As an entrepreneur you know the value is all in your list. The first goal is to generate leads and create a list. The second is nurturing your list. Your goal is to build a relationship with your list and to maintain a lifelong relationship with your list, so that you can monetize it.
So how do you do that? It’s all about coming from your Core and being authentic, but let’s look at how to accomplish what’s called a Communication Plan:
1. Introduce yourself. Let people know who you are and what you are about. Think of introducing yourself as you would in a social setting. Upon first being introduced to someone at a party, or even a business function, you wouldn’t try to close a sale. It’s abrupt and offensive and even if you find it to be OK, you will turn people off, which means no conversion, no sale.
2. Let people get to know you. Invite people to get to know you on social sites. Bring them back to your hub, usually a blog. Remember you are in this for the long haul and this is about relationship building. Think of it as you would building any other good, strong, relationship. Keep how you would interact with a new friend in the back of your mind.
3. Maintain contact. Send periodic, consistent emails through an autoresponder such as Aweber or GetResponse. And by consistent I mean not only at consistent intervals, but with a consistent branding message. Don’t confuse people. Conduct webinars or submit blog/video posts on a regular basis. And as the technology becomes more mainstream, implement mobile communication.
4. Be consistent in your message. As part of your branding you should have developed a message. One of the most concise overviews of your message will be your “elevator speech”. This is a short 30-60 second, blurb about your target market, your offering, your benefits and your unique selling proposition (USP). What you say will expand on your blurb, but never deviate from this. If you find yourself deviating, you’ve gone off point or you need to rethink your positioning.
5. Engage your list. Communication, is not a one way street. It includes listening. Two way communication builds connection. When people feel connected to you, they are more likely to buy from you. Social sites, a blog with comments, and live webinars are great ways to create interaction. Even so, most of your list will never respond to you directly, so create nonverbal, engagement with your list. Make your communication provoking, get them thinking about you, even if they’re not directly responding. Keep them looking forward to your next email, post or webinar.
6. Provide value. Don’t be afraid to give away a part of what you have to offer. There are many reasons that it will come back to you two-fold, such as the law of reciprocity, but there is nothing more authentic and genuine than sharing something of value to build a relationship. Think of it as you would your friend sharing a tip about a great restaurant.
7. Radiate gratitude. Yes, it is true that people connect with someone that can feel their pain, but who wants to hang with someone that is a bummer to be around all the time. What better way to connect than to let everyone know the things in your life, both personal and business-related for which you are thankful. It’s a sincere way to toot your own horn, but most importantly, it’s hard not to radiate positive energy when expressing gratitude.
One of the most important things about building a following (your list) and leadership is connection. When you think about your communication plan, think about how you would build a relationship with a friend. Would you just call them when you want something from them? Would you push something on them before you had formed some type of connection, or trust?
Let me know what works best for you in your communication plan. I’d love to share it with others!
Copyright 2010 MF Collier. All rights reserved.