The All-Important Reason You Need To Be Famous
I don’t mean the kind of fame that gets you film premieres, paparazzi and red carpets. Nuh-uh. I’m talking about the type of fame that means your business is the first one someone thinks of when they need an EQ-related product or service.
Fame is essential in today’s marketplace
Here’s why: Buying behavior has changed. It’s that simple. Buyers now start the purchasing process in the search engines.
When was the last time you did the following when you were considering a purchase of over $1,000?
- Checked the yellow pages
- Went to a trade show
- Responded to a print ad
- Responded to a direct mail advertisement
- Did a search in Google
- Asked a friend for advice and they sent you a URL to a website
Chances are you did one of the last two options. And that is the same for nearly everyone.
Fewer people are going to tradeshows, direct mail response rates are decreasing, random or generic email marketing is becoming less effective, and cold calling is becoming more difficult. There is more competition than ever for the attention of your customer and people have more tools for blocking out this interruption marketing (spam filters, caller ID.) We’re like little kids jumping up and down, making a big noise in an effort to get our parents to pay attention, even if that means getting yelled at.
As a result, 21st century marketing has changed from being “outbound” (you broadcast your message to thousands of people and only 1-3% are actually interested) to being more “inbound” (people find you when they want to buy something – much more targeted and effective). This means you need to embrace blogging and the blogosphere, participate in social media and optimize your website for search engines. We want to be the kids industriously working away whose parents seek them out to find out what they are doing. You need to get found when they are looking, not get in their face when they’re not.
The sales funnel
These techniques pull people into the top of your sales funnel. Having many prospects (or suspects as they really are at this point) falling into the top of your sales funnel is fundamental to the success of your business. Internet marketing tools such as permission-only email marketing, white papers, webinars, free trials, discounts and time-bounded offers as well as face-to-face contact can be then be implemented to pull prospects down the funnel into a qualified and ultimately closed state.
Are traditional activities still relevant?
Yes and no. Cold calling, never a great way to reach people, is less and less relevant. Tradeshows are expensive but perhaps with tightly targeted objectives may be worthwhile. Print direct mail, probably not; email to purchased lists without recipient permission, definitely not.
What about face-to-face networking?
Absolutely! Selling, and especially selling EQ, is about relationships. Attending networking events and having face-to-face meetings is totally relevant and essential in many cases depending on the situation. And using social media and email to start and sustain those relationships is a highly complementary activity. Face-to-face and electronic means of networking dovetail beautifully. But personal contact is time consuming and the benefits should be carefully weighed to determine their value against cost. Ideally, personal contact in a prospect is invested later in the sales cycle when establishment of need and solution fit has been made.
You’re missing out
If you are not doing marketing activities such as having a strong professional website presence, creating a social media brand, blogging both on your own site and others, and undertaking permission-based email marketing you are missing a huge opportunity and most likely suffering from ‘feast or famine’ business revenues. Establishing a daily practice in internet marketing will help you position yourself as the ‘go-to’ person or organization in your field and enable you to reach more people than you ever could before.
If few in your industry or market are currently doing the kinds of things I’m suggesting, you should still go for it. Doing things differently is the fast track to fame in your niche. As the Apple slogan goes, ‘Think different.’
You’re being overtaken
But it is more likely that your competition are doing these things, putting you at a severe disadvantage. If others are using these tools, you absolutely need to too – to catch up.
These are 21st century tools designed to market products and services to 21st century clients who deem the brand name ‘Google’ to be a verb, blogs to be essential business reading (if they’re useful and entertaining enough) and Facebook to be a medium through which to keep relationships going all around the world. If you want a thriving business that doesn’t suffer from feast or famine business cycles, you must spend a few minutes a day and a few hours per week on these business development activities.
What are you currently doing to cultivate your celebrity? Are you utilizing the internet to cement your position as an authority? What you could you be doing different, better? And what low-leverage activity could you drop in favor of working a consistent daily management of your brand?