Jullien Gordon on How to Adapt a Message to Reach New Audiences

In Chapter 11 of 16 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview, motivation teacher Jullien Gordon answers "How Are You Learning to Adapt Your Message to Reach Different Audiences?"  Gordon details how he has found his initial audience, the millennial generation, may not value his message as much as the older baby boomer generation.  He finds the boomer generation has changed jobs multiple times and identify with Gordon's career development insight because of their deeper experience.  He then shares how he is approaching a transition to speaking to older, more experienced generations.  Gordon is the founder of the Department of Motivated Vehicles, a personal and professional development company that helps clients identify purpose and map it to successful outcomes. Gordon has written five books and speaks regularly to college students across America.  He earned masters degrees in education and business from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree from UCLA.


Erik Michielsen:  How are you learning to adapt your message to reach different audiences?

Jullien Gordon:  That’s the big thing on the table right now which has been really hard for me to understand is that the millennial generation which I’m a part of, and who I’ve been intentionally trying to impact and expose may not be my ultimate audience.  My ultimate audience actually may be the older generation -- people who are going through the midlife crisis etcetera.  Now I just did a call for alumni at Cornell who were out of employment or considering changing their jobs and these people were 40, 50, 60, 70 years old and the way they received my messages it was just a completely different shift for them. 

Sometimes young people perceive that they know it already, that’s just part of our generation.  We think we know exactly what we’re doing but who really needs what I have to share the most may actually be the older generation.  So for my messages, sometimes people have to stumble a few times on their own to actually get it.  So my messages actually resonate with people who actually have changed jobs two or three times. Not necessarily that person who’s in their first job, it’s the person who’s like you know I’ve tried this on my own and I haven’t been able to get to where I want to go and when you think about who’s in that space in the market place, it’s actually older generation of people actually above 30 and 35 years old who are going through the midlife crisis and realize that they’ve been trying it on their own for quite some time and they haven’t been able to get the results that they want from their career, from their life, from their relationships and so my audience actually may be shifting and I’m taking that into consideration as I go into 2012.

The big question is how do I access that audience is that audience going to be able to receive me and will they listen to me because of my youthfulness and so I’m thinking about partnerships that will give me an entryway to that because the ideas that I have resonate with my generation because we’re technological, we think in this forward thinking way and the people who might be most receptive to those kind of messages are people who think in the old paradigm and that’s actually our parents’ generation, generation X and the boomers and so I’m actually thinking about making shifts in regards to my market because that’s where the biggest change from point A to point B might actually occur.