Have you ever walked into a crowded restaurant and felt the whole place turn around? Their eyes take you in and the room seems to go silent. You know, somehow, you broke their code. You used the wrong door, you wore the wrong clothes.
Then there are the other crowded restaurants, the ones that you walk into and feel like you’ve discovered something. There’s a story here, too. But it’s one that you’re excited to have caught a glimpse into.
There’s something special going on here. And now, you want to know more.
Many of you have been around the blog for a while, but for others, this might be your first visit. Every day, new people happen on to my website, Twitter feed, or Facebook page. The same goes for you, whether you’re a race track welcoming new fans through the gate or a racer getting a retweet.
You know you need to tell your story. I know you already know how important that is.
But while we’re all in the middle of telling our stories – you started the day you put yourself out there – people are tuning in at different points.
How much getting up to speed will that new potential fan need to get invested? How long do they need to see or know to care?
I’m not saying that you need to treat every tweet, every piece of signage, and every interaction as if the person is new. Or a beginner. But you do need to be welcoming and inclusive.
Help people to feel like there’s an inside joke, but they can be a part of it if they hang around.
Posting updates sporadically, only replying here and there, is like only talking to the people around your car or race track that you already know. The people who don’t know you – the ones that you need invite in, that your sponsors want to reach! – will assume that they aren’t welcome. They can’t catch up because you’re not giving them the opportunity.
One of the biggest strengths of our sport is that we are a strong community. We’re a family. And we need to welcome in new family members. We need people to want to be a part of our family.
How can you make your team, track or business something people want to be a part of?
Tell your story consistently, authentically, and invitingly. It’s something that others want to be a part of. Show them.