Sponsored by Aweber… THIS is how you should do email marketing…
Here are my thoughts on the real “value” of having huge amounts of Twitter followers, Likes on Facebook, a high Klout score etc…
(inspired by this article by Mark Schaefer)
The larger your audience is, the larger the part of it that doesn’t pay any attention to you, beyond superficial desires of their own (e.g. “I’ve liked my favorite brand” or “I’ve got them on my list” etc…).
I’m a fan of quality over quantity myself… but the post title that inspired this article asks a specific question…
“Do you need a massive audience to be huge in social media?”
My response is… do you really want to be huge in social media and have millions of followers? Is there really any value in that at all? If you’re huge in social media, aren’t you just strengthening the brands in social media (like Klout, Facebook, Twitter etc…)?
So, I would also ask… and here’s the important part:
Do you need a massive audience to be an authority to the people who choose to follow your content, your business, and your brand?
To that question… the answer is NO, and here’s why:
If the number of people displayed on some social service (like Twitter followers, likes on Facebook, Klout score etc…) is the main reason you’re an authority to someone… have you really done a good job of developing any sort of relationship through your content, personal contact, or other means… with that person?
When you do a good job of this, that person will look beyond superficial numbers and see you as a true authority anyhow… no matter how many “Twitter followers” you have, and they won’t care what your Klout score is.
So build your business beyond “getting huge” in social media, and go sell something, would you?
Amanda Fucking Palmer, someone who defines the future of business for creators, artists, and business overall (I challenge big business to follow this methodology)… with a TED Talk on the Art of Asking…
All marketers tell stories. And you believe that story.
Think about it… why do you drink bottled water? A particular brand of bottled water?
Why do you buy a specific brand of shoes, go to a particular restaurant, drive a particular type of car?
Look, in the 21st century, consumers have a million choices for various products and services they can buy. If yours doesn’t stand out and make an impact, your product gets lumped in with the rest of them… and price becomes the only competing factor.
Bad news for most small businesses.
Don’t let your business fall into the trap of competing on price, or it will end up in the business graveyard.
And, on top of this, you don’t get much time to tell your story either. In fact, that time is getting shorter and shorter.
So you have to tell the best part of your story in a concise and memorable way, immediately separating yourself from the pack.
One example of a successful story…
If you’re into wine, there is a particular type of glass that supposedly makes it taste better. I’m not into wine, so that story doesn’t resonate with me at all (something to think about when creating your story)… but with wine tasters and collectors, if you tell them the type of glass they use to drink their wine doesn’t have anything to do with making wine taste better… they will lynch you.
They believe that story… so this type of glass has become a standard for wine drinking amongst this crowd of people.
Your next step is to think deeply about your core business and what you truly offer your audience, then create a short, high-impact story around it.
Make sure that story is believable, shareable, and memorable.
If you need help, I can offer a short consultation or series of one-on-one consultations with you to help create your story. Depending on how far along you are, this session can simply be an idea-generating session to get you started, or a comprehensive story-building series of consultations to help craft your complete business story you can start telling to the world.
The choice is yours. Contact me today to let me know if you need help, and we’ll work out a reasonable rate depending on your circumstances.
NOTE: Obviously, this type of session is limited to the next 3 business owners who invest in them, after which, you’ll be booking your session later in the year.
I’ve written about business and marketing a number of times on this blog.
A common phrase I’ve repeated in those writings is “Business is about people…” or a variation of that (sometimes I’ve extended that phrase).
This post will define some of the specifics behind that phrase, the rest can be extrapolated from the specifics given here.
Business is about people is defined under the following scenarios and opinions:
- Your business should operate with people in mind first, and profits will be a measuring stick for how well you do that.
- Your employees, if you have them, are your business’ front line… treat them with respect and genuinely express your appreciation for what they are doing for your clients and customers (IF they are doing that job well).
- Put your best people where your customer or client “touch points” are… which is anywhere your business connects with your customer or client (this includes Twitter accounts, Facebook pages etc…). Pay those people accordingly, don’t short change them. Your profits depend on how well you do this.
- If you use social media tools in your business, don’t fake it. Having a Facebook page is great, but only if you have a specific SOCIAL use for it. Social media means “social,” which doesn’t mean use it as an advertising billboard… but it IS a point where you genuinely interact with the people in your audience.
- Remember people do business with you, they are NOT numbers. They are people with emotions, problems, money, and needs. The people who give you the attention you’re seeking are trusting you with that attention. Don’t, under any circumstances, violate that trust because you classify those people as subscribers, demographics, statistics or other numbers (big companies listen up).
- Quit doing stupid shit in your communication with the people who are providing you with their trust. From email marketing deception and tricks, to badly scheduled Tweets on Twitter, come on now… think a little bit about each and every interaction you have with the people in your audience. I don’t care how big of a company or division you run… there is a great filtering coming… and if you’re company isn’t communicating properly, you’ll be out of business. You’ve been warned.
- Immediately fire anyone who says that customer or client service is not their job. It’s everyone’s job… period. No excuses. This means the janitor all the way to the CEO, everybody is responsible for the satisfaction and remarkable service of your clients and customers. Train them if they don’t understand that, and give them the authority and tools necessary to take care of your business.
Basically, “business is about people” means exactly as you read it… there are people in your business, and those that it serves. All of those people are why you’re in business. Treat them like people, and quit treating them like numbers.
Everybody in your company is responsible for making sure your company interacts properly with the people in its audience… period.
Take this message to heart, act on it, or don’t call me when the money runs out.
Yochai Benkler is a true visionary, and I highly recommend you read both of his books.
But, to whet your appetite… here is a TED Talk…