Last time I talked about why social media is bad for you but I’m really thinking of it in a much larger context. It’s really all about marketing and what you really need to do to engage with your customers. If you only took one thing away from my last post (which I realise was slightly rambling) it should be this: It’s important to have a plan before you start using your tools.
I Love It When A Plan Comes Together?
Any business is an exercise in solving problems. Whatever product or service you offer must meet the needs of your target demographic (or solve one of their problems). The way that you interact with your target market should be the same, by talking about and understanding the problems that they have. The problem could be as mundane as wanting to buy a cake or extravagant as producing an olympic opening ceremony. If there is a problem out there and you have a solution, you have a business.
There are four things you will need to do in order to enact your marketing plan. Anyone can do this:
- Connect with your target market
- Spread your idea
- Share your journey
- Add value to people’s lives
I can hear you thinking it now. How do you add value into people’s lives? You solve their problems. It’s actually quite a simple idea. What we’re going to do is build an online platform for your marketing and we’re doing to do it by using the principles above to engage your audience. Today I just want to touch on the three things you’re going to be doing if you follow this series and why they are important.
The Three Step Program
It’s not really a program but there are three things you’ll need to understand before going any further. These three ‘steps’ will encompass the four activities above and will form the basis of this marketing plan.
- Get permission to communicate regularly with your market
- Engage that market with content
- Reach out to potential clients
Permission is connection with your audience. Without it, people won’t listen to your message. I mentioned the 0.2% click-through rate that my author friend achieved through his tweets in the previous blog. The way to increase that is to get people involved in what you’re doing, allow them to have ownership of it. This way, people will welcome the communications you put out because they are investing in you.
Putting out free content is important. Like the blog I am writing right now. Imparting some of my knowledge to you is (I hope) showing you that I understand how these things work and that by coming to me with your website issues, design and branding needs you will receive a service that is well thought out, with decisions made from a place of knowledge. I couldn’t do this with just a few tweets or a couple of Facebook posts because they are fleeting and won’t grab everybody at the same time. But, when I have the permission from people to send them information, they might find these few strategies interesting. The free content is also something that may be passed to others who will then give you permission again. And so, the cycle of content creation and permission is going to help drive people towards your brand.
Great content and inviting permission won’t work alone. You need to reach out to others along the way.
- Let people know you exist
- Show them some of your work
- Inviting them to stay connected in the long term.
Once these three things are in place, you’ll automatically start getting sales calls.
Is that it?
For now, yes. Over the next few weeks I’ll be exploring this a little more. I’ll cover permission in a bit more detail next time but, for now, remember those three points and if you see an opportunity to do any of them, take it.