As an automation-savvy marketer, you are focused on attracting attention, nurturing relationships, and then converting people into customers. (That’s vastly oversimplified, but basically accurate.). But it’s just as important to signal who is not a good fit for your business, right up front at the “attraction” stage. In other words, it’s just as important that we deter as well as attract.
This seems like odd advice, doesn’t it? You might be thinking: Hold up. We have an innovative, ground-breaking product, and we want everyone to like us! We want everyone to buy!
Why? Because it’s a waste of time and resources to nurture relationships with people who are a bad fit for your business. It makes your nurturing programs seem far less robust that they actually are. It’s also emotionally exhausting.
Here’s where good #marketing comes in. Because through your marketing, you can signal what kind of clients or customers are a good match for your business.
I mean your point of view as expressed through your automation content, the writing on your site and on your landing pages, and on any content you produce (like your social profile pages).
Your tone of voice should reflect who you are – but more importantly, it should signal to your customers what you are like to deal with. It lets them know how you do the work, in other words.
I like the way marketing agency Velocity Partners signals to its would-be clients that the firm is a bit edgy, nerdy and funny, and that it takes some risks in marketing.
“Grab what you like from our content marketing resources. We’re not going to force you to fill out a form so that we can ‘nurture’ you until ripe. You’ll know when it’s time. Of course, if you do want to know when we publish new stuff, you may well want to sign up for our very occasional content marketing hairballs.”
You get a sense immediately that these people aren’t your typical business-to-business marketing agency. Instead, they are fresh and relaxed. They cough up “content marketing hairballs,” for crying out loud!
Also, some of their blog headlines have profanities in them. Are you the kind of client who shies away from working with potty-mouthed people? That’s okay, Velocity seems to be saying. You probably aren’t a good client fit, so that’s why we broadcast our quirkiness right up front.
One of my favorite examples of a company who tells the unvarnished truth is Saddleback Bags, which sells leather luggage, briefcases, bags, wallets, belts and other accessories. Their products are lovely and built to last, but they are also expensive: The company’s classic signature briefcase sells for between $579-669.
On its site, Saddleback details the craftsmanship that goes into its products; it tells the story of how each bag is made, and how it sources leather, and it tells the back story of the people who produce each one, and so on.
But interestingly, Saddleback is also confident enough to list the website addresses of 13 or so of its competitors, as if to say, “Too pricey for your blood? No problem. Check out these guys instead.”
“I don’t suspect our competitors would put a link on their websites to ours, but I don’t mind doing it. I want you to shop around. I’m so confident that you’ll find our classic look and over-engineered durability, at our price, so hard to resist that you’ll be back.”
The idea here is to detail who will not be a successful client or customer. In fact, pass the microphone to that elephant to give voice to the thing that many might be thinking.
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