Communication is critical for entrepreneurs and I’d suggest it’s almost impossible to build any business if you don’t communicate.
But it’s HOW you communicate that will determine if you succeed or fail in your online (and offline) business.
Look at your last blog post, blog comment, video, Facebook chat or even the last email message you sent out.
Did you aim to provide valuable information?
Did you focus on creating engagement?
There is a vast difference in these 2 approaches that is often very much overlooked by not just new online marketers but also the more experienced operators as well.
It’s great to provide valuable information that helps others and I strongly encourage that.
However, it’s the approach you take when communicating your valuable information that can make all the difference.
Just providing information – no matter how valuable it is – will rarely if ever build any relationships online let alone make you any money.
I am suggesting you always strive to be engaging with your communication.
In other words be completely open with people, be talking to them about what you do, how you do it and why you do it.
If you want to stay in business for the long haul then always be showing your target audience not only that you understand them but that you are prepared to engage with them.
Challenge For You: If you know who your target audience is, have you managed to find them yet? Let Tom Southern show you how in his excellent How To Find Where Your Potential Readers Hang Out
As Tom very cleverly points out “It’s very difficult to find an audience for a product. It’s a lot easier to find a product for an audience!”
The clear message I am trying to give you here is that the more you engage with people, the more relationships you will build, the faster your business will grow and the more money you will make.
It’s that simple
People wonder why they’re not making any money and they email their list once a month and wonder why they have been forgotten about. Or they email everyday with affiliate offers with absolutely no engagement process at all.
No wonder their business is flagging – you’ve got to be out there engaging with your audience
And also out there meeting new people – growing new business relationships with people who are interested in knowing what you’re doing and WHY!
Fessing Up Time!
We must make the time and be prepared to engage and chat with new people online like on Facebook.
I’m not talking about spending hours simply chatting to all and sundry – that is definitely a complete waste of time and a real business killer.
Instead use social media to focus on developing both new and existing relationships with folks who look like they may be in your target audience.
This is something I had not given much priority to until it was pointed out to me by my friend and very successful marketer, Kim Willis, that growing our online business is all about people.
Yes I must admit this is something I was guilty of not doing well until Kim pointed out this flaw in my communication strategies recently – thanks mate.
I was relying on closing business opportunities via well constructed email messages and engaging videos!
I had completely overlooked the huge power of engaged communication.
The more you engage people the more they’re going to want to understand you, appreciate you and maybe even do business with you
Engagement Is Not a “One-Night Stand”
Engagement is a process and people will more than likely will not do business with you the first time you connect, communicate and engage with them.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not interested.
And it doesn’t mean they won’t be potentially great business partners at some point in the future.
It’s all a matter of timing and persistency (but not in any “pushy way”).
Give people time to get to know you via your on-going engagement process.
Get out of the “I need sales” mindset and prepare yourself for the long haul.
When you start building relationships for long term success in business that is where all the excitement and fun happens as a result of engaged communication..
That is exactly where you’ll start to see better results.
In my relatively few short years online I have discovered that the more I can engage and give to others, the more I enjoy my online communication experiences and my online relationships and the more consistently my PayPal account balance increases.
How do you engage people? Are you good at this?
Are you “selling” or “engaging” people who are looking at what your business is offering right now?
What do you do every day to make sure you are engaging your audience in the most effective way?
Let me help you with your engagement process.
Your Daily Engagement Checklist
Here is a 5 step engagement checklist for you – there is no priority order apart from the fact you MUST do these things every day.
Smart successful entrepreneurs will already be focused on their “Income Producing Activities” such as creating traffic, generating leads and converting prospects into paying customers.
Your 5 step engagement checklist will underpin these IPA’s and ensure you maximize your potential.
Step 1 – It Always MUST Be “All About Them”
Whenever you want to engage with somebody make it all about them. It doesn’t matter if it’s on social media, email, direct mail, skype or if it’s through face-to-face meetings.
The first thing is you’ve got to make it about them!
You’ve got to make everything you do about them
Every message you send, ever offer you promote has to always be about them.
This could mean a complete rethink in your marketing strategy but if you are new or struggling in any way then these 5 steps could make the difference you are seeking online – and in doing them you will become a far better professional anyway.
Always be asking questions that connect with your target audience’s “pain points.” It’s all about their fears and their concerns INSTEAD of you just talking about the things YOU think they need to know.
This is the single biggest challenge that most new entrepreneurs have but even some seasoned vets also face this challenge.
If you have yet to make your first sale – start with these 5 daily engagement steps.
If you have made sales but you want to make more sales start with these same 5 daily engagement steps.
It’s all about making everything you do about the person you are engaging with!
Make the person you are communicating with, the niche audience you have, the center of your world.
Make everything you do every day be about the people you are engaging with.
They have to understand that you are tuned into their radio station WIIFM – what’s in it for me?
They want to know what your business, your offer, your training, your blog or even if it’s something free – like opting in to watch and or share a video you’ve created – they’ve got to know what’s in it for them.
So tell them…
Communication Case Study
Just this week I released a brand new “traffic training video” program and invited my list to watch it with the proviso that if they loved it and thought it may benefit others in their network, then to share it with them.
This gave them something more than just valuable content.
They’re going to look like a rock star by saying “Hey I just found this person who is pretty cool and they just shared this information with me. You should check it out.”
My email list is not the most responsive group on the planet but I got many replies thanking me for this training with many of them telling me they had shared it as well.
If you can do this then guess what?
You are the one who gave them that opportunity to help and impress their network connections – as well as very effectively spreading your brand.
It’s NOT “Us vs. Them”
By the way there’s an interesting result if you follow this strategy.
You’ll discover that it takes all the stress away because we’re not worried about the sale or the money.
That’s not what it’s about for us any more – right?
What it’s about is THEM
It’s about them coming agreeing to follow you and your recommendations and as a result changing their lives – and yes by the way you get paid when this happens.
You get to make money once you have built the relationship – forget the “fast buck” mentality.
I mean after all – do you like being “stalked” by some salesmen in the store trying to sell you something?
Of course you don’t – and neither do I?
But we all love to buy things – especially from people we know, like and trust.
It’s that easy. So don’t forget that when you communicate.
Are you engaged yet?
Step 2 – Conversational Not Transactional.
A conversation is a 2-way event and one that forms the basis of nearly every successful business contract.
Transactions are as the name implies a 1-way directive to take some sort of action.
We all guilty at times of using transactional behaviors like “check out my link” but remember this on its own has nothing to do with helping anybody.
If you want engagement and the chance to build a relationship then you MUST be conversational in your communications.
Open up with a question. For example lead with something that’s important or call attention to a challenge that people are having.
Never be afraid to highlight the “pain” your audience is facing a little bit.
“People don’t want you to tell them everything is OK if they find themselves not being able to make their first dollar online.”
They want the solution and by being conversational you can show them this is what happened to you.
Tell them how you also experienced exactly the same challenge or pain that the people in your audience are having.
Tell them you had the same problems, faced the very same frustrations, felt those terrible feelings of being lost and totally overwhelmed when nothying seemed to be working out for you.
So you researched and found the solutions and you took massive action on it. It wasn’t cheap but man it was worth it and now your life is so much different.
That’s basically the story you tell about your business but you have to tell it in a conversational way – add in the emotion, the failures, the fears, the elation of success. People will be drawn to that.
If all you do is give facts and figures then it has no emotion.
I recall that old adage: “Logic opens the mind but emotion opens the wallet”
A conversational approach gets the person to want to get to know more about you. When you engage with people in a conversational way it’s very powerful and really attracts people who want to follow you and find out what’s going on in your heart and mind.
Conversation keeps people engaged.
Conversations build relationships, trust and are a real factor in converting a prospect into an advocate not just a customer.
Are you engaged yet?
Step 3 – Speak TO Them
If you are face to face with them it’s about making eye contact
Use their name.
Be authentic because your body language will tell more about you than your words – this even applies to video.
Be more than real, Be Interested NOT Interesting!
It’s about being a great listener with engaging with them.
It’s no fluke that the word SILENT is an anagram of LISTEN.
You can’t hear if you never stop talking – and when people are nervous they tend to speak way to fast and way too much!
With your blog posts always speak to your audience.
Be conversational using language and expressions that are the real you and that you know your audience will relate with.
Are you engaged yet?
Step 4 – Give Them What They Want
This sounds inherently obvious right?
But here’s the deal – what tends to happen (and I’ve been guilty of this as well) – we have a tendency to make the message about something we want people to know about
Find out what your people really want – not just your agenda but your story.
People are not the slightest bit interested in what’s on your agenda or your plans right now unless you can clearly show how they will benefit your audience
So in your own business ask yourself- what can I tell people that they haven’t heard before but they need to hear?
Because that’s what people want!
What do they want? The truth – never ‘sugar-coat” things
And they don’t want “doom and gloom” either.
Tell them exactly how it is.
What else do they want?
They want your story – they want your opinion – your values, your beliefs, your spin on things – so give it to them.
That’s what people love and that’s what people buy
They buy YOU so let them do this
You know the truth about your business, your industry – tell them that
That’s what engaged communication is all about.
They’re going to appreciate you doing this but if you lose some readers or prospects by being realistic and telling the truth – guess what. They were never going to buy anyway
You will never push away your ideal customer if you’re telling the truth. Tell them that “You just have to work your butt off to make a success online”
If people don’t like to hear this from you then they are not the type of person you want to do business with either.
Don’t waste your time and emotional energy worrying about upsetting anyone if you’re simply telling the truth.
Telling your story and giving your thoughts and opinions about things is highly appealing.
People want you to have the courage and the clarity to stand up and say what you truly believe – that type of story is impossible to resist.
Be courageous, be a leader and go out there and give people what they want – your thoughts, your story, your dose of reality!
Are you engaged yet?
5th – Be Available – Be There For Them
Let people know you’re there as this alone will give them the confidence to have a fighting chance to succeed.
Don’t disappear once the sale is made – before, during and after the sale you need to be there – be available, be consistent with your communication and engagement.
That’s how you keep your customers close- plugged into to you – work with you for the long haul.
You’ll then have many communication opportunities to provide them with products and services that can take them to the next level in their business evolution.
Don’t walk away from this obligation.
This chance to be perceived as a professional caring individual…
This opportunity to further build your own business in the most enjoyable and profitable way possible.
The power of engaged communication is awesome.
It says “I’m here to build this business WITH YOU”
I’m here to be your partner in success
I’m not going to do it for you but absolutely I’m going to be here to answer questions, to guide you and support you.
That’s what people want.
Show your willingness to be available in your marketing, messaging plus all types of communications such as the way you interact and with people and even in your sales funnels
So go and apply these 5 steps daily to create far better engagement and enjoyment in your business.
Engaged communication will make a fantastic difference not just to your business but also to you as a person as well.
You will look, feel and be perceived so much better in the way you go about achieve success.
Are you engaged yet?
I know how busy you must be so many thanks for your comments.
Do you engage in the same way with your prospects, subscribers and customers?
What communication experiences can you share that shows the power of engagement?
Do you have a daily communication checklist you follow?
Please leave me your thoughts and feedback in your comments – I always reply and engage as much as possible.