That's half right. The goal is to help folks decide whether or not to buy the book. Even if we help them decide not to buy our marketing has done its job.
Recently a personal interaction reminded me of an anecdote I read some years ago about tea. (I love tea, but this may be my first business lesson about it.)
When tea first arrived in England it was expensive. Not, a little bit pricey expensive, but prohibitive, only for the rich expensive. But it caught on quickly, because, well, it's great.
One woman in the south took a full pound of her expensive cache and sent it to her sister in the north, telling her how marvelous it was. Her sister boiled it, dumped the black liquid off and served it like a vegetable. She wrote back about how terrible it was.
She'd prepared it like a vegetable, which she understood, instead of seeing it for what it was: something entirely new.
Some business folks hear about the 'new marketing' and assume it's just more of the old marketing, except online. They still want instant results, measured in dollars return on dollars invested. They want ways to convince people to buy, no matter what they're selling. They spend time and money bolting a website and blog and email autoresponders onto their old-school advertising.
They're dumping the tea and eating the leaves, and then they wonder why it doesn't work.
If you help your clients with their marketing efforts, you may, like the first woman in the story, assume that they'll know how to brew a pot of social media marketing. Erm, tea. Whatever.
But, like the second woman, they don't. They can't. Because it's so foreign to them, they have nothing to connect it to. Give information away, with no firm plan for monetising it? That don't make no sense!
Had the first woman included some simple instructions along with her glowing praise, the story may have had a happier ending. Don't leave anything to chance. Clients who are new to the new marketing will need a lot of hand-holding, a lot of encouragement and explanation and nudging.
Don't assume they get it, unless you actually see them drinking the tea.
Our monthly group coaching calls have been great! Here are the topics we've covered so far:
- Marketing Your Services
- Defining Your Ideal Client
- Networking Creates Word of Mouth Referrals
The next call will be on June 1, 2010 and the topic is Converting Prospects to Clients.
Today I'm announcing a special promotion. Anyone who provides a meaningful comment on any one of our blog posts here at Chief Virtual Officer between now and May 30, 2010 will be entered into a random drawing to win the next coaching call on June 1, 2010 free!
Learn more here about the call on June 1 on Converting Prospects to Clients.
You want to go to networking events, get to know other business owners, and have an opportunity to share what you do. Perhaps you feel shy, unsure what to say or what questions to ask to get a conversation started.
Find a friend and role play. Take turns introducing yourselves to each other and asking questions. Critique each other's elevator pitch, hone and refine. Once you feel comfortable, you're set to attend your first networking event.
Take your friend with you for support. But make sure you each go separate ways and introduce yourself to new people. Then on your drive home you can discuss what worked, what didn't, and what you'll do next time.
To learn more about how networking and role playing, join us on the call Networking Creates Word of Mouth Referrals on May 18, 2010. Learn more and register at Event Brite.
There's all this talk about networking, online and in person, and building relationships. What does it mean? How can it benefit you and your business?
Networking should be a vital piece of your marketing puzzle. But the point of networking is not just to have lots of contacts and build your list. You want to build relationships with people so they can get to know and trust you. You also want to get to know and trust them so you can confidently refer them to people you know. Because one of the best ways to get word of mouth referrals is to start giving referrals yourself.
Building relationships means more than just connecting on Twitter or Facebook or emailing someone whose business card you received at a networking meeting. You need to take further steps. Pick up the phone and make a call. If they are in your local area arrange a time to meet and talk. Visit their website and other social networking sites to learn something about them before you approach them. Ask them about what they are interested in before you start telling them anything about yourself. Show a real interest in the other person.
As you start building relationships you will find there are key people who you are drawn to and are drawn to you. They may start referring people to you and vice versa. These key relationships are ones you want to strengthen and maintain.
Take a few minutes and make a list of the top four people in your network that you want to build stronger relationships with. Think about why these four are important contacts. Are they easy to work with or get along with? Do they send you referrals regularly? Are they good listeners with good ideas? Note that information down along with their name.
Now think about what you've given to that particular relationship. Do you spend time on their blog or connecting with them on a regular basis on Twitter? Do you send them referrals regularly? What do you do for them to help them achieve their goals?
Next think about the last time you had a meaningful exchange with that person. Schedule time each month to connect in a meaningful way with that person to continue growing your relationship.
As you take time to build these relationships by networking you will find that there is an increase in your satisfaction. You may also find a measurable increase in the number of referrals you give and receive.
Who are you going to contact today in order to continue building a relationship?