You know that scene in the movie My Cousin Vinny where Vinny moves his temporary office to the woods for some peace and quiet so he can work? After a deluge the night before, he gets in his car, late for court, only to find he’s stuck like a fly in a web. That southern dirt has turned into slippery mud (We’re famous for our mud.”) and his car’s not going anywhere.
It’s the perfect metaphor for the bigger story. Vinny needs traction. He needs something to stick.
The secret ingredient and the one that eventually helps him win in the end is that he has something a lot of people don’t.
He hustles. He stays open and loose, working all the angles in his own way. Even though he knows he’s in over his head, Vinny doggedly keeps at it.
You don’t have to be the best-looking, smartest, or wisest one in the room, you just have to be tenacious. Sticky. It helps if you know yourself well.
Just be there. Everywhere. All the Time.
The way to get traction is to just be there, in all your glory, and be there often. The best online marketers that I’ve seen are the ones who are proud of their unique gifts and idiosyncrasies. They work it with their tuned-in tribe. Like Cousin Vinny, the New Yorker in Mississippi. They don’t try to be something they’re not, they simply learn and adjust to the protocol. They play along. They don’t hide that they’re “dogs;” instead they go out of their way to wag in your direction:
The other day we talked about the importance of using pictures to engage people. Today I’m sharing the second reason why you may not be engaging your people online…
You’re not posting frequently enough, OR you’ve got a sluggish start. You don’t have “enough” leads, eyeballs, prospects or followers paying attention to you.
How do you get them to pay attention?
You could do as Uncle Vinny does and stand out. Wear your black leather and dark sunglasses and speak with a Bronx accent — where everyone else is sporting redneck swag. But only if that’s really YOU.
The real secret is being yourself and putting yourself in there where people can find you any time of the day or night.
Repetition and frequency is a big part of getting people to engage with your content. You share what’s going on in your world. You hustle here and there. Do your work, and share whatever it is that you’re doing, thinking, who you’re talking with, meeting with, what you’re reading, spending money on, researching.
Social media, email, copywriting, blogging, content creation…it’s not a mystery. It’s just people being…well, social. You can spend a lot of time and money learning from experts and that’s fine. We learn from people who do it. But there’s the rub. You have to get in there and do it, too.
And that’s where the hustle comes in. Many people think they can just go online a few times a week and find people to do business with, but it just doesn’t work that way. It takes ridiculous amounts of time and hustle. Effective marketing — marketing that actually works to make and impression and keep you at the front of your customer’s mind — doesn’t come easy.
So if you’re serious about your business, strap on your jetpack and put on your big girl (or boy) pants. It’s time you heard the truth: Engaging customers takes energy.
The Jetpack Method for high energy communication: If it’s your “thang” and you’re the resident expert, then share it. Regularly and often.
1. Use programs that trickle out your messages every day. If you’re post every hour, for example, you’re probably not getting much else done, so do yourself a favor and use the automated programs. As long as you’re checking in several times a day, the automation programs make social media easy, fun — and an effective marketing tool.
- I use Hootsuite for updates to Twitter and Facebook from my blog or memory archives, comments on current events, inspiring or insightful quotes, etc. Write and schedule them on a spreadsheet (not more than a few days in advance) and upload your CSV file to Hootsuite. Click the link for step by step instructions via Mark Boyd of Freelance Switch.
- I like buffer for almost the same purpose, however the content is usually different. In Buffer, mostly I tweet and update social sites (Twitter, Linked In Facebook, and now Google+) with other people’s content. I keep the Buffer app installed in my browser. When I read an article I think my followers would benefit from, I highlight a sentence or comment on the main point, and pop it into my buffer where it sits until it’s released on my social sites at the prescheduled times I’ve specified. It’s pretty easy for me, since I start my day often with a morning reading of blogs and news. Maybe you catch up on reading in the evening or over lunch; if so, make use of your time and pass on information. Not everyone shares as much as I do, but I figure since I have research in my blood, I may as well pass it on.
2. Don’t try to master all of the social sites. Use the ones you like — the ones YOU enjoy — and you will find like minds there. The way I see it, social sites are for social people, so I try to post mostly on the sites where I will be sure to come back and respond to others’ comments and shares. I just don’t feel right putting a lot of content on social sites where I don’t spend a lot of time. I like to tend to my own.
3. Update your status often. On the sites you choose, shoot for 12 -15 posts every day. Update your blog at least once per week, and remember that a short post is better than nothing. Interspersed with longer, meatier content, you’ll satisfy a range of readers and keep subscribers engaged.
4. Hire a VA to help you with some of the tasks above for a business page. Just make sure he or she knows your voice and style. Spend some time to infuse your people with your energy and your message. A good VA will soak it up and transfer it.
5. Keep at it. People will forget you if you disappear for a few weeks. They get swept up in other things, just like you would. They’re not thinking about you all the time. (That’s you thinking about you all the time.) Marketing is being there — with something your customer can use, needs to know, or makes them smile. Everywhere, all the time. Half-baked marketing only attracts so-so customers. High energy marketing wins you loyal customers.
6. Yep, still here.
7. Hi. Me again. 🙂
8. If you’re not comfortable with that, ask yourself if you’re promoting yourself too much. If it feels like you are, then mix up your content. Don’t promote less, just keep yourself out of it. Try something different. Think “Service, Delight, Value”….not “Sell, Sell, Sell.” And if you need ideas for engaging content, grab a ‘Lucky Deck” and keep some fresh ideas right at your fingertips.
9. Hat tip: Watch any video of Gary Vaynerchuck talking about social media: Talk about energy! You can practically see it buzzing off of him. Stop complaining and work harder. If you’ve been at it for three months already and you’re not in the top ten blogs in your industry? Well, too bad, oh so sad! Put your hustle on and go out of your way to be over-the-moon helpful. As Gary says, be thankful for your 66 followers on Twitter. These are 66 people on the planet who want to hear all the little jots and morsels you tweet as you go about your day. How crazy is that? You should feel honored!
10. Finally, be proud of your product or services. That’s a big part of the picture! If you do this marketing stuff right, people are going to want to purchase something from you. They will pull out their wallets and you’re going to have to deliver and stand proudly behind it. Your business should be something you want to talk about and share. The step right after marketing is SALES, and walking the talk.
What say you? Where do you get your jetpack fuel?