When I am going to give a talk to a trade group, such as a Bar Association, I ask for the opportunity in advance to speak to the conference leadership or members who will be in the audience. The reason is simple, I want to find out what they want to learn, and take away from the session.

In other words, I’m trying to figure out the answer to the often unspoken question from prospective audiences everywhere: what’s in it for me?

Whether you call it by its new jargon “thought leadership” as Sally Schmidt does in a post this week on Attorney at Work, or the more commonly recognized terms – writing and speaking, both are excellent ways to educate your target audiences and raise one’s profile regarding one’s expertise. That is why both are on my top 10 list of marketing tips – Nos. 6 and 5 respectively.  It is always a good idea to give ‘em what they want.

But first, you need to ask your prospective audience.  In Schmidt’s post, she gives the example about an author writing about the sale of a dental practice. She suggests that a good way to go about that is to ask other dentists who have sold their practices for advice. You could ask them about their experience, and what they would do differently.

So, when you are writing or speaking, it is a good idea to meet the expectations of your audience (ask the editor in the case of publications).  The result is that your expertise will more likely be remembered by those you hope to attract as clients or influential referral sources.