Do you struggle while thinking of what to talk about in your online communications? Maybe you become lost for ideas on types of content to share? In this article, I talk about how to create a week’s worth of online marketing messaging & content from one single thought. Sounds amazing, but it’s really pretty easy to do!
First let’s address coming up with that one thought! Where do you go to get your thought? You could pick the first thought that randomly comes into your head. You might get lucky and have that work. However …
If you want to add some purpose to your thought, there are two places to go:
1. The Buying / Selling Process we’ve been talking about quite a bit in the mailings:
-> Attract: What thoughts bring your future buyers to your “waters”?
-> Connect: What thoughts “catch” the specific attention of your buyers?
-> Engage: What thoughts share your products/services with your prospects?
-> Convert: What thoughts have your prospects to asking how they can buy?
2. The components of your business. Your business provides solutions to problems …. This includes:
-> Source of the problem, want or need. (Demographics, activities, lifestyle)
-> Actual problem, want or need.
-> What you do .. process you use in matching your solution to want/need.
->The result – What people receive via your product or service.
-> Your passion .. why you do what you do.
Look within all of the above and think via your heart! Ideas flow when you focus on your heart vs your mind. Try it!
Here is an example of one thought expanded into a week of content is:
THOUGHT: Healthy food is more expensive. Bad food cost less.
For your blog post, main article, or a message to an email list You might go to the “source” of the problem. How did this come about? Convenience? Busy Lives? Fast food? etc. Create an opinion article … Question if it really is more expensive … agree that maybe in a one–to-one comparison it is cheaper, but over time as you eat more cheaper food your health costs may increase, energy may be lower in school and at work so that you are less productive, etc and ask, which is more costly? And so on …
Three short articles :
1. Compare 5 unhealthy foods vs 5 healthy foods. — Show differences in cost, calories, nutrition, convenience
2. Fun ways to change your eating lifestyle and stay on budget – Cover services such as Hello Fresh , etc.
3. Compute difference in cost of a one day menu with bad food and with good food. – Upon arriving at the difference in cost, what does it equate to in what might be given up in other areas of life… gas, starbucks, movies.
Social Media Posts …
1. Photo of shrimp cocktail vs French fires
2. Before and after photo of person who switched to healthy eating lifestyle
3. Photo of butter & salt .. Is this your addiction?
4. Link to a step 1 for transitioning to healthy eating habits.
5. Video for how to choose breakfast cereals
6. Link to intake form to get started eating a healthy diet
7. Photo of family eating ice cream cones … and written below in text:
When is this a bad moment? When is this a good moment?
Think you can do it? Come up with your one thought and see how creative you can be! Remember to concentrate on your “heart” while coming up with your variations … I promise they will appear right before you!!
Here’s to your communications success!
Happy Spring …. here’s to the arrival of vaccines for us all as we acknowledge the one year anniversary of the pandemic! Going forward online conversation, socializing, marketing will continue to grow and grow within our business & personal lives, be it for the new found convenience or just because we have discovered the amazing “worldwide” doors that are open to us online!! A plus you might say from the pandemic.
This week, I hope to support your “ease” in participating online by simplifying your understanding of the flow of communications. Know that it doesn’t have to be complicated ….
Communications … marketing, sales, networking, socializing, personal … ALL types of communications, follow a natural flow that comes within our natural instincts as human beings. It’s possible (and very easy) to overthink this flow… make it complicated, confuse the issue, and just enable ourselves to get in our own way for having our communications be successful.
I believe the easiest way to describe this natural flow is with stages that have applicable labels to all assigned styles of communications, such as marketing, sales, networking, socializing, personal. Labels that will simplify are: Trust, Credibility, Expertise, Loyalty.
- TRUST is the first stage. It begins when we are first attracted to people. We are attracted because of a likeness between us, something that we both have in common … similar tastes, likes, likeness, etc. As we learn more & “like” more & more, we begin to build “trust.”
- CREDIBILITY follows trust. As we begin to trust new acquaintances there may be something said that hits home, causes a high-five, a “wow … that’s me!” reaction. We show the person that we “get them!” These are the moments and words that build “credibility.”
- EXPERTISE evolves from these earlier “get to know” stages. Now there is a reason to want to know more, explore each other, find out how far we can take this matching of our selves that has been so “right on” while building trust & credibility. This is also where things can get messy. There are lots of “matches” to explore and learn about. We want to be at our best and show our “expertise.”
- LOYALTY is part of our human instinctive behavior also. We find something we like and go with it, we maintain a loyalty to it. Ever have a hard time leaving your hair cutter? Or manicurist? There is a seeded loyalty that seems to always come with these services.. and they are the best way I can describe it. All the pieces are good and we want to keep our communications .. they are working, so stay put!! It’s what keeps couples together, friendships strong, and yes, clients returning with repeat and referral sales.
I hope you see how easy this flow can be applied to ALL your communications. If you would like guidance on applying its simplicity to your sales & marketing communications, (or other) let’s have a conversation. I integrate it into my trainings and it is a core piece of my “7 Step Formula For Achieving All Goals” … which upon learning once, you’ll discover how easy it is to apply when going after additional communication goals & more!
Here’s to your communications success in 2021!
Here is a question for you! How many things did you believe about online marketing, when you first began being active, that ended up being falsehoods??? It can lower your overall motivation and excitement for all that social media & digital marketing DOES provide. So should it be of benefit, I wanted to share 4 false assumptions that ALL my clients, across the board, believed when they first arrived at my trainings. I refer to these false assumptions as myths ….
- When we post, our posts will be shown to ALL our connections, friends, followers, peeps, etc.
It would be sooooo nice if this was accurate, but I am sorry to say it is a myth. Back in the day it may have worked that way. In theory it is said to work that way. But in today’s online environment bandwidth does have its limits for all the social media/digital marketing platforms. And each platform has its algorithm for who gets to see what. It is wise to inquire with each platform we use to get a good understanding who will see the posts we spend time creating and why they get to see them!!
- Our target market will immediately see our posts when we use keywords and hashtags.
The word in this myth that makes the difference is “SEE” – A keyword or hashtag may get posts into designated feeds for viewing, but our prospects still need to “see” our posts. Messaging must be created for the stage of the buyer journey we are targeting with our messaging, Also there is the old adage that something needs to be “in front” of people at least 7 times (heard its gone to even 14 these days) before it is “seen” by viewers/readers.It is not an automatic “build it and they will come” activity … some focus, thought & patience is required. PLUS, even a good use of keywords & hashtags can have other elements affect their success, for example, how many posts use our chosen hashtag and where will that put us in the feed based upon the quantity generated at the same time! And, per social media platform, be sure to know how keywords & hashtags are applied – are they even used for traffic routing? are they mixed with other elements of the platform’s algorithm? And so on.
- It’s about us!
It’s never about us in marketing and sales, online and offline! It is always about the prospect & client. Every post we create…. All our online messaging … MUST be focused on our market audience and where their mindset is. What will THEY respond to? What will catch THEIR attention? They come to their social platforms with much on their minds and scan through the posts … and this is where any engagement we hope to achieve must begin. It is imperative that we know our buyers well so we can connect to THEM and their needs.It is also most beneficial to present messaging so that it speaks directly to our readers. Beginning a post with “I” just puts ourselves in between the message and the reader … it distances the message which defeats the purpose and lessens the opportunities.
- Videos will open doors.
Don’t get me wrong here. Videos are great! BUT when used for opening new doors they can limit the opportunities because people need to be motivated to click open a video and watch OR if it arrives in process, people need to decide to take the time to continue watching. There are other types of content with short messaging that can be seen just as it passes by in the feed …. without having to read … or use any effort. They just get included in the reader’s scan of the feed. These are the type of posts that will create initial attraction to us and upon that ATTRACTION & AWARENESS taking place… videos, depending upon the topic & length can be a perfect “next step.” Think PURPOSE with videos.
There are more myths out there, but these four were across the board upon the arrival of my clients. If you have some or all of these false beliefs, I hope this article has helped you know the truth. I welcome any questions you may have!
I also invite all who are serious about creating effective content & messaging to come and learn one-on-one with me. While you learn you create “with me” content & messaging you can put immediately into action! Click here to know more of the details …
Here’s to your communications success in 2021!
Do you have a strategy for your business communications? Using one makes a world of difference. Just look at this image for starters …
Strategies Rule! They make accomplishing goals much easier AND more achievable!
Why? Because focused thinking is used to plan the entire journey of getting from A – Z prior to beginning the journey. There is no more “guessing” as you go .. . no taking a shot with fingers crossed! You have a directive, a guide!
A great example of the difference between having a strategy and not having one is simply when working on a jig saw puzzle! If you have ever sat down to work on one you dump out a box with 500 – 1,000 pieces and begin! I remember being very young and actually looking at each piece and trying to find a home for it by building up from the first two pieces I would “finally” find that fit together. THEN I “learned” that I could sort & group the flat edge pieces, then pieces with holes for tabs, pieces with tabs, and then sort again by color etc! There was a plan, a strategy, to use that made it so much easier and achievable.
The next breakthrough I had in finding a GREAT strategy was in my voice and data networking career. I realized one day while reflecting, in general, on all the technology I have watched evolve and have been a part of that a MAJOR common denominator was/is the international standard of communications for computer networks. This standard was comprised of 7 layers, from the plug to the screen / output device and it was applied consistently across all the types of transmission and technologies I worked with through the years. AND it worked! It was what kept it all together and also allowed one to know where to go when things needed fixing.
I started to apply it to human communications and found a direct parallel. And why not? A human being developed these 7 layers, right! It is built upon the way our minds work in general. MORE EYE OPENING … as I studied it more and more, the standard is built upon a process that we all use subliminally for our everyday decisions … more on that another time.
As a business communication strategy it is perfect. It takes the “pieces” that are part of a marketing campaign and tightly layers them together so you cannot get off track, keeping you on the path to your goal as follows…
- Define Your Goal
- Who do you need to talk to for achieving goal? What are their demographics?
- Where are they located either online & offline?
- Based upon their locations, map the buyer journey, attract, connect, engage, convert and define umbrellas of topics needed for success at each stage of the buyer journey. (for example, CEO’s relate to profits & revenue).
- Building on layer #4, define examples of exact messaging topics needed for success at each stage of the buyer journey. (for example, CEO’s need stats & facts showing what makes money).
- Identify the specific medium that best presents the communications at each stage of the buyer journey … video, text image, plain text, webpage, pdf, image, slideshow, etc.
These 7 layers take the mystery out of “what to post online, when, where & how!” They create an easy to follow directive. AND give those who use it great insight into their own business communications. Lots of new awareness is uncovered that can be beneficial within one’s marketing mix and beyond. We tend to slide around on the surface of our messaging and communications … digging in deep makes us sharper and wiser!
Another benefit of these 7 layers is once learned, they can be applied to ANY goad you have!! Honest! I joke, but it’s actually true that one can use these 7 layers to have your kids do what you want them to do… or close. 🙂 You have a fighting chance, let’s say that!!
Strategies make all we do much easier. Having a plan works. Having a plan that you can rely upon is even better.
Let me know if you’d like to learn these 7 layers by choosing a real targeted goal and working together with me in implementing the 7 layers for reaching your goal. It’s the core of T H E, my program that stands for Target, Harness(the pieces), Execute. Let’s have a complementary conversation .. contact me at 310-306-1453 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Take 2021 on with focus, purpose, and success. A strategy makes that happen… one more time …. easier and more successfully!!
Here’s to your communications success in 2021!
It’s your messaging and what is said with and in your content that creates action. Are you connecting to your buyers? Are your buyers finding you? Do they know what you offer and why they should buy from you?
In today’s online world your messaging has to be more than just an “ad” or a marketing/selling message. You must be in front of your buyers and form a relationship with them before they have any need for what you offer! You can’t wait until they are ready to “buy” to let them know about you. You must start your connection to them very early on. Today’s buyers go to those they know and are familiar with when a problem appears .. they do their own shopping. The earlier you “connect,” the better your chances for receiving their purchase.
Here is a 10 point checklist to get an idea of where you might be with the content and messaging you are currently creating online.
Does your content ….
- Relate to the world you work within? If you sell tennis balls, is you content related to the “world” of tennis? All aspects of tennis and related themes when applicable?
- Speak directly to the mindset of your audience? Is your content written for quick and easy connection to the reader’s mindset …. NOT written from your mindset?
- Include no use of the word “I” and include the use of the word “you”?
- Have a defined and unique purpose for each topic, sentence and word within each sentence?
- Have a balanced outreach designated to the individual purposes for each stage of the buyer journey – attract, connect, engage and convert?
- Consist of a mixture and balance of images, text, video, blog posts, and articles as “go to” material for your audiences to know more about you and what you offer?
- Talk about, (within your mix of other types of posts), what your buyers get from your products & services without mentioning your services?
- Specifically target, (within your mix of other types of posts) just “one” tiny specific “hook/need/want” that your buyers have. Not all, just one?
- Read as a story …. i,e. have an opening, purpose or why, close? 1) Catch the reader’s attention. 2) Make a specific point, 3) Have a closing with a result, call to action, or other?
- Speak “with” your readers not “to” your readers?
Hope you got lots of “YES” answers! Let me know. I also welcome other points you feel are valuable for all of us to know!
If this has left you realizing you need to improve your marketing content & messaging, contact me for a complimentary conversation about where you are at. I have different ways to be of assistance including working with me 1-on-1 during which you will learn the components of successful content and messaging and with my guidance actually create an abundance of material that can be immediately implemented. Click here http://bit.ly/messaging2021 to review a popular program that pretty much guarantees you ongoing success.
Here’s to your communications success in 2021!
Dig Deep! What does “Digging Deep” mean? We hear the phrase used quite frequently in conversation, but how often do we really hear the words and respond by “digging deep?”
The phrase can actually stimulate multiple types of actions based upon the situation it is referencing. In general the phrase directs us to “find out more” … “find the source” ….of something. What that “something” is can vary and may include digging deep into:
– the external (or internal) history of a topic
– our internal values
– a knowledge base located internally or externally
– source of our emotions
– source of strength, energy
Digging Deep helps us understand a situation and/or people, including ourselves. It also can give us more capability, insight, empathy, knowledge, awareness, growth, maturity, and the list goes on!!! It’s kind of a good habit to grab on to, wouldn’t you say?
The process is pretty simple – it is often subliminal, but when broken down, it’s a process of following a series of links that connect to each other, beginning with where we are at and what is going on in front of us. From this surface layer we can go to the previous “link” and continue on down each connection to “deeper” layers … and finally the “deepest” source of info for achieving our purpose. Fascinating stuff!
PURPOSE is a huge guiding light in the process of digging deep. Knowing what your purpose is will keep you on track when going deep…. It is actually the same “purpose” used to take ourselves forward For example when we need that one more burst of energy for the purpose of accomplishing a task, that purpose is what drives us to dig deep to find that energy! It’s the same purpose we used when we first set out to accomplish the task prior to needing to dig deep.
So let’s walk through “Digging Deep” in an everyday application:
THE PURPOSE: Know why you chose what you are wearing today!
- you chose what you are wearing because you have a zoom call .-> business attire
- what was the image of yourself you were trying to project -> professional
- why did you choose the color -> black makes me feel more grounded in my profession
- why did you choose the style -> turtle neck under tailored jacket -> cold outside, season
- why a tailored style – east coast traditional business classic taste
- does the east coast influence enter into all your attire decision -> kind of, sure.
- and so on until this simple “what do you have on” can take you to other levels of exploration. To continue …
- does the east coast influence other things that you do, business & personal? -> absolutely
- what is the first other thing that you do -> favorite sport teams
- and so it continues…..
Slowing down and thinking through the layers can reacquaint ourselves to ourselves … it is amazing what we forget that is part of our beings! It also helps us understand those we live with, play with AND work with!
Making the effort to “Dig Deep” into our business prospects is what will enable us to create the communications that will “connect” to them at all stages of the buyer journey. When you look at the buyer journey as … TRUST – CREDIBILITY – EXPERTISE – LOYALTY …. we need to know more about our prospects than just their immediate needs. We need to “dig in” and explore what makes them tick and then “dig deep” to find those links within those layers that drive “THEIR PURPOSE” …. this is what we must connect with!
Make a habit to remember to “Dig Deep!” Go for finding MORE! Try it out on yourself …. what makes you choose a restaurant, drive a certain route, choose a movie, but a stock, etc
AND OF COURSE .… Dig Deep to discover & learn more about your prospects! Be #communicationsstrong
Here’s to your communications success in 2021!
What’s a GAP? It’s certainly not something we usually have on our minds while creating our written communications or speaking our verbal communications.
Mariam-Webster defines it as a “break in continuity” – “an incomplete or deficient area” – “a problem caused by some disparity” and a few more!
In terms of our business communications a GAP occurs when we leave a space (or at best maintain only a weak link between what we are saying and how it is received) that enables our messaging to be interpreted at the will of our recipient. The risks are high for coming to a false conclusion … the severity to be determined by the seriously of the GAP!
It can be quite easy to have GAPS in our communications. Some of the areas you may look at in your messaging or the messaging you receive from others include:
– Assuming!! Oh how often do we do this!! We jump into a topic “assuming” the receiving mindset knows what we are talking about!! And if they don’t or just a portion of what we say is received correctly, things can go south quite quickly! The image at the top of this article says it all. A habit to get into for avoiding this type of GAP is to always begin your topic at what I refer to as “A,” yes, as in the alphabet. Go to the beginning of what ever “story” you are sharing. Make sure your recipients are on the same page with you “100%” from the very initial source of your ideas. If in a 2nd meeting with a prospect or phone call, begin with a quick recap of what happened in the precious meeting. The objective is to keep everyone on the same page.
– Talking about too many things at once. Sometimes we come with so much knowledge that we try to say too many things at once. When this happens it become difficult for a recipient to fully connect with any parts of the communication. Before a thought can be received, our communications are off in a similar but different direction, creating GAPs in our intention and purpose … mostly because of the lack of clarity that multiple thoughts create. To protect yourself from this “trap” .. stick to one thought at a time. Hold back, as hard as it can be. Keep it simple. Read back what you write before you send, listen to yourself as you speak!
–Talking too fast! Think we’ve all had the speed talker. In business that can create all sorts of bad reactions. We do this sometimes when we think we only have a limited amount of time to speak. In written communications, it can be messaging that is too short… uses lots of acronyms… touches upon the topic at hand very briefly. What we must do is know THERE IS TIME & SLOW DOWN. Clarity, understanding & connecting is more important than sliding in for a home run for which you might score an out! Going slow and maintaining attention and connectivity in the time we do have, will often get us additional time! People will make time for what they want!
– Tunnel Talk! What I mean by this is our communications are delivered A-Z one way! No asking questions along the way. No pausing. No including optional thoughts as the written and/or spoken communications are delivered. Some people refer to people speaking this way as motormouths. The same can be seen in some written communications as well. If we find outselves being this way, what can help is to think about driving our cars. As we steer our cars we are constantly moving to the right or left and back and forth going with the pulls away from our straight lines and then steering all back to the direction we want to go. It is ongoing as we drive. The same thing happens in our communications … be aware … remember to breathe …let questions be asked… present what might be questions … and keep steering as you go.
– Pay Attention To The Details! Stay alert! Be on time! Look nice! Read EACH word. Read the small print. Listen. Think beyond what we want. Focus on what our prospects and clients want! Be proactive. Do our homework!!
With the New Year upon us, it’s a great time to take stock of our business communications. Look for GAPS … are you guilty or are you good? I’m happy to take a look and provide some input. There is lots to achieve going forward past 2020. Don’t let yourself get lost in the shuffle due to GAPS!
Till the next time, be #communicationsstrong
Here’s to your communications success!
Welcome to the 4th and last article in a four part series on creating authentic messaging for authentic and strong connections to our buyers.
In this last article we continue along the buyer journey to the engage and convert stages. So far in our journey, our buyers needs have not been active, but once their seeded needs sprout, our buyers are ready to “engage” with us. They have specific objectives that are driving their needs and are happy to hear about what we have for them! This said … I stress …”have for THEM.” We must find out what they are trying to achieve from our offerings and then present each feature of our product/service as a match for achieving THEIR interests/needs/requirements, etc.
Their level of need must also be identified. Is their need JUST sprouting and they are simply looking around OR is their need an emergency in which our offerings were needed “yesterday!” (as the expression goes).
Finding out the level of need enables you to match items to your buyers needs that go beyond the product or service. The speed of delivery can be what makes the difference OR if not in emergency mode, perhaps the sharing of a free demo they could try for a week or a free introductory seminar that will be happening.
Along the same lines, it’s extremely important to know that the reason people buy from us can have nothing to do with the offering itself. Our product/service of course has to fit a need … but others suppliers can offer the same or close. Additional factors that can enable us to get the business include pricing, method of payment, our sales process, training, scheduling of training, location, parking, warranties, follow-up, loyalty programs … the list is huge. AND sometimes it’s simply US they want! We become the reason because they like to work with us …. never forget that! The point is that it is important that we bring up ALL factors that can make a difference between our buyers choosing us over the competition because we just never know what the trigger button might be!
An example I use to further understand this is “going out to eat.” Food is what is being bought but the location, price, parking, dress, quality of food, service, and maybe a favorite waiter can be the deciding factors on where we end up dining!
Converting a prospect into a client, i.e. asking for the sale is often feared! But it really is a natural process and can be easily done. One of the first things to realize is that no prospect will spend time engaging with us if they were not expecting us to ask for the sale. And you are really their hero as you are servicing their need(s). You have the solution for them .. you are the helper, the miracle worker …. you are the hero!!
A really easy process to use for asking for business is as follows…. basically you just ask them for agreement. From your engagement process, you have a list of items that they need/want. Review the list with them and every few items pause and ask them to agree that your product/service is a match. At the end simply say, “given that we have a perfect match here for what you require to make a purchase, what do we need to do to put this together?” OR, “what do we need to do to make this happen?” They will lay out the next steps … maybe financing, maybe more decision makers, maybe they pull out a contract and give you a check!
Whatever the next step is, you are now working as a team because if there is more to be done, you may have solutions or referrals for what the missing final pieces might be. Worse case you are able to comfortably stay in touch with them about the status of the sale without feeling rude or that you are being the “pushy salesperson!” If the next step is a check and you’ve got the sale …. you become a partner in the success of the use of your product/service going forward … and hopefully your new relationship will bring you new, repeat & referral business.
I hope this series has been beneficial … your questions and comments are welcomed!
Till then be #communicationsstrong
Here’s to your communications success!
Welcome to part 3 of this series of articles on creating authentic messaging for authentic and strong connections to our buyers. This article keeps us moving along the buyer journey as shown here:
It’s a must to have our buyers know we exist by attracting them to us, but to move things forward a “connection” needs to happen…. that connection being one that isn’t directly about selling … as buyers in this stage may still not have any type of active need for our solutions.
So what makes a connection? Something that turns their head, catches their eye, calls for a high five ….. something that lets them know/feel that we “get them” .. and something that will build upon the trust established in the attraction stage by adding credibility.
We can get ideas by going to the results of our products & services and identifying a “specific” that will totally resonate with specific buyers. Then we choose our target buyer and match it to a targeted specific “moment” or “completion” or “favorite” or “an ideal” or “wish I could” .. etc. etc.
Another source of ideas is to go to the emotions that come with success and happiness within the industry / lifestyle / community that we share with our buyers. What are some specific matches that will appeal to those emotions … the four core emotions being physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual.
Again, we are not trying to sell the whole package, not even a piece of it. We are just looking for a “connection” for that one specific … nothing more!!! And we are not limited to one. We can have multiple specifics for multiple targets … but each one works on its own within our entire market.
To continue with my “fishing” analogy .. making a connection is the same as putting bait on the hook. If we put one type of bait on the hook trying to attract any or all of the multiple types of fish in our waters, they will all swim by (unless for some reason they are starving!!) They all swim by because there is nothing enticing enough to their tastes to bother biting.
When we target our choice of bait for a single type of fish within the multiple types in our waters, we have success! They bite! It’s like us as humans…. even if we are not hungry we find it impossible to pass up a bite of that chocolate cake, etc.
One more thought to remember … we just want them to bite, i.e. … “connect” and move the established awareness further along …building upon our initial trustworthiness and adding some credibility. Our buyers still don’t have to know what our business is even about! We are simply building relationships that will be in place when their seeded needs start to sprout and grow!
Active needs and engaging is in our next article .. and of course engaging & converting our prospects… all the while creating new, repeat and referral business.
Till then be …. #communicationsstrong
Here’s to your communications success!
This is part 2 of a 4 part series. It began with an introduction to the buyer journey and the trifecta used for our business communications. Click here to review if you missed it. Going forward, today and in the next 2 articles in the series, we’re diving deeper into using the trifecta for developing authentic messaging and content.
So let’s begin with conversations that will attract prospects to us. All we want to do is simply let them know we exist, because at this point, they have no active need for our offerings. Selling is NOT useful at this stage … we only want to enable these future buyers to be aware of us. It’s the beginning of “leading” our buyers to us so upon their needs being activated, due to the nature of the industry / business / company / lifestyle they are part of, we are already bonded with them. We are at the very beginning of the buyer journey which is also our seller journey.
Over the years I’ve used the analogy of fishing …in which we are attracting “fishes” to our “waters.” Or you might think of the car industry in which the buyers drive cars. Not all people who drive cars need a new one at a given time, BUT it is important for them to be aware of sources for a new car when the need appears and becomes active.
What type of authentic content can be created for this stage of the buyer journey? The first step is to again, wipe the slate clean of any selling of our offerings in these early stages of attracting … we are opening up relationships and building trust. Products & services will appear in conversations in due time and at the appropriate times through this process.
Going to the trifecta … buyer, business and self … authentic content that attracts comes from knowing our buyer and how well we can match our self to our buyer. To do this, we explore & identify all the pieces of their “being” … their industry, company, what seeds their needs, what is their job/position doing for their career purposes and for personal purposes, what are their values – company wise and personally, who are they? What is their lifestyle and what motivates them… makes them happy … challenges them? If applicable, their age, sex, interests, etc. Having a firm knowledge of all this as applicable gives us lots of sources for attracting new prospects authentically.
What we do with all this gathered information is create conversations that show we have knowledge and insight about the industry and/or lifestyle interests we share with our prospects. Articles, news reports, financial activity, mergers, new products, etc. Also the specific company that a prospect works for ….who else works there …. what is the culture of the specific company … what is new with them … why are they good. Maybe something about the venue where we are meeting (online & offline), maybe a zoom meeting we both attended … the organization hosting the event, and the list goes on. The news of the day can be relevant (or not .. careful with this one).
If it’s not an industry that is shared, it may be a shared lifestyle that breeds a shared interest .. such as soccer moms, etc. Maybe a shared community .. such as in the world of real estate! None of these conversations will have anything directly to do with our offerings but instead everything to do with the establishment of a matched and mutual understanding of the environment we share … the environment that seeds and creates active needs for our offerings.
Other ideas come from going beyond our prospect’s business day. Find out about their home life, their interests, outside activities. Do their kids play the same sports as our own kids. Do we both have tickets to the opera. Do we live in the same neighborhood or maybe we have worked at the same company in the past? We need to keep our eyes open for what bonds us as people with our tie to them being sharing the same industry/lifestyle/ interest. It is all about building trust, developing relationships and creating awareness that we exist!
I can remember when I first worked at Cisco. Those were the days when our 1st appointment was the relationship building stage. Cisco had an unknown product at the time and our job was to go out and simply “chat” with companies. Introduce ourselves, find out what they were up to, what challenges existed, etc. Build rapport & trust under the shared interest that we both lived in the world of voice & data communications. This is no different now with online communications. We just create it via frequent visibility with messaging and postings. The openings of relationships will pretty much always begin in this way … online and offline. We just need to know our buyer OR opportunities will go right past us online… quickly and often. The earlier we can become a part of a prospects buyer journey the more market share and eventual business we will acquire.
Give this some thought and let me know your questions. Part 3 will be all about making “connections” with these prospects. The stuff that goes beyond being aware, but makes them stop and take notice, give us a high-five, make them believe we “get them” .. gets us deeper into their heads!
Till then be #communicationsstrong
Here’s to your communications success!