To create value that hits the next level, sometimes you have to ask.
Getting people to turn up to something you create, means doing more than expected. More importantly also asking others for support is ok.
Online or offline, when people come to a space that you have built, it is a good feeling.
If you do something that allows you to get closer to your target audience, it can’t just be the one-off piece of work that becomes the trigger for someone else to commit.
We don’t live in a world anymore where the advert generates a move to the next stage ie. inquiring, visiting or buying, while everyone else has entered the party to talk to everyone else.
However, for people to spend longer with you, rather than a click and then wave goodbye and say ‘see you later,’ I am now a firm believer that you have to continuously give value, not just claim the reward of ‘download here’ or ‘buy this‘.
Give, More Than You Take
In a recent You Are The Media Podcast, I spent some time with the very switched on Chris Marr, owner of the Content Marketing Academy (CMA), Chris has built loyalty around people who come to his annual event and also the subscriber base he has built. I was interested in how Chris has built loyalty from his audience. Very simply, he said, ‘I give more than I extract.’ You can listen to the interview here.
However, that can be very hard when the lure is to use the tools that are in front of us to pick up and run with. A house was never built on reading a manual and knowing how to turning on a cement mixer.
There is a real lure to relentlessly ‘do‘. Setting up the Eventbrite page is easy, creating the Event page on Facebook and then spend some money on promotion takes minutes. The worst thing you can do is stand back and think that the words centred around ‘success,’ ‘hack, and ‘hustle’ in your copy are going to be the magnet to trigger an action. Rather than letting a page do the talking, there has to be some form of nurturing of a relationship.
There are ways to do things that get you closer to people before the excitement of publishing an Eventbrite page. The regular email, the meet-ups, even just being committed to your website.
There have to be ways to make people want to spend time with you.
Even if that means asking for help from others to make things possible. This heightens the whole experience and to create something more worthwhile.
Putting It Into Good Practice
Let me share with you what I have done this month, where creating value first and then asking for help as the next natural step has worked.
Throughout 2017 the You Are The Media Lunch Club has been a fixture in people’s calendars and within the local area. There have been eight Lunch Clubs in 2017 where there has been no prominent sell, such as a topic for each month leading to some form of associated deeper delve ie. a webinar or a seminar.
I wanted to find a way to say thank you to everyone who has come to the events this year. I decided to have the You Are The Media Annual Awards, which is tomorrow (Friday 1st December). The last thing I wanted to do on a Friday evening was keep something in the same B2B format ie. people listen to someone talking and sharing some form of wisdom or lesson in front of them. The only thing people want to do at the end of the day on a Friday is relax.
What I did was create seven or eight categories of awards after an initial chat with Oli Perron (who provides the Lunch Club Food) and Marcus Wincott who has made the Lunch Club venue work really well this year by having stability in one place (at his company Media Lounge).
This is where the ask around value elevates. With the categories for the awards, I asked businesses who have supported Lunch Club throughout 2017 and where there is a strong relationship to help. I asked them if they would like to be a sponsor for the evening? This meant that they present an award, are featured on the weekly email and also mentioned on the You Are The Media Podcast. This means so much more than, ‘can you be a sponsor?’ There is something added that is so much more than paying money to be seen in limited channels ie. a banner on a stage and a logo on a website footer.
Coming back to saying a thank you to everyone who has participated this year, the money from the sponsors is going to pay for the food and also go behind the bar for drinks. Imagine it as a B2B wedding reception. Just to reiterate, the ask made, can elevate the overall experience and everyone has a sense of participation.
The ask has also extended to getting someone (thanks Fleur Cook) to set-up a playlist. What do you think, here it is?
The You Are The Media Annual Awards is now going to be even better with the likes of Adido, Datacenta Hosting, Dorset Growth Hub, Media Lounge, Rock Recruitment, Steele Raymond, The Makeshift and Bare Collective giving a helping hand.
What About You?
If you can create a real sense of value to others, it is ok to approach and ask for a helping hand from others to make things even better.
There is no shame to help you move forward by asking people for help, particularly if others are connected to what you do.
Getting others to support makes everything stronger for people to be a part of. You can’t live in an insular world thinking you can do all this on your own and be brave all the time.
When you get others to help, it makes the whole experience one where people enjoy. Bringing people into together, makes everyone feel a bit closer. It is what helps build stronger relationships.
However, the thing that makes everything possible is to have the ability to provide value in the first place (and then lock in for the duration). For instance, if I decided to put on an evening at the end of the week without having anything to back it up, then the chances are it would be 99% a polite ‘no.’ In the words of Whitney, ‘I wanna dance with somebody,’ but nobody would be the there.
No-one is owed anything in this world or have a right for expectation. It has to be something that is built and nurtured. For instance, my original intention was just to put on an awards evening, I only had the idea to ask people for help a few weeks ago. When you start with having no expectations ie. get the people who come to Lunch Club to come to an awards evening, you have everything to reap. If you can start the engine, without expecting to get to the end of the country and back, you have everything to gain.
Everything that you do has to be a way to get you closer to the people who say, ‘I’m onboard, ‘ whether they are a customer or not.
When it comes to building a loyal audience and customer base, a key trait is to be generous.
When people see you are generous and don’t ask for anything back, this elevates beyond the blog and the Adwords campaign. Being stingy is when there is a string attached such as living a life behind gated content where a trade in an email address results in the door opening, only to receive a sales based email within a few hours.
By helping create a better experience for everyone involved, skips the slog for attention and naturally draws people to you and the thing that you stand for. When something works and you are ok with asking others for support, more people come to you. Isn’t that what you want, where the drum isn’t tirelessly beaten, but people wanting to spend time with you?
Stay open, keep giving and put people first. This makes everyone’s experience with you, a richer one.