I read a lot (nerd alert). I read a lot of different kinds of books, a lot of different blogs and even a lot of magazines. All kinds of genres but one thing recently has been discussed a lot in all of these different publications and resources: FEAR!
We are afraid to try new things, afraid of failing and afraid of the unknown. I totally understand that social media, making your company more transparent, writing a blog, sending out content rich email marketing pieces can be scary. It is scary because it is different than how we have always done things.
I can’t emphasize enough it isn’t about the tools, the social media experts, or the impressions, it is a total shift in your companies communication strategy.
At the heart of all of this new marketing ‘movement’ is people want to do business with people again – living breathing people that they trust. That trust lowers the buyers risk that their purchase (big or small, B2B or B2C) is the correct decision. The way to establish trust is up to you but it begins by making your marketing content more personal and conversational.
Here are three things to help you shake your fear:
1. Have a plan
How does it go? Measure twice, cut once? Plan it out first. Brainstorm with your organization. Nervous about the legality of it all? Get your lawyer involved in the discussion BEFORE there is any issues. Make sure your plan is scalable but don’t suffocate in the ‘what ifs’. Clearly plan out where you are now, where you want to be and set a timeline for those goals.
Keep your list of goals and refer to them often to be sure your train doesn’t jump off the tracks. Go through a detailed discovery phase about content, who is going to participate, how often, how you will track your results, what are you NOT comfortable sharing, etc. The more you plan, the better prepared you are for any circumstances that may come up.
2. Don’t take shortcuts
We are talking a giant shift in how we communicate with your customers and potential customers – Conversation versus Presentation. Short cuts aren’t really going to cut it. You are going to need to commit: time, resources and people. If joining too many online communities is overwhelming, then select only a few that your customers are already on and own those spaces. Don’t spread yourself and your message too thin.
3. Don’t wait too long to try
Whether you are ready or not, people are talking online about everything including products, services and maybe even you. You need to be at the party early because it could be really hard to catch up. Some people have launched a whole career just because they were one of the first people on Twitter. Would you prefer to start a group on LinkedIn now or be the third person to start a specific group for your service? If you try early, you can learn from your mistakes and make improvements.
Using fear as an excuse to not do something is a degree of failure. The internet is changing and the buying process is changing. By burying your head in the sand you are missing out on opportunities. By taking inbound marketing seriously, having an organized approach and putting ineffort you will be able to find what works for you and what does not.