A strategic engagement plan is essential for every business.
Author, hairdresser, business consultant, butcher, baker or candlestick maker; when you are in business you need to gain and keep customers’ and potential customers’ interest.
Because it translates to brand awareness.
When you build brand awareness, you are generating:
- Customer loyalty; and
So how do you do this?
Put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes. They are giving you money and need convincing you are the best person to deliver what they need. They can see through all the marketing hoopla. They need a holistic experience.
Customers are far more discerning in the digital age. It comes down to relationship building.
You are your brand
Sure, you should be able to keep business and private life separate. Still, in this digital age, the boundaries are blurred. No longer are these as clear cut as in the past.
We all need to move with the times – they represent opportunity!
It is no longer enough to have a presence across the ever-increasing number of digital platforms. You have to work with them.
That’s not to say you need to share every aspect of your life in public. There is definitely such a thing as oversharing. But you do need to engage and show your personality. That’s why using your own image works so well!
If clients and potential clients aren’t engaging with you through, or as a result of, these mediums, then you are no better off than before the age of interactive customer engagement tools became available. I confess I am old enough to remember those days!
You can have the most whizz-bang marketing campaigns and spend a wad of dollars…BUT
Telling isn’t selling!
Unless you have taken the time to formulate an effective customer engagement and interaction strategy simultaneously, all you have is an extensive telling campaign.
Today’s buyer – of any product or service – wants to know:
- whom they are buying from;
- a relationship with their supplier or provider
From being a prospective client to being (hopefully) a satisfied, long-standing client, there is an end-to-end expectation.
Is this a new buyer requirement?
Of course not.
What is new are the constantly evolving means to meet buyer’s needs. On an unprecedented scale!
As a key figure in your business, it is vital to support your business’ other activities – sales, marketing, networking – with a personal strategic presence.
You can achieve this through personal positioning, e.g. LinkedIn profile, blogs, and a presence in business media, networking groups etc.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds; once you understand, the formula comes down to staying visible, doing a check-in, sharing valuable content both on and off line.
The #1 rule to remember is:
People buy people – always have; always will. Nobody will buy from someone they dislike or mistrust.
The most successful salespeople are fantastic relationship developers.
The point is, you don’t want to be told or sold! We expect to have an experience in which we can personally identify, on some level, with the speaker/product.
Think about it; when we have a common area of interest, we are quickly interested.
We are engaged when we feel valued, when conversation or information is about a topic that is important to us or value adds somehow.
Personalising Your Brand
Your brand has to be personalised to the extent that your target audience will relate to and engage with you. It is not just about logo’s, font and colours – although they are important.
Personalisation is different for every business, and there is no point in copying what has worked for someone else.
Uniqueness is what makes each of us stand out from the crowd; after all, there are plenty of businesses offering the same services.
What differentiates us from one another is how we deliver and those personal traits unique to each of us.