Do you want to be listened to?
Or do you just want to be heard?
A neat direct marketing hack I’ve frequently deployed on all new products when I want to gain instant traction is to offer a VIP service to potential customers.
The VIP service can come in the form of more features they would have to pay for at the next tier up.
Or faster, better service in the form of more responsive to feature requests, support requests or other value-adds.
All for the simple obligation of a referral or a testimonial.
One of the most effective marketing tricks I’ve ever used to get new business is to gather testimonials from happy clients and then use them prominently in my website, newsletters (both online and offline), emails and even my personal C.V.
If you aren’t using testimonials to drive business leads and convince prospective clients, you are missing out on the amazing technique of social proof.
“I’m in the movies. I’m famous.” equates to “a gatekeeper let me through the gates.”
“I’m in music. I’m famous.” equates to “a gatekeeper let me through the gates.”
“I’m in TV. I’m famous.” equates to “a gatekeeper let me through the gates.”
“I’m an author. I’m famous.” equates to a gatekeeper let me through the gates.”
“I have a blog with 200,000 readers each day, I have 5,000,000 followers on Twitter, my episodic web videos on YouTube have been watched over a billion times, you can buy any one of my books directly from me or through Amazon, and you can download my music through iTunes.” equates to “Nobody cares, nobody approved you to be famous.”
At what point do we stop paying the gatekeepers to tell us what we should pay attention to?
When the required budget necessary to produce original content was high, and the cost to distribute just as high, we permitted people to curate the content for us, which slowly became permitting them to tell us what to pay attention to.
The gatekeepers gave legitimacy, because the content producer, or the participants in the content, were being vouched for by someone putting up money.
But we are/have quickly taken away that need for money across large parts of the spectrum.
I’m not advocating for no gatekeepers at all.
Book publishers, as one example, have done a fine job of keeping most of the dross out of the book stores for years, with a few misfires here and there.
They did this because their bottom line depended on quality content.
But there is a subtle difference between curated content where someone lets you know “this is worth paying attention to” and a gatekeeper saying “this is the only thing you should be paying attention to.”
The market for “people that don’t do X” is always larger than the market for “People who do X”
Running a business without any kind of marketing is like jerking off in a dark room full of people.
It’s a lot of fun, you know what you are doing, but (thankfully) nobody else does.