This eZine is the third in the series of steps that make up the marketing process. Familiarity and Information are the steps that follow Attention. Because these two are so closely connected, I'll cover them in this one issue.
Where did that old saying "familiarity breeds contempt," come from?
My guess is that it was coined by a cynic who felt that the better we know people, the more likely we are to find fault with them.
This may be true for some people and some situations, but as far as promoting your business is concerned, I've found just the opposite to be true.
This weekend I spoke at the IMC (Institute of Management Consultants) Confab. It's a conference of about 200 management consultants looking to improve their practices.
And I'm finding that familiarity is a very positive factor.
Many people there knew me from my weekly eZine, others had attended my teleclasses and others had purchased my online products. I felt like a celebrity! Some people approached me with ideas for joint ventures and wanted to brainstorm.
Let me tell you, familiarity is a whole lot better than obscurity!
A big part of marketing yourself is simply doing everything you possibly can to increase your familiarity or visibility. It's a process that needs to be ongoing.
I'm sure you know all the things to do - from networking to speaking to publishing online and off. By becoming known as an expert in your field, you increase your familiarity and trust level with prospective clients.
One of my colleagues, Steven van Yoder, who also presented at the conference, talked about 'thought leadership marketing' - a mindset based on earning trust and credibility, and building recognition as a trusted resource by educating your prospects, rather than marketing at them.
Yoder talked about going beyond familiarity and incorporating more valuable information in your marketing. It's no longer enough that people know who you are or have met you and feel you are a business person with integrity.
They need to become familiar with how you think, what you stand for, new concepts you've developed and the outcomes you've delivered for your clients.
On the surface this doesn't sound too hard. However, it takes some concentrated thinking to communicate those ideas.
But if you're going to really stand out in the age of thought leadership and become familiar and credible to your prospective clients, you really don't have a choice.
Where do you start?
With a single article. It can bridge the gap between an initial connection with a prospect (attention) and a meeting to explore working together. This might happen on your web site or in a face-to-face meeting at a conference:
Prospect: "What you do sounds very interesting. Do you have more information?"
You: "Yes, I've written an article titled 'The Seven Management Mistakes that are Killing Productivity.' Can I send you a copy?"
Prospect: "Sounds intriguing. Sure, please send it to me."
You: "Be happy to. And then I'd like to get back to you and find out more about your business."
Prospect: "Great, I look forward to speaking with you more."
This is the process of thought leadership in action! You have an interested prospect and you provided some valuable information, paving the way for follow-up.
Repeat this scenario in dozens of different ways (articles on your web site and eZine and distributed to other sites, transformed into presentations, blogs and teleclasses, etc., etc.) and before long, you're known as a thought leader!
In other words, don't wait until you have your "grand business model" all figured out. Write something, today and get it out there tomorrow.
Next week I'll take this to the next level - how to create a deeper experience of you and your business for your prospective clients.
The More Clients Bottom Line: To develop trust and credibility these days you need to become a thought leader. You do this by utilizing familiarity and information to get your ideas in front of your prospective clients.
What does it mean to you to be a thought leader? What have you done to take the plunge? Please share on the Blog.