The words ‘inspiration’ and ‘motivation’ are often used interchangeably when talking about business communications. We’re told we need to inspire and motivate our target audience to act, whether that’s customers, staff or delegates at an event.
However, the two things are not the same. Motivation is something that we often associate with hard work. We need to motivate ourselves to go to the gym, get out of bed in the morning or tackle a particular project. Whereas inspiration is easy (although finding inspiration is often not). When we’re inspired we find it easy to do things, easy to get motivated.
It, therefore, follows that motivation is often a by-product of inspiration; inspiration motivates us. So by inspiring people, we can also motivate them to do something. We can inspire them to change their behaviour; such as buying our product, performing a task, adopting a new process etc.
The great thing about inspiring people is that instead of having to work hard to motivate them to act, by repeatedly emailing them, peppering all your communications with calls to action, following up with phone calls etc., inspired people will do much of the work themselves. You just need to make sure that they have everything they need to take action.
I think this applies whether you are selling to consumers, communicating with employees, or building business connections. All you need to do is identify what will inspire them. That’s the tricky bit…
How To Inspire People To Act
When we try to motivate someone, and they are resistant, it is often because it’s something they don’t want to do. Motivating yourself to go to the gym is a good example. We know what the benefits are of going and what the consequences are of not, but many of us still find it really hard to act, simply because we don’t want to.
However, when we are inspired to the gym, it becomes easier. Perhaps we’ve read a story about someone that has achieved amazing things by getting fit; we identify with them, they inspire us and so we act.
When we apply this to business communications, it’s about understanding who you are communicating and what things will inspire them to take an action or change their behaviour. Take training videos as an example. It can be really difficult to get employees to prioritise training and put aside time to watch a health & safety video or other content. While many companies will take the approach that staff must watch the video because it’s mandatory and important, these factors aren’t inspiring. Even if employees do watch they may not be engaging fully with the material and as a result, they may not remember important information or act on that content.
However, if you can identify why staff might be inspired to watch the video, you can get a much better take up. Perhaps employees are inspired by being part of a team and inspired to give the team 100%. Therefore these inspiration factors can be used to motivate staff to act, using ‘the good of the team’ as the inspiration that will encourage staff to follow new procedures or instructions.
Businesses that have a clear vision, mission or purpose, one that employees and customers identify with, find it much easier to inspire their audience. For more on finding inspiration within your business for communications and marketing, read this post.
If your business is looking for support with digital communications, and finding that inspiration that will motivate people to act, please get in touch for a chat to explore how we can help. Call + (0) 1252 717707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org