We’re all familiar with the “who-actually-falls-for-this-stuff” SPAM and we all know its complete bogus.For example: RE: I await to hear from you urgently Please I am seeking for your help (sic) From Google: Google winning notification Or the ones that actually warn you they’re SPAM in the subject line, what is up with that? Is their honesty and up-frontedness supposed to catch me off guard and make me want to open it?
I think you get the point. Hilarious, right?!?
But what about the SPAM that isn’t so obvious? The emails from people we handed a business card to at a Chamber mixer (and did not give permission to be added to their list) or who friended us on Facebook or emailed us through the Contact page on our website? What about those SPAMMERS? They’re a little more insidious – but are you competing with them? I would hope not.
Here’s the thing. I get hundreds of SPAM emails a week some are of the hilarious type and some are from people who actually want my business and think that SPAMMING me is the way to get it. And what strikes me hilarious is that for each SPAM email I get, I probably know at least 5 businesses personally – or even virtually for that matter, that I would turn to if I were looking to hire that particular product or service. Why would I hire a complete stranger – and a SPAMMER at that?
So here’s my point: When I am working with small business owners to develop marketing systems for their businesses one of the key elements of that process is figuring how they are different so they can stand out in a crowd. One way you can be different is to NOT spam, another is to actually get out there – either off- or on- line and meet people. The more people who know you, the better your chances of being thought of when they are ready to buy what you have to offer. The whole goal here is to you’re your business known in your niche so that your target market never has to turn to a stranger!
Here are 4 things you can do so you don’t have to compete with SPAMMERS (or anyone else!):
- Network – This is a great way to meet potential clients and expand our sphere of influence. Join a networking group or two – and whatever you do, make sure the networking group, association or organization is full of people who fit your target market profile – or at least can introduce you to them. If your target market is women between the ages of 25 and 35, Rotary is probably not the best networking group for you.
- Engage in Social Media – I know thousands of people online. Some I’ve met face-to-face, some I haven’t yet, some I probably never will. But in today’s world, none of that matters. I have formed real professional relationships with people I may never meet face to face – and I’ve received and referred business to them! Social media is not about merely blasting ‘salesy’ stuff; it’s about educating, informing, and engaging an audience. This is a great way to stand out from the crowd and build some top of mind awareness for your brand.
- Blog– Blogging is a great way to promote your brand and build a reputation and credibility. Writing relevant, informative posts/articles will help you stand out from your competition (and certainly SPAMMERS). And blogging isn’t just about writing a few words and posting it to your blog site; you must become diligent about repurposing your blog posts and submitting them to sites that our target market reads to expand your reach.
- Be a giver – I was in sales and marketing for 17 years when I worked for other people and it wasn’t until I became a business owner that I realized the power of being a giver. I had always approached networking and relationship building with a “what’s in it for me” attitude. I now approach it with a “how can I help you attitude”. And the more people I meet the more I am able to refer and make introductions that can help other people. I enjoy this aspect of it much better than the old way! Being a giver instead of a taker, makes it that much more fun! When is the last time a SPAMMER gave you anything?
It boils down to this: our goal as business owners is to help our target market Know, Like, and Trust us so that when they are ready to buy, they buy from us (a John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing saying). What are you doing each and every day to work toward that goal? If you don’t have an answer, your target market could be encouraging those SPAMMERS!