If, like many in professional services industries, the majority of your work comes from repeat clients and referrals, your story is the most important business development tool you have. It's also the only thing that can't be stolen.
You and your marketing team can craft the most engaging stories ever heard by man, but if they don’t do something to further your cause, to meet your goals and objectives, then you have a hobby … not business storytelling.
My son's progression from mowing our neighbor's yard to running his own lawn mowing business looks a lot like the birth and growth of an architecture firm. His experiences and the lessons he's learned could teach many architects and business owners a thing or two.
How one firm began after a partner split in the shadows of a recession with one active project, a list of past clients and nothing in the pipeline. By implementing a creative digital marketing strategy, they built their 3‐person firm from scratch to success in 4 years.
I wish I had a dollar for every time an architect told me: “I just want to be an architect, not a writer.” It usually comes on the heals of a discussion about blog posts and marketing. It’s also why I developed a system of interviews to get beyond that objection.
Many of the firms I work with came to me because, among other things, they struggled with implementing and finding legitimate success with Social Media Marketing. Working with these firms is where I developed my prescription to help architects succeed using Social Media Marketing.
A while back, a marketing agency approached me and asked if I could help them understand how their clients, mainly manufacturers of architectural products, could be more effective marketing to architects. I said, “you have to start by putting yourselves in the architects’ shoes and end with being their best, go-to resource."
When Carolee Tremain told me she wasn’t comfortable “beating her chest,” I said: “Good!” I told her the same thing I tell many of my clients: If you want your stories to resonate with your audience, you can't be the hero of your own story!
Think about the last time you were at a party and you were trapped in the “conversation” with that person that spent the entire time talking about themselves. Your brain stops listening and starts thinking about how you’re going to move on to the next situation. Do the stories you tell do the same thing to your Ideal Customer?
Why do you do what you do and what makes your business matter to your customers will help you understand what differentiates your business from whoever you think your competitors are. Your job then, is to use brand storytelling to creatively leverage those things.
How do I prove the ROI to my Boss? How do we get more Twitter Followers? Why don’t we get any engagement on our Facebook Page? Are you asking the right questions about Social Media Marketing? Do the Executives at your company understand how Social Media Marketing should be integrated into your overall Marketing mix and assimilated into your business culture?
Can businesses, can YOUR business use Storytelling? No matter what business you're in the most important thing for you to remember is that everyone has a story. The question is who’s telling your story and how are they telling it?
Your favorite meals are memorable; they’re an experience; there’s a process to them. That’s what you need to create with your Social Media Marketing. Every platform you use, every article you write, every photograph you take, every post you make must be part of a process that contributes to a memorable experience.
Your Grandma may not understand what the World Wide Web is but she could probably teach you a thing or two about Social Media Marketing. She sure wouldn't ever stand on the street corner and scream to every passerby about the latest meatloaf recipe she tried.
You need to share all of your knowledge and expertise. You need to tell the world everything you know about what you do. And you need to give it away for free. That’s probably not advice you’re looking for. But what if I told you that giving it all away was the best way to succeed with Social Media Marketing? What if giving it all away was the best way to find your Ideal Client?
A friend of mine and I have been chatting lately about the best Social Media Marketing books. Nikko has really impressed me. It seems like every time I mention a book he’s bought it and read it almost before I’ve even completed my thought. He’s consuming these things faster than I can come up with a title and author so I figured I would compile a list of the best of what I’ve read, suggested and given away over the last year.
Do you ever wonder if Architects can really get work using Social Media? Can using Social Media actually bring more business through the door? Can YOU get business with Social Media Marketing? The short answer is “Yes.” Here's an example of a firm that uses Social Media and sees results.
“I find it hard to be convinced that reads, likes, shares, etc. really matter that much to my eventual bottom line. The more and longer I do this … the less I’m convinced that the extraordinary amount of time social media takes to do well actually ever pays off.” Maybe you're thinking the same thing. Does social media REALLY matter to your business?
If you’ve been around the marketing of professional services very long you know that the majority of ‘wins’ come as a result of either a relationship or a referral. Your firm can be the best or the foremost in your field but clients want to talk to THE Expert or THE Designer that will make the magic happen. "Your Clients are Humans. Humans crave human to human contact. Give it to them."
How do you succeed at Social Media Marketing? Wouldn't you like to know what it is that makes some people successful at marketing on Social Media while others are just scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed wondering why they’re wasting their time. You can spend a lot of time talking about tactics, platforms and taking the conversation to where your clients are, but the first thing you have to do is ask yourself: "What do I want to get out of Social Media?"
Before you spend time and effort on creating a presence on any Social Media platform, first ask 'why?' For the sake of your long term success, start small and focus on creating high quality content in just a few places. Then spend your time building a community around it.
Do you have a Social Media Strategy? Is it aligned with your overall business objectives? I listened to an episode of the Social Pros podcast titled “How to Use Social Strategies to Drive Business Goals.” When I heard the teaser for the show it didn’t pique my interest but the conversation that unfolded may turn out to be one of the most influential on my thinking about the topics of Social Media, marketing and business in general.
“Is Social Media Marketing ‘Worth It’?” It’s a question that I hear over and over from business people of all stripes. You should hear how marketing luminary, Seth Godin responds to that very question. It may change the way you think about the way you do business.
What is Social Media Marketing? What do you think when you hear the phrase Social Media? Do you think about friends checking in on Facebook from their favorite restaurant or posting photos of their desert on Instagram or collecting crock pot, pulled-pork recipes on Pinterest? Do you think about viral flashmob videos on YouTube or checking in at Starbucks on Foursquare? Do you think about cats?