’ve been thinking about email marketing a lot more recently, as a complement and next step to the community building work on LinkedIn. Especially because emails are intimate. They’re personalized. You can see where people joined, what they’re clicking on, what they’re interested in, and so on and so forth.
Actually – let me just interrupt myself, before we get into email to give you some SUPER EXCITING NEWS. I am joining forces with my dear friend Jess Campbell, who is soo smart and practiced at helping both nonprofits and social impact consultants raise revenue and make things happen through their email lists. We’re doing a free live workshop on July 19th at 11am PST about Growing your email list from LinkedIn. And, because you know me, it’s not about growth for growth’s sake. We want to grow our reach with the people who resonate with our brand and business. I’ll drop that link to register in the show notes, so check it out.
Tracking resonance through email marketing metrics
All right, back to tracking resonance inside of emails. So, just like how on LinkedIn it’s not about the number of followers I have, on email, I really don’t care about the number of subscribers I have. In fact, I go through and regularly clean out anybody who hasn’t opened an email in the last quarter from my list to improve deliverability. If you don’t wanna be on the list, I bless and release you.
And I think it’s important to note that if my goal was to build a media company or secure sponsorships based on volume, this could be different, but at the end of the day, I’m a consultant who is building a visible, expertise based business, not a content creator who happens to maybe have a course. I think there comes a point where we have to decide what our emphasis is, and our goals may change over time, but again, for most coaches, consultants, and service providers, it’s more about resonating with fewer of the right people than reaching as many eyeballs and earholes as possible.
Instead, I want to get messages – I mean ideally I don’t want these messages because it means the tech isn’t working or I dropped the ball – but I want to get messages like, I didn’t get your weekly Firestarter newsletter! Did I miss it? Because that means I’ve created something of value.
It’s not about volume.
So, I track open rates over time, and click through rates. Flodesk, my email service provider, recently came out with an awesome analytics dashboard. My favorite report is performance by subscriber. You can filter it by open rate or click through rate, and it will give you a great snapshot of the people who are most resonating with your emails and sticking around over time. And that gives me information of the people you want to spend time nurturing and being in community with. It gives you clues about who you can reach out to, and invite into unique and personalized opportunities, and nurture them into whoever they are meant to be in your world.
Sometimes, we fall into the trap – especially when we’re launching something – of just tracking OK: did someone convert into a client or not. But it’s not a binary like that. There’s a whole range of flavors and experiences people can have with you. Maybe your launch drove them forward in a way that allows them to be ready the next time. It’s a dance. And, I know intimately that we can feel disappointed if a launch or event didn’t get as many of something as we’d hoped, but maybe that number we had in mind wasn’t the real, true goal. What if you could track something else that measured the richness and deepness of relationship?
By the way, my High Five File Notion template is a perfect tool to track those qualitative pieces!
You know, it’s great to use UTM codes and other methods to track where folks are coming from to get to your offers, but at the end of the day, when you’re engaging in this work of thought leadership, at a certain point you just have to let the magic do its thing and trust the process. You will never know the full impact of your visibility, and that’s OK.
Things don’t have to be measurable to be important, and worth it, and working. Do you agree? What’s more important to you in this period of your business: reach, or resonance? I really want to know, so reach out and share your thoughts. Talk to you soon.
Connect with me:
LinkedIn: Tania Bhattacharyya