Answer the Question!

06 Aug 2021 5:31 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

What’s the first thing you typed into Google today? Was it a question? What kind of question was it?

Questions are a phenomenal place to start if you ever want to get closer to understanding something – whatever that thing happens to be. And that’s what I’m thinking about today when it comes to business and how we can better show up for ourselves and the people we serve. 

Earlier this week, I was listening to a webinar hosted by AnswerThePublic about how non-profits should be using search data to truly understand the public and the gold from the session really arrived toward the end when one of the panelists talked about how disappointing it was when the search results for a common question related to COVID-19 started with media companies and news agencies and not governmental organizations. 

Whether or not you give two figs for understanding or talking about SEO or search engine optimization – which is an ever-changing art and science at the same time – understanding how to provide answers to the people you want to reach by answering their questions proactively is providing a service. It is teaching humans and search engines what you do now and whether you have the answers they are looking for today. 

Thinking this way should make you ask the question, “Is my organization doing a good job answering the most relevant pressing questions?” and also, “am I doing a good job of answering the questions I can help with the most?”

Following the webinar, I immediately went to my colleagues at Tecker International, the consulting firm I partner with, and asked for all of the members on the team to send me the top five questions that their ideal client would type into Google when they were needing help in an area we serve.

What would these clients be looking for help with? What would their symptoms be? What would the pain be that they are trying to alleviate?

Once we arrive at the questions our clients likely have, then we must work to be helping answer those questions through resources like articles, blog posts, webinars, and more. 

Lest you think you’ve already done the work, let me warn you that this kind of work is never really done.

Women holding a question mark, likely asking the question of whether or not this article is worth her time reading. (It is.)It’s easy for us to congratulate ourselves too early on this front. We might look at the content collecting dust on our website and say, “Why, we’ve already done the work…see! Look at all this content!”

But unless your content is coming up in the first few answers on Google when the question is asked, most of the people you want to serve likely aren’t seeing it. 

So, for your businesses, blogs, associations, not-for-profits of all stripes, you can do better. I can do better. Almost everyone I know can do better. 

But it all comes back to questions. 

And right now, for many of our clients and members, some of the questions have changed. 

For example, with the pandemic making in-person conferences a struggle for the past year and with a questionable immediate future, how quickly has a change in the business model for organizations relying on large in-person trade shows become a high-priority question? What about figuring out how to best communicate about risk-factors related to attending in-person conferences? What about how to better build camaraderie with employees who are experiencing more flexible schedules or working remotely permanently now?

The questions change as the world changes. As culture changes. 

The onus is on us to show we can help. We can give. We can serve. 

So…let’s explore the questions and see where that leads us and who knows? Maybe we’ll find we understand how to connect with our clients and members and partners better. 

by KiKi L’Italien

Originally posted here

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The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

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