#BuildingYourTribe – What is a Tribe?

Essentially, a tribe is your community. When it comes to your business, a tribe is a unique group of friends, fans, customers, brand advocates, partners and followers who are willing to become a voice to your message. Some call it “1000 true fans”. It’s a place where you belong, can be heard, and known. Most of all, it’s a place where you can make a difference.
Before we delve into the key aspects of a tribe, we need to spend some time talking about what a tribe IS NOT.
A tribe is not a pedestal you use to dictate your awesomeness.
It is not fame.
It is not a number.
It is not a group of people who agree with everything you say at all times.
It is, however, a core group of people who help you think, force you to move beyond your limits, and keep your world positive around you. Constructive criticism is not negativity. It’s a chance for growth. They challenge you to be better, inspire your creativity, and spread the message because they genuinely believe in what you have to offer.
Your tribe supports you when you feel like giving up while providing energy and strength when you least expect it. You can create life-long bonds that can never be broken. Best of all, this tribe can help you turn your passion into your livelihood.
You may already have tribe members supporting you, and you don’t even know it. Who picks you up when you’re down? Who pushes you to try harder, learn more, become a better version of yourself? Who stood with you when you wanted to step out on your own? Those people are your tribe.
They are your most loyal and devoted fans. Right now.
It’s not a numbers game. I have to stress this. There’s a lot of bad advice out there. Numbers do not equal loyalty.
In future posts we’ll be discussing who makes up your tribeand how to build it from the ground up. In the meantime, why not try this exercise? Write down, either on paper or in the comments, at least one person who supported you when you were willing to give up. It doesn’t have to be about your current pursuits. It could be a teacher who encouraged you to write or read. A coach who told you he believed in your efforts. A boss or fellow worker who reminded you that it was okay to make mistakes and rise from them.
Then, when you’ve finished writing down those names, close your eyes and remember those moments. Try to bring those emotions back to life.

Your tribe is an emotional connection. Don’t forget that. Understanding your tribe, your community, is a way to tap into the best type of marketing – word of mouth. Those who know how to #BeAwesome in business also understand the value of having a dedicated tribe.
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

#EducationMatters – Really Connect with Your Power Partners

Another relevant aspect of education is getting to know the businesses that refer clients and customers to you. These power partners are essential in meeting the needs of your customers.
But what, exactly, is a power partner?
A power partner is a company that isn’t direct competition but has similar client bases. This allows you and the power partner to refer clients to one another.
I’ve mentioned before that social proof is important and explained how team building is essential in your business. Referrals from your power partners are essential aspects of social proof. Why? Their customers and clients trust that your partners wouldn’t steer them wrong. The same goes for your referrals. When you suggest a power partner to a customer or client, you’re giving those power partners your personal stamp of approval. Your reputation is on the line so educate yourself on what, exactly, your partners can provide to your clients.
Remember when I said you don’t need to do everything on your own? You don’t have to be perfect at everything. If you get swamped with projects, doesn’t it make sense to know where you can refer clients when things get overwhelming? Not all projects will fall under your scope of work, and that’s okay.
Take the time to get to know your power partners. Where do their strengths lie? Keep tabs on how they’re doing and how stacked their schedule becomes. Also, make sure your power partners know what you do. This helps in their referral process as well.
Most of all, when you refer a client, let the power partner know they’re coming. It would be a great idea to build a tracking system for referrals. I say this for two reasons: 1. You can ask the customer/client how the connection went and 2. You can find patterns of behavior and cycles of customer/client needs that can forge a direct relationship with a power partner.
What do I mean by that? What if you are a marketing/brand consultant and one of your power partners is a web developer who specializes in building WordPress websites? Let’s say 75% of your clientele require website overhauls and 5% need new ones created. You refer them, of course, to your web developer power partner, but less than 25% of them actually convert. You and your power partner put your heads together and come up with a referral discount. Or you create a package deal in which you contract your power partner to do the web-end of the service. There are many other options out there. You’d be surprised how often that tiny collaboration can make all the difference in a successful business transaction.

A relationship between you and your power partners can weather storms greater than you ever imagined. The support network you build today can last for generations and is a genuine path for being #BeAwesome at what you do!
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

#DevelopStrategy – Relationship Life Cycle

This month we covered the differences in both relationship marketing and lead generation. While both of these have a place in your marketing strategy, in this article I want to focus more on relationship marketing and what I like to call the Relationship Life Cycle.
As a refresher, relationship marketing is essentially fancy terminology for the practice of developing a long-term connection with your customers, clients, vendors and power partners. Instead of focusing on gathering a lead or closing a sale, the aim is to provide a bond with the people you work with. The long-term benefits of relationship marketing tend to be more referrals, client enthusiasm and the development of brand advocates.
The course of the relationship life cycle is closely tied to the ole marketing adage of Know, Like, Trust.  If the new way to market a company is backed by the idea that people do business with other people (instead of companies) then the know, like, trust concept is absolutely essential. Here is how the relationship life cycle would apply to your marketing strategy using social media:
Know
The first step in any relationship is getting to know the other person. You simply can’t make a connection with someone you’ve never met and know nothing about. Think of it like dating – once you start to know a potential suitor then your curiosity will lead you to finding out as much about them as possible.
Whether it be an introduction at a networking event, a discovery call, or a visit to your website – getting to the Know step involves getting to know each other. When it comes to social media, this appears in the form and following your various social media channels. People can also get to know you by hearing about you from others, meeting you at events, reading your online content, or viewing any media you’ve been featured in. Once someone starts to know you, and gets a sample of what you are about, then they are more likely to sign-up for your newsletters, like you on Facebook or follow you on YouTube.
Like
Well, now that you’ve gotten a chance to spend some time with the individual – you have to decide whether or not you like them. In our dating scenario, are they worth going out on a date or two with to see what develops? Do you like them enough to begin to participate in their life?
Those who are paying attention to what you are doing will either begin to like you or they won’t. However, once you hit the Like stage you will find that they begin to initiate some true social media engagement with you. They like your posts, comment in your group, or participate in your polls.  This phase of the relationship life cycle involves interaction so be sure to participate in return!
Trust
Now you’ve gone on many dates and have been seeing each other for a while. At this point, they are becoming a partner and you have developed trust in them. You like them so much, that you want your friends and family to like them too! At this point, you are sharing their content.
This is the end game for the relationship life cycle…you want all the people you do business with to know, like and trust you. The goal should be that they trust you so much that they freely, and happily, share your content and business with the other people in their circles.
When you compare the relationship life cycle to how we operate with our personal relationships, the success behind relationship marketing becomes much more apparent. Our clients become more than an invoice. If you want loyal clients that will regularly provide free marketing for you, this level of connection is the way to go. Just another tool to add to your marketing strategy toolbox because everyone here at The Social Media Advisorwants you to #BeAwesome at what you do!
~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#DevelopStrategy – Relationship Marketing vs. Lead Generation



Marketing strategies are not created equal. While everyone has a perspective on which is the most effective, two common ones that get lumped together are “relationship marketing” and “lead generation.” These two marketing strategies are not the same thing.

Relationship marketing involves the use of “direct response” campaigns that emphasize customer retention and satisfaction. This type of marketing strategy creates a bond with the customer through narrow market targeting, tailors offers to their customers, and usually demands a response that can be tracked by the marketing team. This typically requires an email address so that the company can contact the individual directly for exclusive offers, maintenance follow-ups, and unconverted leads. Relationship marketing is about the long-term value of a loyal customer and the connection that can be built beyond typical ads and generic sales promotions.

Pros:

  • Allows companies to tailor taste profits based on the customer’s preferences, activities, etc.
  • Focuses on customer satisfaction
  • Increased customer retention by enriching the purchasing experience
  • Brand loyalty becomes more commonplace
  • Referrals come from loyal customers


Cons:

  • Cost of acquisition is steep at the beginning in both time and money
  • Slow-moving marketing platform that requires patience as referrals build
  • Networking, not everyone’s forte, is a central piece in developing business relationships


Lead generation, however, focuses on the sales lead side through newsletter sign-ups, marketing referrals, events, etc. This is a key part of the purchase funnel method and is associated with pipeline marketing. It’s less personal than relationship marketing, but very effective in gaining new potential customers. Lead generation usually requires an opt-in of some type. Examples include landing pages, online surveys, and brand specific opportunities. Like relationship marketing, lead generation requires an email address to convert leads into customers.

Pros:

  • Build a list quickly
  • Ensures that your clients and customers want to be there (opt-in)
  • If combined with a sales funnel, this method can run itself via newsletter drip campaigns after the initial set up


Cons:

  • A relationship isn’t really built until they “opt-in” to something you offer
  • High turnover rate
  • If done poorly or in a sleazy manner, this can destroy your reputation (Don’t offer something you’re not willing to follow up on!)

Both relationship marketing and lead generation have their strengths and weaknesses, but the best marketing strategy involves a combination of the two. Ensure that you track the results for each style so that you can adjust your strategies as needed to ensure a long-term quality experience for both you and your customers.

The team here at The Social Media Advisor prides itself on developing their business through relationship marketing but also comprehends the value of lead generation and prospecting. A healthy balance of both can be extremely valuable for any small business. Want to find out more? Contact me to book a discovery call to find out how we can help you #BeAwesome with your marketing strategy. 



~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 


Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.



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