In the Internet marketing business we hear these four terms or headings quite often:
Notice these headings relate to large amounts of numbers, but what many marketers neglect to mention is that your priority should not be the quantity of names you receive. It’s easy getting millions of names, but what good are they if they never respond to you. Sure, you might have a “mega list” of names but wouldn’t you rather have a mega number in your bank account instead?
Remember, the names on a list are only good if they are responsive to your lead.
There’s nothing wrong with having a ton of names, but you gotta get them to respond. But how is this done?
First you must visualize your list of prospects as real live people instead of just email addresses.
Next you have to engross your audience, acquaint them with your service, inspire and educate them.
By accomplishing these four tasks you develop a community of people with similar desires, challenges, wants, and needs. Until you grasp this concept, all the PPC ads, joint ventures, SEO marketing, media purchase, direct mailings, banner ads, and dedicated e-mails in the world will not benefit your business at all.
But Wait – Don’t go running out and drop a couple thousand on the best Accounting course you can find. All you have to do is become an expert in The Top 10 Laws of Developing a Community.
Prospects have to hear from you prior to them joining your community. There are several ways to do this: develop a blog, or newsletter, create videos, webinars, membership websites, host phone conferences, or create a magazine to deliver your message to the community you want a connection with.
Many times fitness guru’s are afraid to provide valuable information for free. So, they end up giving crappy, useless information that the community doesn’t care about. Then the entrepreneurs wonder why their target community isn’t buying their product. You must show the community you are a giving person first and then your sales will come.
Do not waver on topics. Don’t be afraid to reveal your heroes and your enemies; make them known. And, your mission should be so strong that you can shout it out in your sleep; you must know it deeply.
Being authentic is a little bit of a hype word lately, but it’s true; you gotta be real to who you are. Do not waste your time trying to be like your competition or best buddy or any other person you really don’t want to be. You just need to be YOU!! Your message needs to come straight from the heart and no one else’s, or the community will pick up on the BS and know it’s not sincere and you will be ineffective.
Some tender-loving-care sends a strong message. When it’s apparent one of you community members requires unique attention, provide it for her. Go above and beyond with ALL promises made. And don’t forget, always refund a customer’s money, even when it’s requested after the refund policy has expired.
Don’t deliver promotions or content to prospects unless you truly believe in the product you are sending. Ensure you have a complete understanding of all products and every person prior to introducing them to you community.
Talking to your community every few months will not work. You don’t have to deliver a newsletter daily, but you have to remember, the more valuable information you provide your community, their commitment level to you will increase.
Do what you say – ALWAYS and don’t veer away from your word. Your dedication to the community should be evident in all steps you make.
Reveal flaws. Last time I checked, all of us were humans and weren’t perfect. We don’t always complete our tasks and sometimes we drop the ball on things and we even make mistakes, but when these things happen do not hide it. Better yet, explain the events to show you are real and keep moving forward.
Working together with associates is better than working solo. Sometimes passing a client on to an affiliate can make a big difference in the client’s life and the affiliates. Help get them together and do so unconditionally. It will come back to you in time when you least expect it.
Following these principles will provide you more than just names; you will have tons of fans banging down the door to get the product your offering.
Seth Godin likes the word “tribe.” Dan Kennedy likes “herd.” For me, the simple and genuine term “community” works perfectly. Whatever your choice of word is, just remember this is the power of having a community of people with similar likes dedicated to YOU and YOUR message. Always remember that your community’s time, money, and trust are invested in you. The list of e-mail addresses cannot provide this – real live people can.