W.I.F.T. stands for ‘What’s In it For Them’ and is vital to engage people influential to your success.
Whether you are employed or self-employed, it is even more important now than ever before in a highly competitive market to clearly, briefly, and explicitly express why you are useful to your audience, whether verbally or written.
You need a W.I.F.T. whether you are employed, self-employed or looking for work or a job. Many people assume that what they bring is obvious, but what is obvious to you often isn’t always obvious to your target audience.
Cut through the clutter
We are all bombarded by thousands of messages a day, so simply don’t have time to read and absorb it all. Communication overload combined with people’s reluctance to ‘blow their own trumpet’ can make you invisible or overlooked.
One common example of sabotaging your own success is going for an interview, assuming that the interviewer has read your CV and understands the benefits you bring to them (i.e. what’s in it for them = W.I.F.T.) what value you bring, so you don’t spell these out to them as key points to get across.
What benefits do THEY gain?
Often people make the mistake of focusing on their ‘features’, rather than the ‘benefits’ they bring.
Not knowing your W.I.F.T. means you are sticking your head in the sand and could be unwittingly hindering your own success.
Know your target audience
The starting point of a W.I.F.T. is to know and understand who your specific audience is, their language and to put yourself in their shoes, seeing a situation through their eyes, not your eyes. It is common for people to get stuck in their own viewpoint and talk rather than asking questions and listening. This is shooting yourself in the foot. Knowing your W.I.F.T. is a must, as well as updating it regularly, as trends and skills are changing so fast.
“Who or what would help me to better understand my target audience?”
Five tips to work out your W.I.F.T.
1) Define and understand your audience; their characteristics, role, objectives, responsibilities, interests, motivations, needs and problems.
2) Gather information about the communication preferences of your audience; phone, e mail, scheduled or spontaneous catch up, if they are a ‘lark’ or ‘owl’ etc.
3) Grade your audience e.g. customers, stakeholders or target employer by priority and importance, A, B, C etc.
4) Create a summary of features (from your point of view) e.g. languages, specialisms, and the benefits (i.e. what’s in it for them from their point of view) e.g. peace of mind, making them look good etc.
5) Develop a W.I.F.T. communications plan and block out time in your diary to action it, including evaluating what’s working and not working.
About The Author
Rachel Brushfield is The Talent Liberator at Energise – The Talent Liberation Company, founded in 1997. She is a career strategist, coach and published author, with a career heritage in marketing and brand strategy and communications who helps her clients enjoy uplifting breakthroughs at major career crossroads. Rachel’s career coaching specialisms are helping women professionals and executives to gain more career fulfilment and comfortably and competently market themselves, and creating, editing and marketing portfolio careers for a future proof and sustainable career. Rachel co-runs the network PWHub with CPD style quarterly events for senior employed women in Oxfordshire.
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