Three years ago, this is how you got a client in the digital age:
It starts with that awkard first meeting with a new person. In one hour (and at least two inturruptions) you get to know them, their family, their business on a deeper lever (because I have obviously checked out their website) and they get to know you. You might set up another meeting to discuss what opportunities you can provide for them. You go back and you both dig deeper, ask more questions, and seek out the opinions of others. Your second meeting (at least 3 weeks down the road) you talk about the kind of work that you can bring to the table. You get them a proposal, they ponder, your email got lost, you send it again & they decide to go with someone they have known for years. Crap. At least 5 weeks down the drain.
Fast forward to today with relationship selling on steroids….social networking.
I get to know you and close to 30 other people on a daily basis on our social network of choice. I not only talk to you about you, but others chime in and are willing to give me valuable feedback on you, your practices, your ethics, morals, client stories and what kind of people you REALLY attract. I know what you are accomplishing or struggling with in your business, the type of family outings you attend, what you are reading, “thinking” and discussing with others. I am a fly on the wall. When we meet for coffee, I can either bring a detailed, finite proposal to you (due to my in-depth knowledge of your business and character) or seal the deal right then & there (this is usually the case!).
Do you get the difference now? Doing business is faster, more efficient than ever with social networking & helps everyones bottom line. Time is money, money is time…don’t waste your time hunting down the clients who won’t give you money.
When you clean your house, do you do the once a week, 10 minute, vaccuum to the edges and around stuff, kind of cleaning? I do. Then about ever 6 weeks I move the furniture and find stuff that I missed weeks before.
Now don’t think that we live in an unkept house, because we don’t–you can’t even tell that we have three little munchkins running around–but they don’t clean in the corner or under the entryway table either.
When you market, do you just go to edges or do you go get those specks of dust hiding in the corner that really make a difference of knowing you hit the exact market for your product? What do those specks of dust do and what do they represent? You never just find one speck of dust, you find all the other specks of dust – JUST LIKE THEM. You find a clump of dust, fur, hair, carpet fuzz & a lone Cheerio all in the same corner. They represent the mother of all marketing niches: your perfect, hugely satifsfying, target audience of what makes an everyday clean a DEEP CLEAN.
What makes them the same? They ended up there and they are attracting stuff just like them. You might have a Cherrio & carpet fuzz end up in the same place, but the point is–they ended up in the same place! And when you find it and clean it, that is when you get the uuber of all cleaning satisfaction!
Tip of the Day? Go to where your dust is and see who and what gathers there. Engage with them in their territory, their comfort zone and talk their language. If you continuously clean around the hiding places, you will never find that speck of golden dust that is YOUR perfect client.
What a great use of Twitter! A Houston coffee shop is now taking orders through their DirectMessage feature on Twitter. What a great use of customer input AND actually doing something with it.
Howe are you using Twitter for your SMB? If the first thing you say is “what if they say something bad about us”…the truth is, they probably are and the fact that you said that means you know your business is flawed & you just don’t want anyone to know it…yet, they already do.
Small businesses that are jumping in SM are seing positive ROI when they interact with their customers and just don’t pitch them. This is absolutly KEY when considering using & engaging in Social Media. Treat, serve & speak to your customers the way you want to be treated…Golden Rule my friends -nuff said.
That’s right, your marketing budget is HUGE…just as big, powerful & relevant as the big dawgs.
And here’s the catch….it’s your salary as well. Marketing of the company is your time, energy, blood, sweat & tears of getting the story out about your product and/or service.
Here is what your Marketing line items should consist of:
Blogging, blogging, blogging & did I mention…blogging? Don’t sell, tell your story & tell your customers stories. Think NBC Olympic athlete profiles…how compelling were those? You watched those just as much as the actual event!
Post on other relevant blogs. Provide a story, thought or content, not just “buy my product”.
Join your local chamber & go to more than 1 event a month. Continue the conversations online!
- LinkedIn “answers”. There are people out there smarter than you. Learn from them & be the teacher as well
- FaceBook posts (don’t spam, inform)
- Twitter (again, post relevant 140 words & don’t just say “hey, do you need my product?” How would you react to that?
- Community/Forums: there are SO many out there that are relevant to you & your business. Check out www.Lithium.com to see if they host an interprise community that fits your needs.
Real Life Networking:
- Post Chamber Chatter: Tell people about your blog, that you Twitter, that you are on LinkedIn. Invite others to discuss further topics online – where YOU are at!
- TweetUps – join & then you will get it.
- Check the paper – at least the online version…don’t kill a tree to drive to an event. 🙂
Go to www.hubspot.com & spend at least a whole day reading, learning & watching every single thing they have produced…even the funny stuff is good! Be sure to check out their Friday webcast of what happened that week in social media – good stuff.
Is this a big no duh? Or is this an AhHa? Make use of your time and make use of the resources around you – they are powerful my friend.
There have been a bazillion and one blogs lately on what to do in 2009 to make your business better. This one by Frank Martin of Marketing Magic is the best so far. It goes with my philosophies and thoughts on how to be a better business owner and conversely how to be a better consumer (aka: don’t put up w/a bad experience, someone out there wants & respects YOU as a customer).
The sooner companies realize, internalize & react to the fact that the power is in the hands of the consumers now more than EVER, they will be a success-no matter what the market.
Enjoy the read & if you are on Twitter, do follow him – great articles. And his wife is really funny too!
Happy 2009 friends!