I have control freak tendencies. Why are you giving me that look?
Come on now. You have your issues too!
Truthfully, this sometimes freakish behavior has value.
For example, you should consider it a good thing that you want to maintain control over your business assets. I marvel at people who face the wind while building a vibrant business (online or offline) – especially those who knock it out day in and day out with “sweat-equity.”
A recent post on Copyblogger stoked my control-freakiness. In this instance it’s a good thing.
I encourage you to read the entire post and let it prompt whatever useful insights it should in you. But I’ll cut to the chase and share what the writer, Sonia Simone, had to say about your business’s most valuable assets worth protecting – on the marketing side of the equation that is.
Simone affirmed the 3 assests you should be building – and for practical purposes – controlling:
1. A well-designed website or blog populated with lots of valuable content
2. An opt-in email list, ideally with a high-quality autoresponder
3. A reputation for providing impeccable value
In essence, your marketing content, connections, and character are of utmost importance to the lifetime value of your business.
I think you’d agree we live in an information-rich era. Social media has raised the water level somewhat. From blogs, to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more we’re a content fueled culture. And it’s not likely this will change.
But what must change is our due diligence to create and protect this asset (See Simone’s full post for her provoking insights on this).
Just as you’re not soon to stop promoting your products and services – you’ll not soon stop thinking of new and better ways to create compelling content.
Do a quick inventory:
-Do you have a blog? What’s the date of the most recent post? Who wrote it? Did it appeal to your niche? Was it actionable/practical information? Are your posts keyword-strategic? How are you curating content? (Curating? Huh!).
-Are you engaging your industry…clients with social media? How often do you post to Twitter and Facebook? If you’re a location based business do people have the option of “checking-in?” Do you give them any “love” for checking-in?
-How are you spotlighting your success-stories? Do you give customers, clients, constituents a feedback channel (surveys, etc.)? When someone provides outstanding feedback where do you feature it? Are you expanding your client testimonials into benefit-rich case studies?
Just a few content questions to get you mind cranking.
You can have outstanding content but someone has to read and benefit from it. Your list, “tribe,” or community is the all-important asset here.
People connect with you publicly when they frequent your business location (if you’re location based). If you’re online as well, and connecting there, your best asset is a combination of email and social media.
Are your social media connections one-sided? By that I mean, if you’re the only one talking without acknowledging and giving or receiving feedback – it’s one-sided.
Social media, in particular, is more of conversation than a promotional medium. Sure, it works both ways – and most of us do our fair share of promotion via Twitter, Facebook, etc.
What if you improved your approach? Instead of primarily thinking of ways to promote, sell, and market what if you gave as much or more energy to starting conversations?
Use social media to ask questions specific to your industry, lifestyle, and niche. Respond to answers with a blog post or two (more connective content).
Give people an opportunity stay engaged and conversing with you by joining your email list. Reward those who connect with a content-rich special report and/or a regular enewsletter full of practical content.
Give people a reason to connect and stay connected.
80′s pop-star, Cindy Lauper sang, “I see your true colors shining through…” (If you’re too young and saying, “Cindy who?”, hop on I-Tunes and give it a spin.)
It doesn’t take long for our “true colors” to show in today’s 2.0 marketing culture – online and offline. We’re talking character here.
Reputation is everything. And character guides reputation.
Measure your character here by how much consistent and “impeccable value” you deliver to others. Does it bug you to give valuable content away for free via your blog or enewsletter? If it does, do some character inventory. You’ll be glad you did.
Remember conversations lead to relationships that lead to sales and beyond.
You’re in business to help people, right? And that’s the truest color imaginable.
Some things are worth protecting. Character ranks high. And these days so does your content and connections related.