Tic-Tac-Toe Marketing: The Next Steps

Welcome back! In our last article we reviewed the basic concept of Organic Marketing, and walked you through the first three squares on the tic-tac-toe board. Today we'll cover the next three squares and start to form some strategies for your marketing messages.

Square Four: Your Energy Signature

A positive Energy Signature is the best marketing strategy.A positive Energy Signature is the best marketing strategy.

Al was having a chat with a customer and another contractor on a job site a while ago. The contractor said, "Oh, for us, it's really important that the customer is always happy."

In front of the customer, Al immediately stopped him and disagreed.

"If I focus on the customer's happiness and try to do everything according to them, and I am not enjoying the process, if I am not loving the process, then we all miss out because the customer won't be happy either," Al explained.

Some customers, to be sure, don't agree to this approach, and we learned the hard way a few years ago that we shouldn't be working for those people. For those who do get it, our projects are truly a joyful collaboration. The joy transfuses everything we touch, leaving an unforgettable Energy Signature for our brand.

That Energy Signature is what Square 4 is all about.

A positive Energy Signature provides more long-term benefits than anything else you do because it is always present, even when you are not.

What's your own Energy Signature? When you walk into a room, do you brighten it up or does it become a little dimmer? Are there times when you get negative about things and put that negativity out into the world?

The good news is that you can begin right now to change your Energy Signature into something incredibly positive, engaging with even the most tedious details of your work with passion and commitment. You can be a leader for your co-workers and team members, focusing on positive solutions to the challenges you all face.

As you embrace that positive energy, it infuses your marketing messages too. Instead of sharing a post on social media about how bad the weather is for building pools, you can post a funny photo of you and your team up to your knees in mud with big grins on your faces. This commitment to being positive and embracing the moment is a key to successful marketing.

We've found that video is a really great way to share our own Energy Signature and share, in our own words, what we do and why. This makes it easier for customers to connect and feel like they already know us… and it also makes it more likely that viewers will share the post on social media or pass it along for referrals.

If we don't do a good job infusing our Energy Signature throughout our marketing messages, we just add to the confusion and noise that exists in the world where there are so many brands competing for awareness. A solid brand with a clear niche and creative Energy Signature has no competition.

Take some time to reflect on how your Energy Signature comes through in your marketing, both online and off.

Square Five: Your Connections

We are all looking for leaders; be the leader and you'll find your tribe.We are all looking for leaders; be the leader and you'll find your tribe.

We are all looking for leaders; be the leader and you'll find your tribe.

Al remembers the moment like it was yesterday.

"I was just leaving Home Depot, with a random sack of fittings for a job, when I spotted a man hanging around my company van. My first thought was 'oh great, what is this guy up to?'

"As I picked up my pace, puffed out my chest, and donned my best 'ready for anything' face, the man saw me coming, broke into a big grin and said, 'Hey, Pool Guy, I've got a question to ask ya!'

"That's when I knew there would be no trouble; I was being sought out for my industry expertise. What a great realization and a fun confirmation that our niche marketing concept was truly working."

As you begin to make connections and build a tribe with your marketing, finding some way to stand out is critical. What can you do/say/be that will make people take notice, remember you, and most importantly, seek you out when they need you?

Connections are a major factor in your Organic Marketing Strategy. Your prospects and customers form a tribe in the new marketplace, as Seth Godin explains brilliantly in his book "Tribes."

Every tribe needs a leader. When you are marketing your business, keep this leadership role in mind. When you truly have a tribe, your followers will be inspired and excited to share your message with others.

When we can't be face to face with the members of our tribe in person, we stay engaged with them on Facebook and in our blog. It keeps the relationships growing all the time. This is a part of the continual cultural shift that is happening throughout the world, due in part to social media's ability to connect us in new ways. It is also organic proof of the power of our social graph. Social Media offers a great place to
build a tribe, a following of fans and friends, and to share a continual stream of information and engagement and motivation with each other.

Keep in mind that it's not enough to gather followers and friends on Facebook and other social media. To truly make a tribe, you have to give back. There has to be value to the tribe or they'll look elsewhere. You can provide this value by giving back, staying connected, "liking" their business pages, commenting on their new threads, and helping to build their network.

Whenever appropriate, make online introductions between members of your tribe. Personal and business introductions are a fantastic way to do this, and to give back to the people who support you. Your tribe is where you will find much of your business support. It is important to constantly nurture and build your tribe, some may become customers, and even more importantly they will share you with
others. Create enjoyment and encourage the sharing of your messages with their connections. The result is that your business will grow.

As you think about this new leadership role, ask yourself how and what you can contribute. What can you offer to help others? How can you use your connections to give back and grow? What unique perspectives do you offer that others in your field are not seeing?

Square Six: Your Social Networks & Relationships

When you develop and share a solid brand person, the right connections and customers find you.When you develop and share a solid brand person, the right connections and customers find you.

When you develop and share a solid brand person, the right connections and customers find you.

This square begins to help us understand how and what to share on our social networks, by understanding our brand persona.

If you are a solo owner or an entrepreneur, your brand persona is more about you and your own passions and interests in business and in life. If you are part of a larger company or team, the brand persona is about the company culture overall, and includes parts of each team member along with the company's mission and goals.

When we find the right balance between our personal lives and our brand persona, we are able to share the best, most effective parts of ourselves and our message with our business connections and keep our
more personal details off the radar.

One of the biggest questions that come up when we teach this concept is "How do I use social media effectively without oversharing?" To help you frame your brand person and get a better handle on social sharing, start by giving some thought to these questions:

What is your "Why"? What is your intention? What is the reason that you are doing what you do? What is the intent that you have for people who will ultimately work with you?

Taking this further, is your purpose on purpose? Is everything that you are doing in the day-to-day marketing and operations of your business on track with your Why?

What is the culture of your business? Is your culture fun and exciting or is it melancholy and boring? Are people drawn toward you? Obviously if you are not quite as fun and exciting as you'd like to be, you have some room for growth and creative thinking.

What elements of your personality, both individually and as part of the team, must be a part of your brand persona? As consumers, people want to know what is specific and special about you and your
business. This is your greatest asset and your secret sauce. Don't keep it a secret!

When it comes to motivation for sharing, ask yourself the question, "Are you chasing your bliss?" You know the answer is yes when no matter what you are doing, time seems to stand still and it's almost
effortless to be doing what you are doing. Strive to create and experience more of these moments, and capture some to share. This positive energy will translate into business success.

Next up: Squares 7, 8 and 9!

For a signed copy of the Sandi and Al's book on Organic Marketing, just drop us a line at [email protected], if you are interested in working the entire program, join us on Skillshare for our Organic Marketing Course (Free Enrollment) that will tie this all together.


Page 1 of 155
Next Page
Buyer's Guide
Find manufacturers and suppliers in the most extensive searchable database in the industry.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide
Content Library
Dig through our best stories from the magazine, all sorted by category for easy surfing.
Read More
Content Library