Whether you are offering a service or selling a product, at the end of the day your buyers don’t want to be “marketed to”, they don’t want to be told what they should buy. What they want is an emotional relationship that makes them feel good about the decisions they are making.
If you want to create brand evangelists versus just transactional “buyers” the one thing you need to rock is…
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How does one be “Authentic” in a world of crazy chaos and “fake news” – how can you show your prospective customers the real you? And yes, you do need to show them the real you – the real authentic you.
Here are my rules of engagement.
- Your personal brand is NOT different than your professional brand. I am not a “formal conservative person”, therefore my company website is fun and loud, my bio is very conversational on my website – and I am an open book on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Love me or hate me – I am who I am. I attract clients who match my vibe, who understand me and well…. like me!
- Educate. Educate. Give your customers something that means something to them. Give them what they want, not what you think they need. Well, most of the time. 80% of your content should be what your customers will want to read, something they will find value in. In many cases, your customers may not know they have a problem until you enlighten them – that’s when the 20% comes in. That’s when you identify the pain and show your solution. Once you show that you understand them, and you have given them something of value over and over again – they will consider buying from you.
- Talk to them! The best content is conversational. Use email campaigns to “talk” with your prospects and customers, use video, chatbots. And yes, even have IRL (in real life) conversations with them. Remember – this isn’t about selling, it’s about showing the real you, and connecting with them on an emotional level.
- Know what you and your Brand stand for. So many people shy away from taking a social stand – I don’t – at all. If someone doesn’t agree with the fact that I’m a liberal that’s ok. I’m not for everyone. What do you stand for? What does your brand stand for? WHY are you in business – and why does it matter to your clients and prospects? Being transparent is critical. Be raw, be open and share personal stories.
- The Sword is mighty. If you or your brand makes a mistake – and it’s tossed out on social media, address it publicly. Apologize and make it right. Be respectful. You will be amazed how you can turn an angry prospect or client into a brand evangelist. Validate their pain – because it is REAL. Take it offline to work out the details. This holds true for any unhappy customer – remember this is focused on emotions. Put yourself in their shoes – how would you feel? More importantly, how would you like to be treated? Yes, the Golden rule applies here.
I, like many business owners, was afraid to show my true colors until I said screw it, tossed the marketing 101 old school shit in the garbage and just went for it. The result was magical. I no longer work with clients that I don’t like, that don’t appreciate me, and that don’t – well, mesh with my brand. I also have a sense of freedom around my brand. The funny thing is, I’m raw, I’m open, I tend to swear just a little bit in my copy and so many of my loyal tribe are what you would deem conservative – in that they have c-level jobs in conservative industries.
One day we won’t have to say – Don’t judge a book by its cover – because the cover will be who the people really are. Times are changing in corporate America and I LOVE IT.
If you want to see more of the real me – sign up for my Thursday morning missives – they are 100% raw, authentic and transparent Cindy. They come out weekly – on Thursdays at 6 am. To be honest – it’s my journal that I share with the world. No secrets. Just me.
PS – one of the #1 ways I get new clients is from that Thursday email – and I rarely talk about Marketing, Sales or Biz Ops. Go figure!