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Getting to know you

My mother always taught me that three things need to happen in order to engage a new client: “they have to know you, like you, and trust you.” A wise woman.

While content is certainly the driver of the last two, I'm not entirely sure that we have paid enough attention to the first.

In my time practising employment law, when I would tell people “I'm the guy you call when you get fired,” their replies would inevitably be variations on the same theme: “Where were you 12/6/3 months ago when my wife/brother/cousin/neighbor/uncle's best friend/buddy needed you?”

I would of course turn this into a joking rapport, and tell them I'm here now to help with whatever they need - but I realize today that I was missing a huge piece of the puzzle.

I was there during that conversation, sure, but I was ALSO there 12, 6, 3, or however many months ago…they just didn't know me then.

As a business owner, you will always be the best promoter for your business. You may have some marketing help on your team, or you may have someone creating fantastic content to help promote you, but when it comes to marketing you will always be your own best asset.

It is, after all, your job to continually grow your business, and this needs to happen on two different levels.

Who are you?

The first is getting to know you. Knowing even a little bit about someone makes it so much easier to form a relationship, which can be tremendously helpful in creating customer loyalty. What your customers or clients know about you may be part of what sets you apart from your competition.

It can also help make you likeable - filling in the second part of that test. If you have used someone over and over again for years, whether they provide legal services or repair your car or sell a specialty food item you like, the odds are that you keep going back to them because not only do you like their product or service, but you also like them. That connection means that your customers or clients have unknowingly developed a degree of loyalty, and unless something sours that relationship, they are unlikely to take their business elsewhere.

That, though, is only the half of it. Creating a loyal client base is one goal, but if that client base does not clearly understand what you do, then they are not always the most reliable referral sources.

Come again?

Have you ever had someone refer you somewhere and do a terrible job of it? They may be heaping praise upon someone they've just discovered, but then can't describe the business well enough to answer even the most basic questions. “You've gotta go see my guy, he's the best! I don't know what he does or how he does it, but seriously you've gotta go check him out right away!”

I have heard these pitches more times than I can count for every sort of business or service provider. A colleague of mine back in my sales days brilliantly called it ‘ignorance on fire.’ While the enthusiasm can be contagious, it's also unlikely to yield great referrals (or win any awards for marketing). Simply put - if someone cannot understand why they need your business, then why on earth would they bother calling?

Imagine, instead, if these loyal clients not only loved your business, but knew exactly how to explain it to others. Instead of turning into ‘ignorance on fire,’ you had messaging that was so clear that they were able to repeat it just as clearly to anyone they thought might be in need. If the listener did have any questions before reaching out, they could visit your website, which echoed that same messaging while providing some more information in an equally clear and coherent format.

That is the power of what great messaging can do for your business, and just how easy it is for someone to get to know you. You know what makes your business stand out; everyone else should know it too.

Let’s connect and discuss how we can clearly tell and share your story.

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