You can market to people in hopes they come visit you.
You can market to them when they are there.
What about the time between?
What about when they are walking toward your coffee shop with ear buds in? What about when they meet someone right outside? Or the moment before they open their computer screens?
What are they thinking? Feeling? Who are they talking to? Why?
The smartest marketers are scenario-telling ones.
You need to consider the various circumstances and shape the experience to fit each scenario.
You can’t become the greatest by asking people what they liked and didn’t like after the fact. By that time they’ve already forgotten about the emotions they felt before engaging with you. So you scenario plan. You role play. You observe more and listen closer to what happens on their way to you.
Stay Positive & Tell Every Scenario, Then Act On The Trends You Find
Whether it’s a compliment or a complaint (or anything in between), the smartest way (and certainly the most difficult way) is to pause and tell yourself the story the other person, group, fan base, cult, tribe is telling themselves.
The second smartest (and second most difficult) way of interacting with them is to shape your discussion and actions to fit within their story–that is, not to press yours unto them.
I’ll say this: It’s a lot easier to listen and respond than to wait around for others to do that for you.
Stay Positive & Are You All Ears?
Change doesn’t happen all at once, and for the most part, it shouldn’t.
Different variables require different levels of attention.
Consider a DJ’s turntable. You can push all dials and bars to their limit, but then the noise is overbearing and insignificant.
You may think the dream of any project is to get all variables balanced–Update the website at the same time you update the brochures at the same time you update social profiles and email signatures.
But the problem with this thinking of complete alignment and consistency across platforms is that growth favors the growers, not those who stand still because they’ve reached equilibrium.
Too many businesses work to have everything match and then they stay there and watch sales decline, fans find someone new; they watch what they thought was a perfect balance start to crumble.
Stay Positive & Always Be Pushing
Expectations are some of the most valuable insights you can observe, glean and use.
What does your customer expect from you?
What does she expect before we walks in? How about after she walks out?
Make a list of customer expectations.
Now call them commandments and meet them consistently, with care.
Stay Positive & Meet Them Then Exceed Them
You want to do remarkable work, to make an impression, to see project A, B or C to the end.
But to do so, you often need others on your side to help.
In gathering team members, you imagine that the other person(s) want to do the project as much as you do. They are just as excited as you, and if they’re not, surely your passion and drive will rub off on them, right? This is a slippery slope.
It might get people onboard, but it’s going to be a constant battle of always motivating and being discouraged when they don’t meet the expectations you have of someone who truly cares about the project.
The other path requires leadership, delegation, and project management. It calls on you to assign tasks, hold them accountable and to work with them through the problems they face on the project.
There’s a big shift in results between motivating new project members and leading them.
Stay Positive & Work Smarter, Not Harder
There are two paths you can take to get noticed, respected, and cherished for your endeavors. The first path is to build something that fits in with the rest. Write a book that’s just like the current spread of New York Times bestsellers.
The other path is to build something new. Instead of spending time trying to fit in, you can spend time creating something that speaks for itself. Write a book that changes the life of a small group of people.
The effort required for either path is about the same.
Stay Positive & Why Not Make A Difference By Building New?
Majority of your problems (and the world’s) is that you’re telling yourself a story that’s different than the person’s, brand’s, business’s, boss’s story that you’re interacting with.
The sincerest action you can take is to listen to their story.
What’s your colleague telling herself about the project she’s working on?
What’s your client telling himself about the email plan he has to approve?
If you could hear their story, what would you do differently?
It’s more than likely you’re telling yourself your own story, but if you want to leap, employ the human element of interaction and to make a difference, you have to set aside your story and respond to theirs.
Stay Positive & We Before Me, Right?