I plan to periodically share my answers to good client questions. Here is the #1, and this week's favorite.
Q: How do we make our voice heard over the roar of others with larger marketing budgets?
A: Don't be bashful. Tell that story that hits the mark about who you are, and get a perfect match. The way you tell your story has the power to make the best match between a person and a company. Meaning your story - if it really nails who you are - is going to engage and resonate with people who are looking for exactly who you are and what you do best. In turn, that new fan you earned will be the kind of person you like working with too.
And what you do best, or that cause or topic that lights you up, could be something that connects you to a client in a way that all the marketing noise of the big guys can't drown out. In an age where consumers are overwhelmed with too many good options, sometimes the companies that we choose are the ones that personally connect with us over a shared passion, or vision, something besides the end product or service. Sometimes we connect over, something that really matters.
For example, lets talk about my kids' dentist, and how he earned my business. My kids' dentist, and his team, does a lot of pro-bono work for orphans. Now I could send my kids to a lot of good dentists in the Austin area that would get the job done: meaning clean my kids teeth, fill cavities and be nice, etc. But among the 50+ local options, what if I could pick to send my business to a dentist who does something bigger than just help my kids? Something like helping kids who don't have family watching their back. Now that's a powerful story, and its one I tell often. And its where I send my business.
Now if you are a business making money today, you are already telling a story. You may not think about it in those terms. But naturally each person on your team is involved daily in telling that story through your website footprint, communicating with your clients in different ways, word of mouth, or even the kind of business card your team hands out. All of these are big and small ways to build the story of who you are.
So sit back and ask yourself 'what story are we telling?'
And then - dream crazy big - and ask yourself 'what story, that is true, do I want to tell?'
Start thinking about telling your story in a smart and real way that seeks to connect and engage your audience. A story you personally believe in at a gut level. Yes! that story. While big budgets may help place your story in public places - online and in print - it doesn't mean that story, and the big money, will spark a connection with people.
Once you have your story, you will need a long game strategy. It's going to take time, and yes, some marketing dollars and hard work to circulate it. A story posted to your website is not a strategy. But that story told in little ways over a long time can be powerful, and it can change the way people connect to your company and how they behave. It can cause people to talk.
That's how I think your story can go from a whisper to a roar.