Communicate a Bigger Vision with Content Marketing

If your marketing could only accomplish one thing, what would it be?

Retailers would say getting buyers into the store, because that’s where they can best convert interest into favorable outcomes. If conversion happens on your website, you want your marketing to take buyers there.

Then what happens? That’s what buyers want to know.

Marketing used to open doors. Now it must communicate what happens after they are opened. Tweet this

What makes content marketing so much more powerful than traditional marketing is that it can convince people your business is the one for them.

The Internet is Your Shark Tank

The sales team used to make the first impression with new buyers. These days your content marketing and social media accomplish this, or should.

How clearly does your your online marketing communicate what your business can do for its customers?

This is not a time to be shy. A bold vision that creates big expectations is what most buyers want, as opposed to vague commentary that attempts to speak to everyone, and therefore, speaks to nobody.

The smartest marketing of all communicates the business has done its homework. It speaks to buyers in language that resonates with their worldview. It also sets expectations for what happens after they open the door.

In other words, it confidently takes a stand.

I don’t watch much television, but when I go to the gym I often catch a few minutes of the Shark Tank business reality show. Usually it is painful to watch how the “sharks” take a bite out of the wishful entrepreneurs.

They remind me of Bon Jovi’s Living On a Prayer. It’s a great song, but living on a prayer is not such a good way to launch or sustain an entrepreneurial venture. One has to be prepared, and that has to be reflected in your sales and marketing, whichever comes first.

In my former landscape business, our first physical meeting was that vital first impression. So, we not only scripted it, we rehearsed it, practiced it live, debriefed, and started all over again a little better prepared for the next one.

If you are wondering, yes, we failed a lot until we got it right.

Just as the business experts on The Shark Tank are skeptical, so are your buyers. This naturally brings a lot of anxiety to selling and marketing, especially because we all usually have just one shot at winning the confidence of a particular buyer.

So, be ready to make strong moves. Study your website and social media channels. Is your business showing up with preparedness and a fresh vision that gives your buyer confidence?

Here’s one Shark Tank entrepreneur that was ready from the very first moment. He was ready for no, and for yes. In fact, he took yes to the next level by making Mark Cuban his co-star.

For you and me, that’s our customer.

Create marketing that captures your vision for taking your customers higher than they thought possible. It starts with a vision.

Find the Solution to One Chronic Problem

Just one final thought on this topic.

Business success is often as simple as solving one little problem that a lot of people share. You probably already know what that is in your industry. It’s usually related to trust, and it prevents buyers from engaging with companies like yours.

There is no shortage of money out there for solutions that work. Find the path to it by communicating a big vision with your marketing.

 About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

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Here’s How to Communicate with My Business

Here's How to Communicate with My Business

Does your business have a system for receiving, organizing, and processing inquiries? This is vital for converting your content marketing, SEO, and social media into profitable outcomes.

How a business communicates with its communities is marketing. Tweet this

The smart ones use it to distinguish their company as professional, caring, and easy to work with.

Since every business is unique, I’ll share key elements of our process that you can adapt to yours.

I’m confident you will learn new ideas for improving your communications, while also helping you get more of what you need from me.

Provide Communication Options and Why They Work

Many companies design a system that works for them, but that either challenges the patience of prospective customers, or fails to give them the confidence their inquiry will receive the attention it deserves.

For example, if your customers prefer to use the telephone and your business does not publish that number online, it has a problem. This is a shortcoming for many businesses.

Your telephone number should not only be listed on your primary website, but your social media networks too – at least the more trustworthy ones, such as LinkedIn. More than one colleague of mine has missed an opportunity because I could not easily locate his or her telephone number to then refer them on short notice.

The telephone is for urgent business. This is why my telephone number is clearly listed on my Speaking page, and referenced on the Contact Us page, along with guidelines for when to use it. Many meeting planners or speaker bureaus use the telephone for a quick response, because they may be competing with other companies for the same opportunity.

For many of us a cell phone is our primary point of contact. Therefore, I do not answer most calls, preferring instead to group them together for responding during a designated block of time, unless of course the call happens to be urgent.

How do I know that? Google Voice receives my voicemail messages and transcribes them to me in a text message. This at-a-glance message allows me to quickly respond to what is urgent. Give it a try; it’s free.

On the other hand, coaching and other inquiries are best handled with a contact form that allows for determining if there may be a good fit. That too is noted on my Coaching and Contact Us pages. If there is a fit, I then use ScheduleOnce to arrange a 15-minute telephone conversation to learn more.

The point is to provide options that work for you and your community, while also educating everyone about why your system allows your business to function better for them.

Track Everything and Don’t Forget Social Media

Regardless of your company size or capabilities, it is vital to have a system for tracking inquiries. There are many CRM’s that will help you to do this. All you have to do is build the discipline for consistently using them well.

When I started my first business inquiries were limited to the telephone, then email, and now social media. It is not easy to manage it all, but technology will help. Most important is to build a system, use it, and refine it over time to make it better.

Every business can save time by using email better. This means your business has to not just request, but require email addresses for responding to inquiries. Include your business email within your voicemail system, and be sure your social media accounts offer an email point of contact.

In regards to email, you can and should be personal, but also to the point. To save time, use a service like TextExpander to send prepared responses that graciously dismiss unwanted inquiries, or to initiate your process for pursuing more promising ones.

Finally, if you are not using social media to engage with your communities, you are missing the opportunity to nurture relationships that lead to new business. If you think social media takes time, imagine using the telephone or email to do this!

While you are there, use your social channels to teach your community how to communicate with your business for getting more of what they want from it.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

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