Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The party must be at your place, not someone else's.

Let the party be at your place!
A few days ago I had the opportunity to meet a dear friend of mine who recently set up her own business fixing deliciously designed and decorated cakes for parties and celebrations of any kind .

We were commenting on the strategy she was using to promote her products. She told me she had a Facebook page and an account on Instagram, and through both she had already received some orders. I could see she was very excited and enthusiastic about her project while explaining to all of us the reasons why her cakes were better than her competition’s. Long live the entrepreneurial spirit!

Of course I felt very happy and shared Ivonne’s enthusiasm because I do believe that in situations like the one we are living these days, the first weapon we should use to get us up and moving forward is to always keep a positive spirit. Very realistic, but positive. Always positive.

“We always get together at our friends’ places”

But I became even more excited and enthusiastic when, continuing with our conversation, I told Ivonne the best thing she could do was to build her own website and give her cakes a “home of their own” to which she replied “I’m already working on it and have a graphic designer putting it together for me.”

Why am I so satisfied and happy? If you look at the whole process, when your digital presence is based in "your friends’ houses", whether it’s on your Facebook page, your Twitter profile, Linkedin or any other, you “have to drive” all the way “from your place” to “their place”. You even have to get dressed accordingly.

We have taken the habit of always partying at others people’s house. And the problem comes when they don’t want to party, what do we do?

And your “customers” (or members of your audience, if it makes you feel better) have to do the same thing: They have to “drive from their places” to meet with you at your friend’s house, or the platform you have chosen to engage with them. But they go there not only to get together with you but with hundreds of other “guests”, companies like yours, who were also invited to the same party. 

Moreover, as in any party held at "your friends’ house", the party starts and ends when the owners of the house call it off and if, simply overnight, they do decide they will not “invite” your customers to the “party”, that would be it for it and all your efforts will be lost. Or if your customer ever decide they prefer to have party at someone else's place that you don’t know, then you'd have to go after them and start building your community all over again, from scratch.

It is always easier to have someone else put together the party.

I remember when I was in the last years of high school, parties were always held at Raymundo’s place. He was a dear friend of mine whose parents owned a spectacular, large, comfortable home, one of those that are good to host the best parties ever.

But, what happened when Raymundo didn’t want to have party at his place? That we were only left with two choices: Either no party time at all for anybody, or we simply had to organize one on our own.

And this is a story that repeats itself endlessly in this world of digital marketing, and even more with the proliferation and growth of social networks: For new business owners, or those business who have a very small budget (not to say "don’t have any budget at all") using social networks to promote their products and services is the option they chose more frequently, and usually it’s all the do or can afford to do.

They tend to think that having a company website is a luxury that only large corporations can afford and don’t pay enough attention to building a space of their own, or don’t find those efforts are worth their time and money.

But nowadays is quite a different situation: There are many alternatives available today for creating websites. For some of them you have to pay, some others are free, some are good ones, some not that much. But alternatives exist, and many.

The party must be held at your place.

Did you notice the fond memories I have from the parties held at my friend's house? I can even remember, regardless of all the years that have passed by, the main rooms, stairs, the patio where we waited for the sun to wake up. Fond memories indeed!

Wouldn’t you like your customers to have the same fond memories of "your home" and not someone else’s?

That’s the reason made me recommend my friend Yvonne to have her own website, and it’s what I want to recommend to you today.

It’s great that you have a digital presence and are taking advantage of all the options and tools that social (and not so social) networks put at your disposal today to approach your potential customer and build a community with them.

But the party, in the end, must be at your own home. You have to prepare your own space so that at the middle of the party, you can tell all your customers, "Hey, listen up, let's all go to my place where we can continue to share and enjoy great things, and I can even show you things I didn’t bring along tonight”.

No matter the size of the parties at your place, they will always be more intimate.

Many people think it is necessary to reach hundreds of thousands of people, ie, be at those parties where there is no more room for even a single soul, where you can barely listen to the one next to you, or that you have a really hard time trying to reach the people you were intending to reach from the very beginning.

However, if the party is at your house, you will definitely invite those people who know you well, they will most likely have a positive attitude towards you and your business, and relationships with them will probably be more valuable than that you can have with the the hundreds of thousands "party goers" swarming today in the digital environment.

Therefore, my recommendation this week is for you to focus your efforts on developing your own space for your products and services, a place you can invite all your clients to and continue nurturing the relationships you have already been building through social networks in a place you own.

It will definitely take much more effort at the beginning, but will prove to be more profitable in the medium and long term, don’t you think?

Photo Credits : lenm / 123RF Stock Photo

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