You build marketing success one block at a time. Even with all of the changes in technology, the fundamentals of marketing haven’t changed. It still revolves around making and managing your connections.
I sat in on the marketing conference and listened to people talk about how times had changed. “Your customers see you online, in person, through advertising. You have to do more now than ever before. You have to be invested in listening to the customer so you can meet that one customer’s needs.”
I smiled, mainly because I knew just how much hadn’t changed.
People Build Marketing Success
Marketing success is about people – it always has been and always will be.
Back when I was nine, a heatwave hit North Alabama. Since it was summer, and there was a construction project going on across the street, I started my first business. Yes, it was a lemonade stand. But I had my twists involved. I hired the local kids to deliver drinks curbside AND to deliver to the construction crew.
Delivery was our unique way to meet the needs of the people. It was hot. They were thirsty. They didn’t want to walk up to the stand to get something.
Not only did we make amazing connections with the crew, but the local newspaper folks stopped in to our little shop and did an article about us, bringing more customers. And then our lemonade stand made “The Rest of the Story.”
From that day on, I knew I could sell things to people who needed things. The key would be finding what they needed or thought they needed and creating a way to get it to them.
My dad had me read, “The One Minute Sales Person.” It talked about how a successful salesman reached amazing levels in his field. It turns out, he built relationships, learned the needs of those relationships, and then found ways to meet those needs.
What I learned at nine had carried over to his success as well. The key to success was to make lasting connections and then find ways to be helpful to those people.
If you are out to sell something to someone, you will struggle to make the sales. If you are out to help others meet their needs, then you will be able to make the sales to that end.
The First Two Secrets to Build Marketing Success
1. Make Lasting Connections.
It is ALL about relationships.
Everything worth doing and worth being have roots in relationships. Look for ways to connect with people in your industry. Attending events, conferences, and social opportunities with others in your industry allows you to make new connections and to invest in those connections you’ve already made.
Be willing to look for connections outside of your industry.
Connect with people in related fields or industries that may utilize your particular products. These are the connections that you can send leads to or that will (hopefully) send leads to you.
Find connections that are wise in their field.
The leaders, the shakers, the groundbreakers in other industries are amazing connections to build because they KNOW things. And even if those things may not pertain to your industry directly, the lessons they have learned to get to their top will give you insight into your journey.
2. Be Helpful
It may seem counterproductive to be invested in helping others since you are marketing in order to be helpful to your bottom line. But it is in helping others that you help yourself.
A good salesperson (or marketing person) will be connecting to people – preferably in the target market – and listening to their pain points and problems. A GREAT salesperson (or marketing person) will then look for ways to help the connections – preferably within their product line.
In Miracle on 34th Street, the Macy’s Santa sends a mother to Gimbel’s to fulfill her son’s request, much to the annoyance of the manager of Macy’s. The manager wanted to sell stuff. The Santa wanted to make folks happy and meet their needs. It turned out that the people appreciated the helpfulness of the Santa so much that they spent more money at Macy’s than they would have otherwise.
In other words, helping people helps you.
Those two elements are fundamental to marketing and sales success:
- Make Connections
- Be Helpful
For the longest time, that’s where I stopped.
A few years back, as I was redesigning my website, I asked some people to visit and let me know what they thought. Almost across the board, the response came back, “Your humor is missing.”
I was making connections. I was being helpful. But I was caught up in the idea that it all had to be buttoned up and stiff.
When I began to weave my snarky rainbow humor into my website and my writing again, it felt better. It was my voice being used to make the connections and be helpful.
That’s when I changed up the secrets a little and expanded on how to build marketing success:
Have fun – because if you aren’t enjoying the journey it’s time to change rides.
Make friends – get connected but then be intentionally invested and engaged with those connections to grow up relationships.
Find ways to be relentlessly helpful – go the extra mile, do a little be more, make the extra effort.
The REAL Truth About How to Build Marketing Success
It’s not complicated unless we invest in making it complicated. The SIMPLE truth of marketing success is that it’s about people.
Marketing hasn’t changed even though the methods for marketing have changed. We went from just word of mouth, to print, to sound, to visual, to digital, and through all the changes the fundamentals of marketing remained the same: Find the people. Meet the needs, wants, and desires of those people.
If you want to create marketing success, then you have to be invested in people. No matter what your industry, there will be no success without people at some level.
Once you connect with the people, you have to answer their problems. When you solve a problem, you help the people. When you solve the problem at a price they can afford and at one that provides a profit, you help the people and help your bottom line. But if you don’t solve the problem, then you get stuck.
Finally, enjoy the journey. If you are enjoying the journey then the people you connect with and engage will see that in all you do. Enjoyment is contagious and expands with each encounter. The more you enjoy the journey the more you will want to journey and the more people you will find want to join your journey.
In 2014, I spoke at my first WordCamp in Birmingham, Alabama. I made some fun connections that encouraged me to get involved with organizing the event. Over the next several years, I became more invested in WordCamp Birmingham – WP Y’all and engaged more with the connections I made each year.
Each year, my husband would ask me if it was worth it. “Did you sell anything?”
I usually hadn’t, although I did make amazing connections.
This last year, one of those connections reached out about an opportunity at a company he worked with and wanted to know if I would be interested. That connection was Nathan Ingram, host of iThemes Training and he recommended me for the position I now hold with iThemes.
It’s a small example of how having fun, making friends, and finding ways to be relentlessly helpful comes back around to help you.
Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But one day and even more than you could ever imagine.
If you want to build marketing success, follow the fundamentals.
- Make connections with people and engage intentionally to grow those connections.
- Find ways to be relentlessly helpful.
- Be sure to enjoy the journey because a little fun will go a long way.
Once you master these three secrets, you will discover creative, inventive, and often unexpected ways to secure your marketing success.
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Kathryn Lang believes it is simple, and as an award-winning author and natural-born hopesmith, she shares tips on how to find your why, pursue your purpose, and live a bold, intentional life – always with a dash of twisted encouragement.