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The Value of Listening to Your Audience

That right there is my number one business and marketing hero, a man who has made millions, built a massively successful media company, and has even been on TELEVISION (omg), and he's reaching out to me to say thanks. On Facebook.
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You could consider me a mega fan of Gary Vaynerchuk, so imagine my absolute delight when I woke up to this a few days ago:

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Credit: WideNet

That right there is my number one business and marketing hero, a man who has made millions, built a massively successful media company, and has even been on TELEVISION (omg), and he's reaching out to me to say thanks. On Facebook.

It wasn't anything life changing. He didn't offer me a job. He didn't invite me to dinner. He didn't validate any of my writing or my work (as cool as any that would be). He simply said, "Thanks," and I'll never forget it.

Gary's little gesture should serve as a lesson to all of us.

Listening matters. It matters a lot.

Social media has been around for well over a decade now, and yet plenty of business owners and media personalities still don't understand the true value of sites like Facebook and Twitter. These platforms give you an option: you can choose to remain in your ivory tower, or you can come down and socialize with us common folk. You know, the ones who buy your product, watch your show, listen to your podcast, read your books, and share your ideas.

This is something we stress hard to our clients at WideNet. Taking two seconds to recognize your audience, to let them know their words are reaching your ears or to just show a little appreciation, goes a long way. Do that, and these people are going to shout your praises from the rooftops. Positive word of mouth is the most powerful marketing advantage at your disposal-- especially in the Digital Age. Word travels fast on the Internet, and the payoff can be massive.

I already talk a lot about Gary Vaynerchuk, because he produces phenomenal content and inspires me to do better at my job. Hell, he inspires me to do better at everything. I've been telling people about his comment to me since the moment I saw it, and I'm going to tell more.

It's all about adding value. Listen to your audience. Interact with them. Show them you're not just a corporate shill, but someone who cares. You don't have to be their best friend, but a little nudge every once in a while will go a lot further than you may think.