So, how can your business create maximum exposure through the value you provide your customers? By finding the people that are excited about your product or service and openly willing to share it with others, on their social networks and to their friends and family (without being paid a dime). Where are these people, you ask? Well, let's start with the WHO, first. These people are highly-satisfied customers, volunteer marketers, evangelists, employees, and are referred to as "brand advocates," or "brand ambassadors."
When you have a new company, it can be somewhat challenging to find these people, I know. I've been there. Not knowing where to look is frustrating. But, don't worry, that's where I come in and why you're here reading my blog to find out how!
To Learn How To Find Your 'Brand Advocates', sign up for my free online training - that's right, you read that right, FREE ONLINE TRAINING (on July 21st) where you'll...
- Discover WHO the Right Influencers are for Your Brand
- How To DECIDE if Your Brand Ambassadors should be Employees or Social Influencers OR Both!
- Discover How To Start a Brand Ambassador Program, and more...
1. Reach out to people who would benefit from your product or service. Introduce yourself by email, and ask for 25 minutes of their time to do a Skype Chat or Google Hangout. Be sure to prepare a list of questions you would like to go over while they're on the call with you (i.e., a mini agenda). Keep your call laser-focused and try not to veer off track - don't worry if you two get chatty, this is a very good sign! However, if you find that you have a lot in common and more to talk about, mention that you'd like to schedule another call with them to finish the conversation in more detail later and that you just have a few more questions. Be sincere.
2. Give your product away. Influential bloggers love giving stuff away. Have a contest. Ask bloggers with a lot of reach and influence to give away your product or service. Give two. One for the blogger and one for the contest winner.
3. Do a direct mail campaign (also called, "snail mail"). Do the one-two-punch. [Value. Value. Offer.] Basically, you can send three pieces of mail through the post office. The first two are of "value" and the last one is where you can make an offer. Always, always, put in a call-to-action.
What three pieces of mail do you send? Well, that's where you fill out the form on my contact page and request for consultation or schedule a class on it for your team or agency. Or, you can email me direct.
4. Send an email. If you find that there are people who are regularly interacting with your brand on social media and always have something great to say, move the relationship beyond that platform. If you aren’t able to send a handwritten note, send a quick email (even a corny eCard) to let them know how much you appreciate their support. It will go a long way in building the relationship your prospective brand advocate.
5. Feature them on social media and/or your company's blog. A regularly updated blog can be a fantastic way to not only share company news but also establish a brand personality, connect with industry influencers, and highlight emerging talents in your industry.
6. Treat them to a coffee (Insert: healthy alternative here). One of the best ways to build long-term relationships is to get to know influencers beyond their blogs, publications or Instagram feeds. We regularly reach out to our LinkedIn connections about meeting up over a coffee or a drink (BYOC: Bring your own cup (and beverage)) - via Skype or Google Hangout. Those conversations (that aren’t just brand-focused) often lead to creative collaborations.
7. Give them an upgrade. Forbes suggests that you discount your product; however, for a Startup or Small Business, this is definitely an operation no-no. Discounting leads to disaccreditation of your product or service and reverses the results before you ever get started. Promise me you'll NEVER discount your service? What can yo do instead? Provide value! And more value! If you want to give something away (or in addition to), UPGRADE them with another service, but do NOT discount that other service. It's all in the perception of it.
Submit your Press Release to PRweb and get your news worthy article noticed by all of the Major Search Engine sites like, Google, Yahoo, Bing, even the premium news sites such as the NY Times, Washington Post, and through the Associated Press.
Your Press Release will be submitted to a relatively large audience, say about 250,000 PRWeb news subscribers and 30,000+ journalists and bloggers. Just kidding. That's a lot!
I would *strongly* advise getting the Premium or Financial Package where you can embed images that show your business and merchandise. You can even add videos to your release and customize your RSS feed.
Employees and ambassadors know your brand the best. They're at the front lines and interact with your customers the most, both, in person and online. However, your employees are an untapped source for brand content distribution and awareness.
FACTOID: Gallup says that Employee Engagement Matters. Companies with engagement levels (i.e., Amex, Zappos, Google, and Intel) have at least 3.9 times the earnings than that of a competitor.
G Co Group Blog Team