4 Keys To Earning Customers: Better Blogging, Emails & Social Media

4 Keys to Effective Customer Communication {A Better Blog, Email and Social Media Strategy}

**CAUTION: Painful #TruthBomb below**

Have you started a blog for your business or sales efforts?

How’s it going? Was your last post March 2014?

How about that email newsletter to stay top of mind with clients?

Or how’s your social media strategy working for you—are you connecting and engaging your top prospects?

Ouch. We can guess what your answers are. It’s tough. Like most business people {sales and small business owners alike}, your communication strategy is the first thing to bend and break when you get busy, get new clients, hire new employees, et cetera. If you don’t have the luxury of having a marketing department or they are a “department of one”, creating content and emails and social media posts can be daunting, exhausting and sometimes “a hot mess” as we like to say here in the South.

We meet and talk to dozens of small businesses each month and invite them to “Add us to your weekly communications email” . . . and get a rather regretful look back at us and a mumbled, “Um, ok” which we know all too well means they don’t have the tools or aren’t using them to deliver their sales and marketing messages to potential customers.

Selena Silvestro, our Director of Ground Floor Strategies started using this extremely effective and poignant statement from her experiences networking and meeting hundreds of business owners and sales people that have no consistent follow up system or effective customer communication strategy to stay visible and valuable to their target clients.

If you’re not executing your Audience Development Strategy, you’re missing PRIME sales opportunities to leverage technology and social media to help sell to your ideal clients.

You know you need a blog / email / newsletter / social media . . . but WHY and WHAT are the most critical things to know?

With the new channels and opportunities to place product and brands literally EVERYWHERE, Advertising has created a ton of noise and much of it is less effective. We are bombarded with well over 2000+ advertising messages a day. All the distractions and overkill have made traditional Marketing and Promotion less meaningful. Thanks to changes in manufacturing and production that reflect our growth in technology, we’ve come to expect hyper customization and personalization in both the products we buy as well as the experiences we have. Without establishing personal connection and emotional engagement, we give less trust and credibility to people and brands.

Being vague, generic and impersonal is NOT an option any more. People buy from other people, Human to Human, and demand personal attention and connection.

How do we build personal connections and emotional engagement with our customers and potential clients: Authentic, Consistent, Valuable and Engaging communication.

Be Authentic—People recognize insincerity and fake sentiment. We’re like broken record here as we’ve posted numerous blogs and articles about authenticity because it’s HUGELY important in how consumers build trust. What does it mean to be authentic? Speak from your own Experience, deliver your unique Point of View and let people get to know you {sense of humor, inspiration, drive, determination, et cetera}. We help our clients build parameters and “filters” around their selling messages so that their voice and purpose is always authentic and true to their audience. Be true to your natural tone, voice and sense of humor. Personal connections come from being personable and people should recognize the same “you” online as well as in person. When you use our authentic voice in your blogs, emails or social posts, your audience gets a glimpse of what it’s like to do business with you. In The Selling Agency posts, you get a sense of who we are and we are the same cheeky and direct people you meet in person. If you don’t like us online, you’re probably not going to like doing business with us in person. In a sense, your authenticity is a pre-qualifier that keeps both you and your customers from wasting time when you aren’t going to be a good fit. {Hint: see our “About Us” page with the Top 5 Things You Need To Know.}

Be Consistent—This is perhaps the toughest one of these four. Consistency cannot be undervalued when it comes to communication. When you deliver social media, emails and blogs in a regular schedule, your opt-outs decrease and your readership goes up. That’s the big goal—to get people to read your valuable information and take action. Being constant in both the voice and delivery of your messages gives you a lot of credibility for both being an expert as well as dependable—two things that go a long way to building trust with potential customers. Consistency takes training—just like athletes do. You’ve got to schedule the time, create and follow processes to build a system that is effective—whether it’s with a blog of your original content, an email newsletter or posting and sharing relevant information on social media. Consistency is building new muscle memory to execute behaviors that have big payoff in your business.

Be Valuable—Creating content for audience development is possibly the second most difficult thing to do. One simple and clear way to push through this is to make sure everything you write, share or create is valuable to the customer, for the customer and from their point of view. Helping and Serving are now the most effective methods of Selling and modern customers choose their vendors {or more aptly, partners} that help them make buying decisions. If your insights are valuable and timely, you become the natural “go to” choice when people need your products or services. Understanding your audience, empathizing with their pain points, segmenting the buyer personas and targeting your information to serve those potential customers is SELLING and provides
tremendous advantage to getting your phone calls taken and emails answered when you are developing business.

Be Engaging—Providing outbound information is just part of bringing your ideal customers closer to you. Interacting with them and engaging them is just as important as creating consistent content. I see several business owners publishing articles regularly on LinkedIn but I don’t see them sharing or interacting with anyone in other posts. Sure, I could be missing all of that engagement but it creates an inkling of doubt in me that they aren’t really being authentic in trying to build trust and personal connections. We all want to know that what we say matters, what we post is helpful and that what we do matters—so show up and engage your customers or prospects with thoughtful insights and relevant responses. You have just as much opportunity to share your point of view and expertise when you comment or share someone else’s content. Promoting your clients and positioning their brand and value brings you closer to them.

At the end of the day, you have to figure out What you can do and How you can get it done—authentically and consistently. Bringing value and engaging your ideal clients is the new way to sell. It’s not advertising, it’s not promotion. It’s not exclusively marketing either. If you want to drive revenue through your door, you’ve got to build personal connections and engage on an emotional level with each customer.

Until next time, keep kickin’ butt!

*PS—We know this is tough. We eat, sleep and breathe this every day and it’s still tough sometimes to get it all done—especially if you don’t have a marketing department or you’re a “department of one.” But the payoffs are incredible in terms of customer acquisition {and the low costs/new customer}. If you need help with the right tools, creating your systems and processes or understanding your target audience and what to say to them, we’re here to help. Contact us or check out the Audience Development program page.

**PPS—Stay tuned—we’re planning a hard core 4 week Audience Development course for the Memphis Area this fall. This will get you up and running and launch you with all the tools, support and confidence you need to execute consistently and earn more customers. Seats will be limited so let us know if you’d like to reserve yours.

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Straightforward, practical and perhaps slightly cheeky, Shawn Karol Sandy's innate gift is helping people find new ways to solve old problems, unique ways to approach new problems and helping businesses re-invent themselves and their sales strategies. With Bold and Brave thought leadership and Clear Action Plans, her impact on business is Measurable and Meaningful and will lead your sales revolution to growth and revenue goals.

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