Finding Your Audience: What We Can All Learn From Sheryl Crow

I used to dream of being a country star.

In the vein of Sheryl Crow, I imagined my name added to my  hometown’s welcome sign: “Birthplace of Cassi, fabulous country singer.”

Sometime before the internet, I admitted this to Dad. “How do I do it?” I asked him. “How do I become Sheryl Crow?”

Dad said, “You have to be discovered. Someone important must find you.”

There were a few things I didn’t understand at this point in my life:

  1.  Someone important isn’t a store cashier.
  2.  Location also matters.
  3.  I couldn’t sing worth a damn.

My shrill voice filled many parking lots in my attempt at being found. My thinking was, “There are people here. Surely one of them will discover me.” And national anthems were never safe from my effort to outsing the performer.

Thankfully, I have grown out of singing loudly where crowds tend to gather.

However, I’ve noticed something else. Many brands are committing the same mistakes I made in terms of promoting their services.

Even if I could carry notes with the depth and elegance of Adele, I wasn’t going anywhere advertising my product in the wrong places. This is the definition of a bad strategy.

If you don’t know, Sheryl Crow got her start teaching elementary music and performing with a band. Through side gigs, she met up with Jay Oliver, who owned a studio in St. Louis. Thanks to Oliver, Crow received a lot of exposure lending her voice to McDonald’s and Toyota jingles.  Eventually, she went on tour as a backing vocalist for Michael Jackson, meeting the right people along the way. The rest is history.

I’m saying it’s time we take a step back and make sure we’re meeting the right people.

Ask yourself

  1.  Am I targeting the appropriate audience?

  2.  Am I reaching them in the right places?

  3.  Is my product/service worth their attention?

Answering these questions honestly will help you leverage your overall business strategy for the results you’re after.

Sidenote: To this day I don’t know any Sheryl Crow songs. Any suggestions?