One of biggest investments we can make as businesses is to connect with others.
Everyone we come into contact with is a potential customer, so why do we hide behind virtual walls or make the whole process to interact a lot more of an arduous task?
For starters the amount of emails that I receive from sites that I subscribe to that have the donotreply@, straight away removes any aspect of connecting with people, but in its place is a robot. I found out that the moment I changed my weekly webmail digest from info@ to mark@ made the whole experience more personal, where people are able to contact directly and have a conversation about a particular article. We need to reach out and be a bit more present.
The Reason Why Others Turn Away
According to a recent web usability report from Huff/KoMarketing, 55% of respondents responded that no contact information or phone number on a website reduced the credibility of a company website, and 37% replied that a lack of contact information represented a waste of time. To connect with others we need to be in the room.
The ability to now reach out to others provides a huge opportunity for small businesses to make technology work by taking full control. We can now talk to those who have influenced us and get the ball rolling via Twitter or on our space within email. 10 or so years ago and the ease to have a conversation with authors and leaders within your industry, was non-existent, now it is up to us to shape how we go about it. Here is an example of how this can work smoothly.
An Initiative That Works When You Reach Out
At the end of last year I wanted to set up a series of ongoing articles where I interviewed authors and speakers who are advocates of content marketing. The final results were more than I could have wished for. The ‘Talking Content Marketing’ series is now a regular feature on the blog and has grown in stature purely based on the collection of participants who are regarded as key influencers in the world right now. To have the likes of Joe Pulizzi, Robert Rose, Jay Baer and Ann Handley contribute to the site, is something that I would never have expected a year ago, but these industry heavyweights (and many others), have given their time to contribute to the ID Group blog.
There is no magical formula why these people decided they would be happy to become involved, it was just a case of me reaching out to people who I respect and as the names began to snowball to ask others to participate with a roll-call of well known industry names to ‘drop-in’, kind of makes the process a little bit easier.
The Path We Travel
As businesses we don’t know which way the road will turn, but one thing is for sure, we need to be in the driving seat and everyone else to see that it is us, real people, not corporate personas that others collaborate with.
The ‘Talking Content Marketing’ series has lined up some more key influencers in the coming weeks, if there is anyone that you’d like to see featured in a future Q&A, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org