Organic Marketing: The Final Steps

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Welcome to the final stretch! Over the past several weeks we’ve covered a lot of ground. First we introduced you to the concept of Organic Marketing. Then we had a discussion of squares 1-3 on the marketing tic-tac-toe board: You, Your Target Audience and Thinking Like Your Customer. We followed that up with a discussion of squares 4-6: Your Energy Signature, Your Connections and Your Social Networks. Now, we’ll wrap it all up with a discussion of Squares 7-9 and some advice for putting all of this into action to grow your business into something that truly reflects Your Certain Way.

Square7v2 SmSquare Seven: The “Stuff”

Ah, the stuff: The business cards, the brochures, logos and handouts, pens and ball caps and all the other things on a typical company’s marketing to-do list.
Traditional marketing wisdom has us believing that this stuff should come first. How can you go to a networking event without a business card to hand out? What if someone asks for a brochure? Surely I have to have all the stuff in place before I really get serious about my marketing, yes?

Just for fun, take a look at your current “stuff" and ask yourself these questions:
1. Does this stuff really represent me and my Certain Way? (Square One)
2. Was it designed to be appealing to my target audience audience? (Square Two)
3. Was I thinking like my customers when I created this? (Square Three)
4. What kind of energy signature does it give off? Does that work for me? (Square Four)
5. Does it help me build and nurture my connections? (Square Five)
6. Will the stuff help facilitate social and real time relationships? (Square Six)

We’ve seen this happen so many times. In the rush to create all that important stuff, we don’t do the hard work first of understanding who our stuff needs to reach and how we want it to make an impact. If you’re like most of the companies we work with, you’ll definitely see gaps or even outright problems with your existing stuff.

Some of the stuff we use for the pool company includes our portfolio books and our awesome sweatshirts. The portfolio books are used for a quick glance during our initial visit with a prospective homeowner, and when we meet homeowners we have a good feeling about, we leave them behind to be reviewed as the design process begins.

The sweatshirts? Well, people just love to wear them! 

At the 2014 Pool and Spa Show in Atlantic City, our team showed up to a fancy steakhouse sporting our Pool Guys sweatshirts, both with pride and a little hesitation, since it was a bit of a nicer place. Shortly into the meal, the maître d, who happened to be bald himself, remarked on how awesome he thought the sweatshirt was. We asked him for his address and size, and when he said what would fit him, Mark took off the new sweatshirt he had been wearing and promptly gave it to him. Photos and smiles ensued, we had a great story to share on social media and there were vibes of positive energy all around.

Your stuff is what you leave behind in the physical world. Be sure it carries the right energy and sends the right message, and you’ll be amazed at how it can help you grow your business.

Square8 SmSquare Eight: Strategic Alliances

We are all creating strategic alliances all day every day, whether we realize it or not. Each encounter you have with other people, organizations and businesses is an opportunity to build an alliance — and it’s one of the best things you can do for your business. Some of the best alliances to nurture can be with people within your industry; in this new connection economy, we are all collaborators.

Some of the best alliances can be people we might consider our “competition.” You have a choice: you can keep them at a distance as “the other guys,” or build good relationships with them. Share information with them. Co-sponsor a webinar together. Invite them to guest author a piece in your next newsletter or guest post in your blog. You can have alliances with people who do the exact same thing you do because you are going to have different specialties and different Energy Signatures. These alliances broaden your sphere of influence and build your credibility.

Another avenue to create alliances is with suppliers and wholesalers. Go to them with creative ideas on how you can work together. Your wholesale contacts want you to succeed because your success breeds their success. If you are purchasing from them, you are selling their products. They likely want to help you succeed. You might not go to your supplier because you think, "Well, we are just one little fish in a big pond." Stop thinking that way. Build relationships there and co-promote products and how they work within your service offerings. You might even find that you are a big fish in one of their departments.

When you are looking for strategic alliances, think about your target customer. Who are they? What is their personality? What is the age demographic? You may be able to find another company that is already talking to the same market you want to reach, even though your businesses may have little in common. Brainstorm ways to make connections with people who are serving the same audience. Consider making connections with people who have similar messages to yours, so you can share your marketing resources. We have included handymen and landscaping promo items with our pool mailings for the price of shared postage.

When you do this right, everybody wins, and your influence and brand presence can grow exponentially.

Square9 SmSquare Nine: Your Online House

Square Nine is where Organic Marketing all comes together, and it’s centered on building a foundation with our "online house."

In most cases, your online house will be your website, which should also house your blog. Your blog is an especially important element because with it, you can automate your content to your social sites, and search engines love new and fresh content from blogs that are updated regularly. 

When designing your site, user experience is the most important thing to keep in mind. Many people like to think about their website from their own perspective. Yes, you need to include things that you like, but it's more important to design the site for your users to enjoy and can use easily to find what they're looking for.

When you find the right blend of these elements, you will have a strong site that encourages engagement and activity you will benefit from.

Start by writing your story, just a little bit of it every day via your blog posts. You may be surprised to find out that many of your existing contacts may not know or understand what you do, and as you start to share, they will begin to take notice and ask questions.

Your visitors at first may be friends and family. As you keep building your site and your blogging presence, you will begin to build your global audience based on your area of expertise.

Make sure your social media channels all funnel into your site too. It should be easy to connect with you via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, your blog and email. Remember that each customer has their own preferred way of communicating, and a good marketer will make it easy for them.
You will be amazed at the results that you will begin to see based on putting a few simple methods into practice. On your blog, share your ideas,  opinions and education. Develop your site as the place where your visitors can come to receive your information and your insights.

There you have it: the overview of the nine squares. Of course there’s so much more to it, and we encourage you to work through the process with your team and let us know if we can help. We wish you all the luck in the world in developing Your Certain Way!

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 for our Organic Marketing Course (Free Enrollment) that will tie this all together.

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