Over the past few months, I have had the privilege of talking with many ‘local’ business owners, people who serve the ‘local’ market and those trying to figure out how to reach the ‘local’ marketplace. Along the way, I re-discovered my own need to engage and connect, and was happy (grateful even) to take a few exits off the ‘information highway’ to rest, get inspired and talk for a while. I had coffee, I broke bread, I laughed, I learned, I pushed ‘silent’ often, I ran into an old friend and I connected, truly connected with some amazing teachers.
Although, I work daily in the online world and continue to be fascinated by the digital tools we have available right now (and the ones coming our way daily) this experience reminded me to slow down, breathe, listen and really cherish a good conversation. All this online stuff is great, but I deeply hope that nothing will replace the good old face to face or voice to voice conversation. I move on in my journey even more encouraged to continue my quest to understand how I can help local companies build bridges between where they are today and where they want to go through the ever illusive art of conversation (and a few cool tools as well!)
From these conversations, three key themes emerged across all of these conversations. They show up as both concerns and keen insights. I know looking at them from both angles will help me as I continue to explore how best to help my customers be found, be known and be heard. My hope is that you find them useful, too.
1. Be Found – Tails and Tales:
Keywords have long tails, and that is good…search engines like them. Use them freely. Stories sell, use words/text as links. Use them often site to site, page to page.
2. Be Known – Self:
Put your “self” forward, it is more powerful than just a product or being all business all the time.
3. Be Heard – And Don’t Disappear:
Shhhh, I am listening actively and I will be here for you.
I know I said three, but here are six really good extras…
Find me time…to keep my social pages up to date without affecting the important time with customers who are actually in my store.
If it is relevant to me I will come, if it is personal to me I will stay, if it is meaningful to me I will come back.
3. Be Social:
It is not about ‘doing social’, it is about being social.
4. About Them:
It is NOT about me, it is about them.
Make it simple for your audience to relate to, to do, to understand, to engage.
6. Baby Steps:
Crawl, walk, run.
Until next time, take an exit off the information highway, slow down, grab some coffee, find a teacher, listen, learn, enjoy the art and the heart of each conversation. After all, doesn’t everyone want to be found and known and heard? I know I do.
BizDev Consulting www.bizdevbiz.com
& Powering RelyLocal