Increase your VAT - Value, Attention and Trust.
These three steps are what I'm using for both my online and offline networking strategies.
It's all about relationships. Genuine, strong and built on true intentions.
So, what do I mean by this?
Well, it's pretty straight forward. With a clearly defined plan you are more likely to achieve success.
This model aims to show which specific areas to focus on, and how this can give you the results you are searching for.
This is first step for the simple reason that if you don't give value, people won't buy from you. Simple as that.
If you don't want to differentiate what you do based on price, then you really need to work on your value proposition.
The best way to charge more, earn more and gain customers who truly appreciate what you do is to give amazing value for every penny that they spend.
I'm always trying to increase the value that I provide to my customers.
At the moment I'm working on sharpening my animation skills so I can offer animated logo stings as part of my branding packages.
This will allow people to have a short video with their logo, tagline and key messages to put out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or wherever else they choose.
I observed where marketing is heading, and what seems to be gaining traction, and tried to work out how I can leverage this in MY business.
This extra 'value' that I'm giving allows me to offer a premium service to my customers.
Short, snappy and unique 'stings' are becoming more and more prominent on channels like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat... So I want to get in on this action.
And the reason for this brings me onto Step 2...
We need to get eyes on what we do, so we need to generate attention.
THIS is the biggest marketing challenge of our age.
In a world of noise, spam and distractions, we need to work out how to get people to notice us.
My strategy for this is simple... And it's funny how I've seen my thinking polarise on this topic.
When I started Super Logo Boy (v1) in the summer of 2015, I wanted to build a tribe, a community or whatever you want to call it. I wanted loads of followers who I could engage with and potentially collaborate with on cool and interesting projects.
And that's what I did... But maybe not to the scale I initially hoped.
My approach now is to be far more patient. I'm just building one relationship at a time. Having thousands of followers is nice, and I hope it will come, but I think it's vital to not get ahead of yourself and think beyond your current community, no matter how small it is.
I'd much rather have a small engaged community, rather than a huge but disinterested following. Wouldn't you?
I'm not saying they're mutually exclusive, you just need to take a step back and think of the long game.
I'm not here to be a flash in the pan or an overnight success.
That's really why I am focussing heavily on the live video arena at the moment.
I collaborate on a weekly show on Blab and am really working hard to be visible on Snapchat... I may be wrong, but it just feels like these are the sensible areas to be investing in.
Will they drive huge swarms of traffic to my website? Probably not.
But what I think they will do, is build strong and genuine human relationships with people who I may be able to help, and who may be able to help me.
So an 'offline networking' approach to social media is really where it's at for me at the moment.
And that brings me nicely onto Step 3...
This is everything.
And I mean EVERYTHING.
If people are going to buy what you offer, then you need to be accountable.
Your customers need to know that you CAN and WILL do what you say you will.
So showing a portal into your world through Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope or any other channel can be an enormously powerful way to show the human behind your company.
That's when you create a powerful brand that people will love to buy into.
Increase your visibility. Give value. Be nice and helpful... And demonstrate your expertise.
Be there to answer questions and share your skills and knowledge with your community.
It takes time and effort, but that's the bare minimum you should be willing to put in, if you want complete strangers to consider giving you their hard earned money.
This is my strategy, for the moment at least. Follow these steps, observe the results, adjust accordingly, then rinse and repeat.
Think long game. And think about what your audience may want to see from you, NOT what you want to put out.
If you're taking up their time and attention, you're going to have to make it worth their while.