Do you ask your audience to multitask? Probably.
Does it hamper your ability to activate them? Definitely.
If you’re building an audience for something these days the chances are you’re making a lot of requests (or “offers,” to use a gentler term) to your existing and potential fans.
You ask them to consume your creations, share social media posts, subscribe to your newsletter (hint, hint), purchase your product, listen to your podcast, and whatever else will further your goals.
But what you may have lost sight of in the midst of your hustle is that multitasking is a myth.
People don’t take multiple actions at once, they operate one action at a time.
That’s why you’ll find more success — short and long term — if you focus on a single action you want your audience to take when they encounter your work.
How To Implement A One-Action Strategy
It’s simple. In any scenario in which people discover your content, limit yourself to encouraging them to take a single, specific action after doing so.
You can make multiple actions available for them to take (though it’s possible you’ll see better results if you limit their options), but hone in on the single action you most want them to take and devise a strategy to increase the likelihood they do so.
You can can have different actions for different scenarios — for example, the “one action” you want people to take after watching your videos may be to subscribe to your YouTube channel, but the action you want them to take after reading your blog post might be to join your email list.
But choose one per scenario and focus your efforts on driving that action.
Why It Works
The One Action Strategy simplifies things for you and your audience.
It makes it easier for your audience to support you. They won’t feel assaulted with asks (Share my video! Retweet it! Subscribe! Watch another!) and will therefore be more likely to do the one thing you request.
Also, the process of forcing yourself to choose a single action to request forces you to consider what action will generate the most value. It forces you to be strategic.
That leads to the other reason why this strategy works — it gives you a clear and simple way to measure success.
Once you focus on a single action you want people to take it becomes very easy to measure the success of both your content and those promotional efforts you’ve learned not to fear.
And you can only improve that which you can measure.
Ready to give this One Action Strategy a chance?
There are three things to consider as you figure out what action you want people to take.
Step 1: Figure out your goal.
There are lots of different actions people can take after seeing your content and each provides its own unique value. So the first thing to do is think through your goals and let those guide the action you want to drive.
For example, let’s say you publish a new blog post. If your main goal is to get as many people as possible to see that post, the action you might want to emphasize is that readers share it.
But if your main goal is to be sure that readers who enjoyed the article see your next one, then you might want to have your one ask be that they subscribe to your mailing list.
There’s no right or wrong action to focus on — it depends on your goals. You just want to make sure the action you choose to emphasize fits the main goal you chose to pursue.
Step 2: Figure out the value of the action you want people to take.
All actions are not created equal.
For example, a person buying your product may be more valuable than them following you on Twitter (or maybe not — again, it depends on your goals).
The specific values depend on your goals, but you need to recognize not all actions have equal value and (generally speaking) the more valuable the action is, the tougher it is to get people to take it.
So, when determining what action you want to drive you need to weigh the relative value of each possibility.
Would you rather sell 10 albums or get 100 people to sign up to your email list?
Would you rather somebody subscribe to your podcast or your YouTube channel?
Would you rather they tell their friends about your work on Twitter or come to your next show?
These relative values will be different based on your individual situation, but it’s important to consider them as you map out your strategy.
Step 3: Recognize how the medium where you content lives works what assets are available to you.
Different mediums (both online and offline) have their own unique strengths and weaknesses to take into account when figuring out what actions you want to focus on.
For example, it might be easier to get people to join your email list after reading something on your blog than it is after they read something on your Facebook page.
On the flip side, it might be easier for people engaging with your Facebook posts to tag their friends in the comments than it is for them to share a blog post on your website with them.
YouTube’s annotations make it easy to get people to subscribe to your channel or drive them to another video you’ve created so you may decide to focus your action around those things as opposed to trying to drive Twitter followers from your YouTube videos.
This is not to say you can only do things that occur naturally in the platform you use, but rather that you should be aware of what’s “easier” to do on various platforms when plotting your strategy.
And Now, The One Action I’d Love You To Take…
Since this post is all about asking your audience to take a single action I figured I should follow my own advice and ask you to do a single thing if you found it helpful.
So here’s the action I want you to take — subscribe to my For The Interested newsletter through which I share 10 ideas each week to help you learn, do, and become better at your work, art, and life.