What a workshop! What an event! I’m still fired up about Saturday’s Surviving 2 Thriving LIVE workshop and excited for the many small business owners who attended the event and brought their A-Game!!
Of course, the day was packed full of How-To’s for improving your life and your business. We had great in-depth discussions on how to gain greater life satisfaction, how to gain clarity around what it is you really do, how to solve many different problems and how to pinpoint your target market. Over 7 hours of valuable content and discussion! A fantastic event all around!
I also received extremely valuable feedback during the event that I wanted to share with you today. Specifically, the most feedback I received was about my Engagement Model and the strategies I provided for gaining new clients, securing repeat business and increasing referrals and recommendations. As you know, these are all huge issues for small businesses.
I’ll start by stating this…I really don’t believe that marketing gets you new clients. Now, before you say “This guy’s crazy!”, please read on…
It’s my belief that marketing’s main goal is to build awareness about your business and what you’re offering. But does it create buyers? No…it really doesn’t…but ENGAGEMENT does!
Marketing VS Engagement
It would be hard to argue that now more than ever it’s extremely difficult to get customers in the door. Would you agree? While the internet has been a crucial tool for businesses to flourish, it’s also much easier for people (or a potential competitor) to jump into your industry and start taking a piece of the pie that you’re working hard to gain! Therefore, competition is very high and customers are savvy enough to know that they have the power to pick and choose who they want to deal with.
Here’s an example. I took on a client recently who was a leader in their industry only a few years ago. Over the last 12 months they noticed a significant decline in their business and they weren’t quite sure why. Their marketing plan had stayed exactly the same (it worked before so why change it!) so they were struggling to identify exactly what was going wrong.
So, their plan began with…you guessed it…more marketing. They began a program including banner ads, local radio advertising, flyers in letter boxes, print advertising, directory listings and other significant avenues. All of these activities build awareness of a company, but it’s all very much “PUSH” focused. By that I mean “pushing” your business onto potential clients. Myself…I prefer the “PULL” strategy where clients come to you through an effective and authentic engagement strategy.
I could actually write a book about the engagement strategy process alone and how it converts your list (or your potential clients) to buying customers who are actually adding to your bottom line. I’m fascinated by it and I’m always learning more about how to engage clients better and more effectively within target markets.
So ask yourself…how are you currently engaging your audience? When a new lead (prospect) comes in, do you have a 45-day engagement process in place that converts them into buying customers? Are you staying top of mind with your clients even after the initial sale is completed? How engaged is your database and/or client list right now? Are you simply sending an email now and again with some information about your services or are you engaging them by giving value and building trust?
Today is a good day to start thinking more about your PULL strategy (engagement) rather than your PUSH strategy (marketing).
Let’s talk about what I can do to help you get this started. If you want to learn more about how you could be effectively engaging your audience drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a chat.