Category Archives: Marketing

How to get new clients?

I saw this question posted on Reddit (Question: Any tips on getting new clients? ), and thought my response could be useful to more people as a blog post, so here goes.

Find their watering holes and showcase yourself there

watering-holesIf you know who your potential clients are, the best way to attract them is to go where they frequent.

FREE Report: 6 WAYS TO FIND YOUR AUDIENCES WATERING HOLES

When I used to do technology consulting, I found the maximum new clients by going where they go – “Technology Conferences”.

I would often speak at technology conferences or technology community events.

Invariably, after my session I’d be interacting with people who had questions about the topic I spoke on or about further advanced topics.

We exchanged business cards with each other and provided each other a means to connect. (This is important enabling each other to connect)

In fact quite often they wanted a copy of the presentation(this hook’s them to you) and would share their business cards with me after the presentation so that I would share the presentation with them. (Enabling this exchange is critical!)

Regularly speaking at these conference helped increase my credibility and enabled me to reach out to a lot of potential new clients at the same time.

But then came the Internet and a very costly lesson

I kind of replicated online what I did in the real world. I recorded a video on social media and communities and their impact on corporate communication and distributed it on YouTube.

It had thousands of people viewing it. BUT…

I didn’t enable them to share their contact data with me. I didn’t give them a reason.

Obviously people could like and share the video and even comment on the video. There was also a link to my blog in the video and in the description. I just didn’t tell them what they’d get.

What could I give? (VALUE: The Hook is important) Even something as simple as –

valueexchangeSign up here to get a powerpoint presentation of this video for quick reference (and get notified when I create such new content) would have been something of value to quite a few.

It would have encouraged them to exchange their contact information with me. It seems logical now.

However, at that time all I gave them was a lame – Read more at my blog…

Action Steps to Get New Clients

  1. Find their watering holes, i.e. places where they hang out,
  2. Showcase yourself there and
  3. Most important give them a reason(VALUE) to give their contact information to you. Give them something they’d consider valuable, in exchange for their contact information.
  4. Download NOW

    FREE Report: 6 WAYS TO FIND YOUR AUDIENCES WATERING HOLES

References: The video I had created was about “How community and social media changed corporate communication” – and it has 14600+ views as on today 🙂

Key Elements for Building a Content Strategy

Creating a Content Strategy can be confusing. People often get confused between Content Strategy V/S Content Marketing

Altimeter Group’s recent Research report on “Key Elements for Building a Content Strategy” is an interesting read. However, I felt that a little more detailing would help.

I’ve created a graphic below to explain the key elements in more detail.

Creating a Content Strategy requires 4 elements

  1. Content Vision
  2. Content Strategy
  3. Content Development
  4. Content Marketing

Key Elements for Building a Content Strategy

Failing at Social Business? This could be why

Top 3 Social Media Mistakes

Mistake #1: Content Creation

Yes I know it sounds strange. However, it is so easy to create content on social media that people just dive in and create lots of content. They have a content calendar and various kinds of content, but sadly no ROI.

Mistake #2: Confusing Content Strategy with Content Marketing

Content Strategy vs Content Marketing

Strategy is about figuring out what to do, rather than the act of doing(creating) which is distinctly different from the act of marketing the content you have created.

Mistake #3: Social Media Measurement i.e. Measuring the wrong things v/s Key Performance Indicators

We get excited looking at the number of comments, on a post, excited about engagement and even driving engagement at the cost of achieving business objectives. This happens because one mixes up Social media metrics and business metrics (KPI).

Succeeding at Social Media: The three key elements

The first element in a winning Social, Digital marketing strategy is defining the business objectives.

The second element is to know how to create the right strategy to meet those business objectives

  • Who are you targeting?
  • Start with the end in mind.

The third element is monitoring KPIs(Key Performance Indicators) to know that you’re on track to achieve the business objectives.

After the above 3 things elements are figured out, you then go about the actual job of doing/creating – content, defining campaigns, engagement strategy, influencer, advocate, community engagement etc.

Wanna Succeed at the Above? Get the Report on Succeeding at Social Business

How to build your brand advocacy program?

Can you imagine constructing a 20 storey building without a blueprint?

Who needs a blueprint

Obviously not! However, most people go off building a brand advocacy program which might involve thousands of brand advocates just like that!

What is a framework?

The basic structure of something : a set of ideas or facts that provide support for something

The RIDE Framework

The RIDE framework helps you define a brand advocacy program that is unique to your organization. It contains a set of ideas which will help provide the necessary support for your brand advocacy initiative.

It provides a systematic approach to to creating a brand advocacy program.

Why use the RIDE framework?

Most organizations have their own ways of doing things and culture. The RIDE framework provides a  system that you can use and is flexible allowing you you to prioritize based on your situation and company.

What are the Components of the R.I.D.E framework?

It helps you think about the essential pieces which are needed for any successful brand advocacy program.

  • Rewards and Recognition – What’s in it for the brand advocates how are you going to provide them recognition
  • Impact Measurement – What’s the program doing for you, is it helping the organization
  • Discovery – Where and how do you find and discover your brand advocates
  • The 3 E’s – How to Evangelize, Empower and Engage your brand advocates

The hidden step 1 – Define your business objective?

There is a first step in creating your brand advocacy program. It’s about determining why you need it, how it’s going to help the organization. This is often the most critical part. Having a clear business objective ensures long term success of the advocacy program.

RIDE - The Brand Advocacy Framework

Is there a step 0?

Yes. Listening. Often the best way to think about your program, is to start by first listening to the conversations, and examining the content put out by your brand advocates.

More often that not this will help you to get important nuggets proving the necessity of the program. It gives great insight into the needs and issues faced by your customer and helps you see how your brand advocates are filling in gaps which you might not be addressing correctly.

Just like you can’t go about constructing a 20 storey building without a blueprint, the RIDE framework helps you to think through the essential elements necessary for a successful brand advocacy program.

Get started now

Video: How to build a brand advocacy program – Video covers the RIDE framework
Book: Brand Advocacy Book

How scarcity and exclusivity helps your brand advocates feel special (and gets you enormous word of mouth publicity?)

ScarcityDo you remember when Gmail was introduced into the market? It was exclusive, there was a select list of people who got access, it was all hush hush or so it seemed. You just couldn’t get one. There were some select individuals who had access to it. These core group of people had exclusive access.

Now here’s the most important part about this. The core group was small. For instance, among my network of friends only one had received access. Not everybody had access. Access was scarce.

The only way you could get onto trying out Gmail was if they (the exclusive initial users) gave you access. When I got access I promptly gave it to my network of colleagues, friends and family.

People just couldn’t stop talking about it.

There was stiff competition

Now remember Gmail wasn’t Gmail as it is today. There were a lot of other big name players in the market; Hotmail, Yahoo Mail etc. But this combination of ingredients, Exclusivity, Scarcity and leveraging networks caused an enormous amount of people to get talking about it.

How easy availability could mean low perceived value

Time and again brands lose value when they lose sight of this basic human principle of scarcity and exclusivity. I’ve often seen it in retail. Two adjacent stores containing the same brand product. Or going into a mall and finding the same shirt in all 5 stores in the mall.

It might seem that making it more available would make it easier for people to buy it, however, more often than not it doesn’t.

Increase in Value, even though it was free

Email ids were freely available, there was nothing outstanding that Gmail was offering, yet it piqued people’s interest, everyone wanted a Gmail id.

Barrier to entry

Restricting the access to some select people had a dual effect. The people who got access felt extremely special. The felt part of an elite exclusive group and they went ahead and expressed it to their friends and family, asking if they would like a Gmail id, thereby causing massive word of mouth publicity.

Getting early access to resources helps people feel special

“The Windows Insider Program, where PC experts and IT Pros can get access to a technical preview of Windows 10 for desktops and laptops. Soon after, we’ll also be releasing technical previews of Windows Server and our management tools.”

That’s from an announcement Microsoft did when they launched the Windows Insider Program – only the people in this program got access to Windows 10 before the rest of the market.

It was perceived to be exclusive and scarce.

Objections

Objection! I don’t know what or how I can restrict access to… and make people feel special

Let me take on a few quick examples of how one can do this in almost any sector/industry.

Hospitality:

– Last few rooms at x price.

– Open bar from 5-5:30 for select customers

Schools:

– Entrance exam on x date.

– Admission forms available only till 10th November…

– Open day on Y date. An exclusive opportunity to meet all the faculty personally.

Music Company:

– Invite only access to meet the singer personally while he/she launches the next album

– Backstage pass

Fashion House:

– Exclusive peek at upcoming designs

Consulting Firm:

– Exclusive conference/Seminar for CEO’s with one-on-one consulting with top management

More ideas on how you can provide restricted access and help brand advocates feel special
   – Early peeks at your upcoming products
– Meetings with your management team
– Reserved seating at your events
– Exclusive discounts for your products
– Showcasing the client at your events/website/blog… social channels.

Why

The big reason why

There is another reason why companies might often find it useful to introduce scarcity.

Often when you’re planning to launch a new product or service you might want to test market it in the real world to understand product acceptance and to figure out and iron out any issues, which you may not have seen.

This practice has often proven invaluable in discovering glitches or understand what aspect of the product or service really matters to your customer. At this stage of testing or launching a new product involving all your customers would not necessarily be useful as you’re still testing the waters. However, the fact that you’ve invited a few of your customers to be a part of this will make them feel special and will give you invaluable insight.

Scarcity and exclusivity often create demand and value

Just like Google did with Gmail, Microsoft with their Insider Program and so many other companies, applying principles of scarcity and exclusivity can help your brand advocates feel special and cause them to generate enormous word of mouth publicity for you.

Have you seen an example of scarcity and how it has created demand or value or helped in increasing word of mouth? Do share in the comments below.