Are the people on your list ignoring you?

Has this ever happened to you?

You meet someone new. Chemistry sizzles. Glances and numbers are exchanged.

You go on a few dates—and it’s everything you’ve ever dreamed about and more. You’re basically living inside of a Nicholas Sparks novel. You’re Googling “How to rent white doves for a wedding” at 2am and sighing with delirious contentment.

You’re texting every single day, making plans for the future, and then… Silence.

Your new flame starts to “ghost” you. No calls. No texts. No emails. No Instagram likes. When you reach out, they give vague excuses and somehow they’re always “too busy” to meet up.

It’s like they’ve lost all interest in you. Without any explanation, they’ve gone cold.

You blast “We Don’t Talk Anymore” by Selena Gomez and sob-sing-along in your bathroom while mascara runs down your face… wondering WTF happened.

When this happens in your personal life? It’s totally heartbreaking. When this happens in your business? It can feel equally rough! And it’s actually pretty common.

Over the past decade or so, I’ve had a LOT of clients say to me:

“My business has been chugging along for a couple of years. Typically everything is great! But recently, it’s like the people in my audience have lost interest in what I’m doing. They’re not paying attention to my emails. Sales are way down. I’m struggling to convince people to hire me. Why is this happening?”

There can be sooo many reasons why your business audience has gone “cold.”

It’s rarely because of “just one thing”—it’s usually a convergence of several factors.

Let’s discuss!

Here are 3 common reasons why your audience might be feeling kinda “meh” about you lately—plus some easy solutions for each issue.

Reason #1. You’ve lost that “personal touch.”

When you’re a brand new business owner—with a teensy-tiny business audience, or a micro-handful of customers—it can be relatively “easy” to bring lots of personalization into everything you do. Handwritten notes to all of your customers, personalized emails (not just automated ones), spontaneous text messages, sending gifts in the mail… you’ve got plenty of time for all of that stuff!

But as your business grows, maintaining that “personalized” feeling can become trickier. When you’ve got thousands of people on your list, for example, it’s probably not realistic for you to mail a personalized postcard to each and every person. Over time, a feeling of “aloofness” or “distance” can grow between you and the peeps you want to serve, even if that’s not your intention at all.

Solution: Schedule time for “community-love” into your week.

I recommend setting aside 30 minutes per week—minimum—and using that time to acknowledge, celebrate, and/or congratulate a handful of people from your business community. Send a personal email to a longtime fan who “hearts” everything you post on Instagram. Send a $5 Starbucks e-gift card to a recent customer. Send a “thank you” postcard to the first client who ever took a chance on you. Reach out and re-connect.

Each person you contact will feel so special and appreciated… and they’ll gush to all of their friends/colleagues about how awesome you are! These little actions really add up!

This is such a simple, no-stress way to bring some extra warmth and humanity—and a personal touch—back into your business. Even if you can’t reach out personally to every single member of your community, a little bit of personalized attention is better than none at all. Often, a little community-love can go a long way.

Reason #2. Your audience has evolved… but you haven’t.

You’re not “exactly the same person” year after year, and neither are the people in your business audience. If it’s been a pretty long time (one year or longer) since you “checked in” to see what they’re currently working on, what they’re wondering about, or trying to achieve, then it’s definitely time to do that.

Solution: Schedule a re-connection date with 10 people.

Reach out to 10 clients, customers, or subscribers/fans and invite them to attend a brunch/lunch/dinner date or a virtual coffee date with you. Email each person individually—do NOT do a mass email.

If they agree, spend some time together and ask questions about what they’re working on right now, what they’d like to achieve or experience in the upcoming year, and where they’re feeling stuck.

Listen. Ask follow up questions. Listen more. Look for common themes that multiple people mention. You might be really surprised by what you learn. And, it might be time to tweak/revamp/upgrade your business offerings so that you are meeting peoples’ current needs, not their former, long-distant-past needs.

Reason #3. Your peeps just need a breather.

If you’ve been churning out new products/services/programs/experiences week after week, month after month, it’s possible that your peeps are just feeling a bit “burnt out.”

It’s also possible that you’re in one of those awkward “in-between” growth periods. Maybe your audience is filled with longtime fans (who have already purchased most of your offerings) plus newbie fans (who just discovered you and need a little more time to get to know you before they’re ready to invest).

During an in-between period, it can feel like peeps are “disinterested” in your work, but that might not actually be the case—it’s more of a “timing” issue. The old-timers are waiting for you to roll out something new, while the newcomers need a little more time before they’re ready to whip out their credit card.

Solution: Meet people where they are.

For the old-timers: Have dinner dates, virtual dates, or do a survey to find out what these customers want from you… next. Based on what they say, whip together a “next level” or “sequel”-type of offering to give them something new and fresh to do with you.

For the newcomers: Dole out free samples of your products/services. Host a live “Ask Me Anything” Q&A session. Send personalized welcome notes (“Yay! So glad you’re part of my online family!”)… or do something else to build rapport and trust.

For everyone: Consider giving everyone a breather from nonstop sales pitches, offers, and invitations. I always recommend building a nice amount of “breathing room” into your business. Offer something new—then lay off for several weeks or months and focus on doling out free content/experiences/treats to build obsession for your work. Wait, wait, wait until people are practically fainting with excitement about your next offering, and THEN launch it. Aim for a “spacious” feeling, so that when you DO offer something that people can buy, it’s rare and super exciting, not tedious.

To wrap this up:

Figuring out why people aren’t purchasing your work is rarely a “5 minutes and done!” type of thing. It usually requires some deep investigation—assessing your communication style, reviewing your current offerings, surveying/interviewing actual people from your audience to find out what they want/don’t want, and more.

It can take some time. But it’s worth it. And obviously, your livelihood depends on it!

Your challenge for this week:

Take at least 1 step (something I’ve described in this email, or something else!) to “warm up” your “cold” audience. Next week, take 1 more step. Continue onward!

Before long, you won’t be singing sad, lonely Selena Gomez breakup songs any more. You’ll be cranking up your favorite party music, having a total blast with your customers, and watching your bank account spill over with dollars all over again.

Let the new era begin!