Many people struggle with the feeling that their voice is not being heard. Whether it’s matters of opinion, or matters of politics, or even questions about the companies you endorse or the products you use every day, it’s easy to feel like your opinions don’t matter, and your voice is being completely ignored or discounted. Remember, though, that’s simply not the case. Your voice does matter and your opinions absolutely can and should be heard.
Word of Mouth is King
Never forget that every time you see an endorsement or an advertisement, whether it is for a politician or an organization, or even for a product or a company, that information was placed in front of you with one goal in mind: generating word of mouth. Word of mouth is incredibly valuable to any campaign. It is nebulous, certainly. Word of mouth is difficult to measure in any concrete way; companies use machine learning and sentiment analysis to try and track trends in word of mouth on social media and in email responses, but it’s hard to know exactly what effect it is having, and even harder to know how to generate it. Nonetheless, it is considered invaluable, no matter what you’re trying to sell. With that in mind, of course your voice matters. Your voice, and the voices of others, are the only way to achieve word of mouth success.
Make Yourself Heard
Then the question becomes: how do you make yourself heard? In the age of the internet, there are hundreds if not thousands of ways to get your voice out into the world. You can post on social media, you can make a blog. You can even raise money for a cause or for yourself, through crowdfunding opportunities. Anyone with an internet connection has the ability to make their voice heard. However, that can be both a blessing and a curse.
Lost in the Crowd
With so many people all speaking at the same time, it can be hard to make yourself heard. Everyone has a platform to speak from, but with everyone talking at the same time, it can be difficult to distinguish yourself from the crowd. There are things you can do to mitigate that, of course. Good brand messaging certainly helps. If your message is unique, or clearly stated, or resonates with people, then it will be heard. However, the simple truth is that when everyone has access to a loudspeaker, it can be hard for any one voice to make itself heard.
The Power of Collective Action
This is part of the reason that collective action is so powerful. One person with a megaphone can theoretically make themselves heard, but 500 people with megaphones will be all but impossible to ignore. The internet gave you (and everyone else) a voice and a platform. It also gave you a way to find others who agree with you. Make use of that power and find your 500 megaphones. As your reach becomes broader, your voice becomes louder. Collective action is always going to be more powerful than individual action. That said, keep your goal concise and clear in order to make sure that your original message doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, or muddied by an influx of new ideas and opinions.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Making your voice heard isn’t a simple process, and it isn’t always a fast one either. Particularly if you’re trying to build up word of mouth or trying to generate a following to take collective action, it’s a process that can’t, and absolutely shouldn’t, be rushed. It takes time for word to get out, and the internet has made things even more unpredictable. There’s no way to know if or when a statement you make is going to go viral and suddenly find a following, for example.
Ultimately, making your voice heard is a matter of having something to say. If you don’t have something to say, it’s going to be difficult to get your message across. You can do a lot to make your message clear, concise, to the point and gripping, but at the core, there must be something meaningful. A meaningful message will resonate with other people, which will build word of mouth and create a following so you can take collective action. Your voice can be heard and your voice absolutely does matter, and while there is a certain amount of luck involved in being heard, it’s mainly a combination of having something to say and saying it clearly.