It’s not enough to just make something great.
You also have to create demand for the great thing you made.
Whether you want to sell a product or attract an audience, here are a few things you can do to increase demand for your work.
1. Make It Simpler
People love simple and they hate friction.
The more difficult it is to access, consume, or benefit from your work, the less demand there will be for it.
Look for ways to simplify any and all elements of what you do.
Can you make it simpler to purchase?
Simpler to understand what it is and what it does?
Simpler to use?
Simpler to find?
Simpler to access?
Simpler to incorporate into a person’s life?
Simpler to explain to their boss, spouse or business partners?
The simpler you make it, the more people will want it.
(Simplicity is one of the biggest reasons 25,000 people have subscribed to my For The Interested newsletter.)
2. Make It More Relevant
Technology and social media enables you to put your product or creation directly in front of its intended audience with precision accuracy.
As Seth Godin likes to say, you no longer have to make “average things for average people.”
Take advantage of this opportunity and find ways to make your work more relevant.
Make something specific for someone specific.
Consider how you can improve the relevancy of your product, its positioning, and its marketing to increase the demand for it.
Can you tweak an element to speak to the specific problems of a specific audience?
Where can you reach the exact people your work is made for?
How can you change your messaging to speak directly to a niche audience?
Can you shape your work to be relevant to people in a specific moment in their journey as opposed to everybody in pursuit of a certain goal?
Who is your work NOT for?
The more relevant your work and its presentation becomes to an audience, the more powerfully it will resonate.
3. Make It Clearer
Never assume people understand what you do, who it’s for, and how it can help them.
It’s easy to become so close to your work that you assume your audience or customers understand its purpose and and why they should care — but it’s often not as apparent as you think it is.
If people don’t understand what you do, they won’t want anything to do with it.
Review every element of your work (and how you present it) to see if you’ve made it sufficiently clear to potential customers.
Do you use jargon or terms your target audience may not be familiar with?
Have you made assumptions about their level of expertise which may not be true?
Do you require them to connect the dots of how your service works or give them a clear step-by-step explanation of the process?
Are you sure your audience understand the benefits of your work to them?
Have you gotten feedback from people who aren’t as close to your work as you are if they “get” what you do and who it’s for?
Clarity is a skill. If your creations are not clicking with your desired audience, it may be because you haven’t presented it in a way the audience understands.
4. Make It More Vulnerable
Be more human.
People are drawn to creations which are authentic, rooted in stories, and vulnerable.
The most beloved songs of all times rarely have pitch-perfect production.
The most compelling writers and speakers are unafraid to share their struggles.
And the brands people love are rooted in stories which often include as much failure and struggle as they do success.
The vulnerability in your work will help people connect to it, become passionate about it, and rally around it.
What’s not perfect about what you do and how does that make it more interesting?
How can your authentic story resonate with your target audience?
What about your work, its presentation, or its marketing is false? What would happen if you revealed the truth?
How can you be more transparent about who you are, what you do, and why you do it?
5. Make It More Unique
If the most unique thing about you and your work is its price, you’re going to lose.
You may succeed for a moment, but a competitor will come along willing to do what you do cheaper, for less profit, or maybe even as a loss leader to another service.
But unique work is the ultimate competitive advantage and the thing that makes people flock to you.
With that in mind, explore ways to make your work more unique.
Can you approach your work in a way nobody else does?
Are there common elements you can combine in a new way to create something that isn’t offered anywhere else?
Can you invert a conventional wisdom?
Do you have unique access, resources, or expertise that others don’t?
Are there things you can remove from your work that others do not?
There will always be more demand for the “only” than for one of the many.