Evangelists, by definition, are thought leaders who pave the way with their writing and their way of thinking. This not only applies to religious situations. It can also apply to business in a very profound manner.
How evangelists affect your business
Evangelists for your business are wonderful clients. Evangelists are enthusiastic, loyal and more than happy to recommend you and your business to other people. They are excellent communicators. Evangelists are generally very forgiving if you make a mistake or something just doesn’t go right. Evangelists will generally assume that whatever happened was an honest mistake. They generally assume that you are putting their needs and wants ahead of your own. In fact, it behooves you to do everything in your power to cultivate relationships with evangelists. If you and your business are connected to several evangelists, they will help you to make tremendous professional strides. There are several different ways that you can gather a pool of evangelists. The following are some that will probably prove to be very effective:
Insights about your clients
It is critical that you not only get to know and understand your clients but that you start to develop insights about them and really understand what motivates them. A great way to develop insights about your clients is by interviewing them as well as your prospective clients. You may even want to consider interviewing your competition, if they are willing to speak with you. In your interviews, you will want to determine what they want, how they think (and what they think) and how much they will get out of your products and/or services. This is an extremely worthwhile exercise because it will become an important part of your marketing strategy. There is no better way to figure out what your clients and prospective clients want and need than to ask them directly. If you have done your research, you will never be surprised by your customers’ needs. If you know them well enough, you will never be surprised by any of their reactions.
The emotional connection
Once you have been able to learn the insights about your clients and prospective clients, you take those insights and use them to develop the marketing language that you will use to reach out to them. You need to make your clients and prospects understand that your main purpose is to make things better for them in some way (or in many ways) and to solve their problems. It is critical that the language of your social media marketing strategy reflects those ideas. You should explain your strategy clearly and succinctly and you need to convince your clients and prospects of why you and your business are the best choice for them.
The right platforms
Once you have developed language that is as effective as possible, you must make sure that you use the most effective platforms for your messaging. The following is important information that you shouldn’t do without:
- Names, addresses, Email addresses and phone numbers of your clients and prospects.
- A list of editors, bloggers, etc.
- A list of the clients of your competition. This will absolutely prove to be invaluable.
- The appropriate social media channels.
- The look and feel of your offering. If your offerings are visually appealing to your clients and prospects, they will pay a great deal of attention to you.
If you let up on your hard work when it comes to promoting your offerings and interacting with your clients and prospects, you will basically be shooting yourself in the foot. Surrounding your business with evangelists is not nearly as difficult as you might think. You do not exist in a vacuum. You need other people to help you to succeed. By fortifying your relationships with clients and prospects, you will build credibility and trustworthiness, which will drive your evangelists to really want to stand behind what you are doing. It is also very important that you and your evangelists completely trust each other and move forward with a strong and unending foundation.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.