Engage Your Audience: Business Ideas

Interact, educate, build trust
Another way to categorise a successful business is it’s category.

A business is successful if:
a.  it is unique and first in its category
b.  it is the best one in a given category

It is incredibly hard to be an innovator and build a magnificent product and service that is the first of its kind, and there is no competitor out there that does that. Most of us excel in a business that exists, or build a product with a lot of competitors in the category – and we try to make it better, one way or the other.

Beating massive competitors with solid marketing budgets and armies of developers is close to impossible. Even smaller brands in our niche have years of experience and a decent portfolio, which makes it hard to compete with.

What you can do?

Communicate.
Building a bridge between you and your potential and existing customers is a must. Communicate with them. Get some feedback. Send polls and research studies that would make you improve your product.

Provide different contact options – phone and email, a contact form on your website. Hang out at different offline events and meet your clients. Interact with them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. The better you know your audience, the more obvious would it be for you what’s the problem that you are solving and what is the best way to make it work better and than the other players in the market.

Educate.
Bringing customers on board could be challenging if you are new to a given niche. In order to build your authority, you need to build a portfolio by educating.

Content marketing is a great way to prove expertise. Prepare a content section on your website as we discussed in chapters 4 and 5 of this email series. Organise a free webinar sharing your knowledge and answering questions. Help out people for free in the forums, at meetups or other gatherings in your field.

The more helpful you are, the more influential you will be and people will trust you more. Write a book or create a podcast, prepare free resources for your customers and they will like you. Find out what are the biggest problems in your field and answer them – and they will love you!

Build a Community.
Once you have some followers, you can build a community. Create a forum or a small social network where people can hang out. Create a private network of your best customers and provide them with some free benefits. Organise internal meetings, webinars or workshops for your loyal clients, users and followers.

Whatever the medium is, you can build a loyal community that would be your backup: supporting and advocating in favor of your business on different occasions. This referral marketing is the best one, since those people will not be directly affiliated with the business.

Media Exposure
Getting some media exposure helps. Find out what are the best channels to show off your services or products in your industry. Contact bloggers, podcasters, TV shows or radio channels that focus on your niche. Offer them to promote some of your free resources – their audience would be thrilled to get some free advice or resources, and you will gain new followers.

Working together with your customers and visitors is important – the more you know about them, the better product or service you will provide. It’s possible that some of those common problems could turn up into a new idea for a new product.

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