Hello and welcome to my business basics series of posts about starting a business and my A – Z of what I consider to be the basics that you need to be working on. This is the fifth post in the series so obviously – E
You can catch up with the ones you missed by using the search bar in this blog.
Please not that this post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one and make a purchase I will get paid a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay as the commission comes direct from the seller.
E is for Emails and Engagement
How many times have you been told that you need to “engage” with your audience and customers? What does this even mean?
It seems that online marketing is moving more and more towards community based initiatives – online communities that is. Here are some examples:
- Facebook groups
- Tailwind tribes
- Debate platforms such as Quora and Reddit
- Online forums
- Whatsapp groups
In their most recent shake up (April 2019), Facebook have made it clear that they are looking for people who interact and engage with their followers rather than those who just drop a post on to their page and leave.
Online gurus such as Gary V are also now doing less “How to” content and more “come and join me” content. It seems that online marketing is all about the groups and communities now rather than just pushing out endless offers and promotions to your poor unsuspecting leads.
And to be honest I for one am glad about this. I think that it’s a lazy way of doing business when all you think you need to do is create a quick offer and then just keep splashing it all over your social media sites until someone takes you up on it.
Don’t you think that offering value to your customers is more important? Don’t you think that building a relationship with your potential or existing customers is a good thing to do?
Wouldn’t you rather have some sort of engagement with someone before you bought anything from them? I know I would. I am not alone either, it is a fact that people are much more likely to buy from those they a) know, like and trust and b) provide a solution to their problem with a value for money product or service.
So engagement just means getting to know your customer and helping them to get to know, like and trust you, by showing them what you can do for them and how much value for money your product or service is providing.
How to engage with your audience/customer
There are many ways to engage with your potential customer both offline and online. These include:
- Networking events
- Public speaking events
- Press releases
- Newspaper or magazine advertising
- Social media platforms
- Google +
- Email marketing
- Guest blogging
- YouTube videos
- Facebook groups
- Whatsapp groups
- Online forums
Each one of these places allows you to talk to people and let them know what you can do for them. Notice I said “what you can do for them”. When you engage with someone they are going to be far more likely to take notice if you make it all about them. Let me explain…
Let’s imagine you sell rugs. Which of these pitches is most likely to grab your attention?
“I sell hand woven wool rugs that are 100% wool and hand-made to BS20009/1 standard.
“I sell hand woven wool rugs that are dust repellant, easy to clean and look good for years”
I think I would have glazed over once they started quoting the industry standard at me (i made that up by the way) – even though this might be a great thing. What interested me was that they are easy to clean and dust repellant. Wow, now you’re talking – no more sneezing for me!
Do you get the idea? When you are engaging with your potential customers you need to always be thinking about what’s in it for them because this is what sells the product or service.
Types of engagement
There are many types of engagement. You could try the old fashioned “talking” option when you meet people in person at networking events or social gatherings.
Social media posts are another option. You can showcase your goods and services in many different and innovative way through your Instagram or Facebook posts.
Leaflets are an option that is still being used today although you must appreciate that leaflets have an extremely small take-up rate, about 0.5% unless they are given out in a very contextual situation. For example a leaflet offering 50% off a cocktail to someone already in the club is going to convert at a much higher rate than if you dropped that same leaflet through some random letterbox.
Telephone calls are yet another way that we can engage with our potential customers and this is still very much a common practice in businesses throughout the world today. Even though we have emails and social media, there is still something about having a chat with someone isn’t there.
And that brings me on to the second E in this post – Emails.
Emails are a great way of engaging with potential customers as it can be done over a period of time. You can keep in touch with a lead for a few weeks, months, or even years with a well structured email campaign.
Imagine being able to know EXACTLY what your customer wants and then be able to send them a series of emails showing them exactly how you can help them. Wouldn’t that be great? Well here’s some great news…
You can, and it’s really simple too. You just need to get a free account with an email service provider such as Mailchimp. Once your account is set up you can create email campaigns that will follow up with your leads over a period of time.
For example, I created a series of 7 emails to help people start blogging to promote their businesses more effectively on Google. Once those emails were written I didn’t have to do anything else. I just put a lead magnet on my social media pages and website and when someone signed up the emails automatically get sent to them.
If you would like to know how to get your first 100 sign ups to your email list I recommend this book by Meera Kothand. I have taken many of her courses over the last few years and they are easy to follow and she gives great tips for implementing them too. You can get a copy right here.
Emails are also a great way of educating, inspiring, informing or entertaining your leads. You can spend more time with them than you ever could in a speed networking event, half hour meeting or quick telephone call.
They give your leads time to get to know, like and trust you. They give you the opportunity to show your customer what you can do for them. You can build a relationship with your leads over time and this is extremely valuable.
Another reason why email lists are so important is that they are yours. You own them and no one can take them away from you. It won’t matter if Facebook gets closed down tomorrow or your Pinterest account gets suspended. You will have you list and you can keep in touch with them and keep adding value for them and occasionally making an offer to them.
I think it was when I fully realised the true potential of email marketing and list building that my six-figure system was born. I had used email marketing for years but I hadn’t really used it to it’s true potential. I had been quite hap-hazard in my campaigns and following up with leads.
I found that if I combined my email marketing strategy with other free strategies that I had been using over the years, I got staggeringly better results and much more quickly. It was email marketing that really opened this up for me.
I would love to go on a rant about how amazingly brilliant and simple this six-figure system is but this is not really the time or place. If you would like to learn more about how to build your six-figure business in just 12 months without having to spend a single penny on advertising or paid strategies just complete the form below. I have produced a step-by-step guide for you to follow – I can’t make it any easier for you.
Okay, there you have it – engagement and emails. Engage your leads and customers through great content on your social media sites and websites. Create amazing business cards, graphics, leaflets etc that stand out and get you noticed. If you need help with how to do this read this post next How To Create Amazing Content For Online Marketing and Social Media.
Then follow up with those leads with a well structured email campaign that will allow you to build that know, like and trust factor by offering them some amazing ideas, tips, hints, offers, free trials or whatever you feel would best suit your customer.
I hope that you have enjoyed this post and that it has given you some ideas about how to engage your customers. If you have I would love it if you could share it so that others can find it too. Just click on the social share icons.
I’ll be back next week with the next letter in the series which is F so make sure you look out for me. Why not subscribe to my blog and I’ll drop you a quick email when I’ve published it.