By Sharon A.M. MacLean
“It’s nonsense to believe that selling has fundamentally changed, just as it is nonsense to believe advertising is dead,” pushed back a reader from last week’s blog. You may recall I had reviewed Darren Hardy’s CD interview with Jeoffrey James and Todd Duncan on how the “Internet of Things” affected sales over recent years.
Darren’s empire now includes a print magazine titled Success that reaches 2 million readers, a social media following with 216K followers on Twitter, 289K on Facebook, and over 17K on LinkedIn. He also blogs, email markets, and publishes CDs, DVDs, digital downloads, and ebooks. http://darrenhardy.success.com
I believe the reader missed the point.
Fundamental elements of sales—as well as marketing—remain the same. Yet, there are tools combined with an emerging culture that are best embraced if business leaders don’t want to get left behind. After all, the Internet made its appearance over an entire generation ago.
The same is true for advertising as my agitated reader pointed out. Yet, I am not one of those who believes that print is dead—or that social media should stand alone to achieve results.
Integrate mature media with modern sales and marketing
Even Melonie Dodaro, author of The LinkedIn Code http://thelinkedincode.com, with more than 24K connections, recommends taking it offline to advance a deal. Melonie joins fellow LinkedIn superstars Jill Rawley, Darren Hardy and Brendon Burchard in the network’s most viewed category with a pooled list of more than 72K contacts.
On the traditional side of media, the combined print circulation numbers for the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald newspapers—somewhere north of 200K every day—are not to be ignored.
It’s the reason I was delighted to know that Postmedia Team Lead Karen Unland included a quote from a recent blog of mine with those from 5 other entrepreneurs in her Capital Ideas blog. Karen’s photo is pictured above with Shelly Barless of Dust Queen Maid. The digital journalist’s post invites readers to like, share or comment according to the customs of social media. She also plans to run her blog with our contributions in the newspaper in coming weeks.
Capital Ideas started in 2012 to foster the, “Exchange of practical know-how…to create a marketplace of ideas for seekers and sharers of business expertise.” Video of the staged events are posted on The Edmonton Journal’s YouTube channel and also are converted to an audio file.
It’s a generous offer—if carefully constructed.
For example, we engaged slightly different collaborative efforts with my first digital business five years ago. Experts in the wellness space were invited to share content with their respective customers. Sometimes, it worked to everyone’s benefit, if the messages were relevant.
I do the same thing today inside Kim Garst’s Inner Circle. Kim is a power influencer on Facebook and counts over 300K Twitter followers. She has over 400 digital members in her Circle and we share each other’s posts on the various networks every week to grow our respective businesses.
Lessons learned about collaboration
Here’s 6 good tips to consider before emabarking on a collaboration of efforts.
1. Alignment. It works best if participants have similar ideas of what success means to each other. For example, our wellness experts would not share a message about surgical facelifts with their clients if their audience was passionate about holistic health.The same is true for traditional media. We would not seek coverage in a magazine about holistic health care if we were representing a surgical dermatologist.
2. Goal setting. It’s useful to write down exactly what you expect from a collaboration: does it mean straight forward sharing of posts or building a joint customer list using automated email marketing with personalized messages. Kim Garst calls it a “pinky promise” and her goal is simple: if group members tweet our posts, we promise to return the favour.
3. Expect value. Ask yourself how your clients will benefit from knowing about ideas and services from others using either marketing method. Not clear? Walk away. Trust and integrity are big here: how well do your proposed partners take care of their membership? A good idea is join their list to see how they care for their own customers before you make a decision to collaborate.
What about that radio show or Direct TV campaign—either on traditional airways or the web? What type of listeners and viewers call in to those shows? Is your message relevant?
4. Be the first to help. Evaluate what you have to offer a potential partner before making the first move out of the blue. Take an inventory of your assets and brainstorm some ideas before you make the connection. Once an opportunity is revealed, be sure to treat that company’s customers like gold — just as you would want them to treat yours.
Revisions to your Big Plan will be a living process. It takes time to succeed—maybe stumble a few times—before a rhythm is found. This could take weeks, possibly years, to cultivate into its maximum potential.
5. Follow up. Reputation is integral. This is your chance to fulfill a promise and be the catalyst for change, rather than settling in and waiting for the world to roll your way.
Sales and marketing have not fundamentally changed. Nor has advertising. Each discipline has evolved in powerful ways for those who refuse to be left behind.
Need help with modern marketing? Contact me through LinkedIn or by email: email@example.com.
Life-long communications strategist Sharon MacLean owned and published a traditional print magazine over 21 years for business people. She now applies her enhanced knowledge in digital marketing to the needs of her clients and believes in the value of combining the best of both worlds.