My Thoughts On Episode 55 of The Marketing Academy Podcast

If you’re not already listening to this weekly podcast then you should be ;) Here’s a link to Episode 55 — Hugging your haters and creating the best content possible.

First of all thanks again to Chris for the shout out at the start of this episode. And of course I’m up for a beer/coffee Chris, whenever I’m in your neck of the woods or vice versa☺ I thought it was worth explaining how I came across the podcast, and how I’ve come to be actively involved in it’s community, as it’s a great real life example of how content marketing actually works.

A friend of mine Stef Thomas had mentioned the podcast on Facebook (I later found out he was interviewed on an earlier episode) so I had a listen. I loved the content so listened to a couple more episodes. I then connected with Chris on social (using Twitter and Instagram from memory) and also left an iTunes review. Chris mentioned me on a couple of intro’s to the show with a thank you which really did make me feel welcome.

A few days later I remembered to join the Facebook group. As I was listening to new episodes, I thought I’d start feeding back my thoughts and comments in the Facebook group. This was really well received in this super friendly and switched on (obviously if they liked my stuff ;) ) community. As I had so much to say then a Facebook post just wasn’t enough any more, so I ended up here writing in a bit more depth. And here we are…

The first topic on episode 55 was around building online communities around an event. Having had this work for myself then I’d highly recommend it. It’s real world example time again… Twice a year there’s an event called The Business Show that is held in London. I first came across it thanks to 4Networking and never miss a show now as it’s so valuable. A few weeks before I went to my first I’d connected and engaged with people on the 4Networking forum, on Twitter, and on Facebook. I agreed to help out on the 4N stand and planned to go to the social events (beer may be invoved) in the evening. As I’d got to know loads of people and “spoken” to so many online ahead of meeting them face to face, we’d already built real relationships. When we did meet up it was liking meeting up with old friends. These long term relationships have subsequently led to work and many new projects for Appware. As I’ve now built so many great relationships (and I mean real friendships, not just people I happen to know in business), then I have people all over the country pointing people in my direction if they hear of anyone looking for App development. It probably goes against every old school sales training book, but being nice and helpful to people, with no expectation of anything in return really does work. Give it a try ☺

Back on track with the podcast…

The next discussion was about Karen Strunks’ Big daring blog post challenge. Although I’ve not got involved myself (Monday’s aren’t usually good for me due to other commitments *sadface*) then I love this idea. I know personally that if I schedule and block out time for something then it will usually get done. Add the peer support to this and it should be a winner.

The section about Youtility and basically building a customer base by being helpful sat really well with me. Instead of thinking of people as numbers and thinking how you can sell to them, think of things from their perspective. Just try and be helpful and put decent valuable content out there that they want. As I’ve mentioned above, this has always been my approach and it works. I don’t ever actively try to sell, but people know what I do and where I am when they (or people they know) do decide to buy my kind of services. I’d love to say this sales strategy was by design but it wasn’t, it’s just the way I am, and luckily it seems to be the best approach. Often, sharing “the secrets” of exactly how to do something yourself shows someone just how complex or time consuming a job is as well as your expertise. This then makes them realise they can’t (or don’t want to!) or don’t have the time to do it themselves. Who do you think they then ask to do it for them? Yep, that expert that obviously knows their stuff if they’re putting it out there, you!

The final section was about “Hugging Your Haters” which was all about customer service and dealing with complaints. Again I’d agree with lots here too. The key to it (like most things) in my opinion is communication. If people don’t get a response, then the situation normally escalates; and the longer this period, the worse it gets. My philosophy these days is to try and tackle it head on and as soon as possible. Rather than things getting lost in translation on email (did that short reply come across as not being bothered or rude?) then pick up the phone. A phone call can quickly calm a situation down and often sort out what has just been a misunderstanding or miscommunication. I also recommend setting up Google Alerts on your company and product names, and doing regular Twitter and Facebook searches. That way you can respond to sensible complaints for all to see and show that you actually care.

And that’s it for another week!