This idea stemmed from this photo (credit to Grace Markham) on the wall at the Brews Brother microbrewery which is a super cool brewery here in Brisbane. They encourage their customers to be part of their business, turning customers into friends, and in turn brand advocates. Word of mouth advertising is powerful. Let the product sell its self!
To engage your customers you need to change your mindset. Customers don’t want to hear you talk about yourself. They want you to talk about them. Communicating this to them shouldn’t be hard, it should tie in with why you started your company.
Reaching your customers in an age of information overload
We live in a world where we’re over stimulated with information making our attention spans shorter. TV advertising has lessening impact because we have access to so many other platforms. Nowadays we tend to duck into our smart phones or tablets when the ads come on during our favourite shows, and browse the internet for things we’re interested in. This is a dilemma for business owners who believe in their product and want their customers to buy into their excitement.
How do you reach these customers and how do you get people to buy into your product?
Just follow these steps:
Step one: Let the product sell itself – Think about how you connect with your customers. Here is some great advice from Patrick Hathaway of HitReach (you should follow him on Twitter
(full blog post here)
Step two: Own the eyeballs – make your customers fans by engaging them through social media and email marketing.
Step three: You can’t own everyone, but you can own the ones that care. Referring back to Brews Brothers, they love beer and cider and their customers also love beer and cider. They are not reaching customers that only drink wine, but they are engaging on a level with the customers that care.
Tell a story to help people fall in love with your product
Combat flip flops creates business opportunities for entrepreneurs affected by conflict. That is their story.
I love this product. I love that someone has seen a way to help people where others can’t. I love their product descriptions too, they appeal perfectly to their target market and play on emotions to make you buy. They sell a ‘feeling’.
River Pools is another company that tells a great story, one that made them famous in their niche. They tell the story of the Australian owner going to the United States to be successful in an industry where those around him were failing, and this was through his sheer commitment to quality.
Spread your story and make sales
A story is still not good enough if you’re unable to spread your story and close the sale. Follow these instructions and you should attract numerous customers who care enough about your product to buy.
1. What are you doing to let people know about your business?
People won’t know about your business if you don’t target where your audience is. Experiment with social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, Adwords and SEO until you find what sticks. But don’t spread yourself to thin. Test everything and only use what works. Remember, what works for one business won’t work for all.
2. Close the loop once they are on your site.
Think how can you capture their details once they are on your site, they might not buy now but they will buy later if you can show them value. How can you capture them? Offer something for free, an ebook, a gift. A well crafted email subscription pop up box or hello bar are successful capture mechanisms.
Here is an example of a product that is brilliant but didn’t close the loop. It offers a way for terminally ill cancer patients to forget their illness, even if just for a second, and captures this moment in a photograph.
I’d most definitely have brought the book off the back of this video, but there was no link to take me to a buying process, that meant I had to remember to search for their site and then try and buy it at a different time. It lost traction.
3. What makes you awesome and why are you different?
This is where you need to tell your story.
Combat Flip Flops tells how they help entrepreneurs in war-affected countries. River Pools flourished when other businesses of the type were dropping like flies.
So what is your story? How are you different from your competitors?
4. Upsell and get reoccurring revenue.
Ask yourself how can you leverage the relationships you have for future products, or how you can keep your current customers coming back. It’s a lot cheaper to re-sell to someone who has brought into your story than to acquire a new customer.
Times are changing and as a business owner you need to keep up. No longer can you just shout out to the masses and hope they’ll buy your product. People are becoming immune to this sort of advertising and it will only turn them away.
Now you need to have a high quality product and combine this with a compelling story. Your product needs to be good enough to sell itself and your story needs to excite your customers, telling them how your business can help them and what differentiates you from other businesses.
Provide a high quality product and a story that engages your customers, and you’ll be well on your way to business success. But fail to do this and you can watch yourself struggle like many other businesses.
What is your story?