See Things Differently
I’m a huge fan and advocate of 37Signals since being told about them by The Prodigy‘s web design agency. I’ve been reading “Rework” (Amazon), written by the company’s founders, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson and agree with their thoughts on how companies should promote themselves.
Especially what they had to say about “Audiences”.
When I founded Million it was to help artists build an audience. I said it was ultimately all that mattered. Record labels, CDs, touring, promotion – it was all ‘devil’s detail’ in the ultimate goal to build a fan-base that could be nurtured and managed through online tools and services.
So, I read with great interest the author’s assertion that the best way for companies to promote their business and ultimately sell more, was exactly the same.
“All companies have customers. Lucky companies have fans. But the most fortunate companies have an audience”
They go on to say the smartest companies don’t spend huge amounts of cash on advertising and promotions trying to reach new customers. Instead, they attract an audience to them who want to know what they have to say. To do this speak, blog, Tweet, Facebook, make videos, release ‘white papers’, run webinars – share information your audience think is valuable.
They go on to advocate ‘Teaching’ as another powerful tool to attract customers. Your competitors are advertising, sponsoring and business developing. What you can do different is Teach your potential customers. Show them stuff. Explain how it’s done. Tell them something useful. Even if it means they can do it themselves. Ultimately they will thank you for it and come back again, only the next time they may buy from you.
Which is what I’ve tried to do in this blog for the past 5 years. Which is nice.