Creating Awareness – Advice Please
post # 103 — June 12, 2006 — a Client Relations post
Can I ask your advice, for a change?
Along with every enterprise, I face the challenge of creating awareness of my activities. I often describe my reputation as being like the measles – spots of great inflammation, surrounded by vast areas of untouched territory.
I don’t have much difficulty meeting the financial targets of my business. That’s not where my challenge lies.
Rather, I am trying to think through how to bring my website and blog to the attention of a broader audience in order to serve them – make my free materials (articles, podcasts, videos, blog, etc.) available to more people who might find them useful.
Since I’m not selling anything, and I’m supposed to be some kind of consultant who gives marketing advice anyway, it should all be obvious and easy, right?
As my experience in past years with published books proved, you can know a lot about how to get hired as a consultant for many thousands of dollars, and still know absolutely zero about how to get people to part with $20 for a hardbound book. Being good at one doesn’t automatically make you good at the other.
Even though I’ve had some big sellers, I still don’t know how to market books. Only one of my books ever hit the weekly best-seller lists, and it went on to sell the least number of total books compared to those that grew solely by word of mouth.
I used to be frustrated that people who could have derived benefit from them didn’t read my books, until it dawned on me that most businesspeople don’t read books. Even though content is king, effective marketing is unavoidable. The trouble is, no-one really knows what effective marketing IS! No-one knows what works (reliably.)
I’m finding the same is true in hyperspace. I have put a lot of effort into creating the content of my website and must now I have to learn how to “market” a free website!
I have spent the past six months trying to build a resource-rich, helpful (I hope) website with lots of accessible, free resources. The next task is to “drive traffic to the site” (as they say.)
Many of you reading this “discovered” my work somehow. The question now is how to make it easier for others (many, many others?) to do so.
My primary goal is to get people to register their email addresses on my site, and I do offer a free subscription to my future articles to people who do this.
However, I am VERY reluctant to engage in anything that gives even the appearance of a hard sell (“Register now and receive these special gifts.”) I also don’t want to spam anyone.
I do already participate in blog carnivals and I’m reasonably active in the blogosphere. I give lots of interviews.
I’m thinking of doing a broad range of things. Should I do any “click-through advertising?” Should I attempt to get e-mailing lists from somewhere? Are there things I can do to encourage people – and make it easier – to tell more of their (your?) friends about my materials?
Advice, please. What’s an effective, but classy, way to do this?
Charles Tippett said:
Hi david: 1. I enjoy reading your posts on a daily basis, but that ‘commitment’ grew very slowly. I first learned of you when you did a Xerox meeting back in 1999. A number of us got really excited about Trusted advisor. We read it, re-read it, quoted it and took all our teammembers through it.
Here’s my two cents worth: If i were a non-maister reader, i would not be attracted to a mass appeal marketing campaign, but i would be very interested if someone said to me – “Hey you’ve got to read this guys article – it’s powerful…”
You should ask us (on a regular basis) who weve shared your work with. You provide a lot of material on your site for free and we as subscribers should feel some obligation to give back. We just need to be told what’s expected of us.
Naturally this is a slower growth strategy, but then again, it may be like your books that never hit the best seller list – it might be the better approach in the long term. ct
posted on June 12, 2006