To state the obvious, 2009 was a year of rapid change online.
Google alone was making an average of 1.5 changes per day to how its index ranks web pages and we saw social media burst onto the main stream scene with celebrities, businesses and people of all sortsÂ clamor for a spot on facebook, Twitter and other networks. And that was just the obvious stuff, at least for an Internet marketer
I could go on an on about what took place in 2009 and my predictions for 2010 but what I want to speak with you about right now is how I dropped the ball in 2009 in a big way.
Don’t be. We learn and grow by making mistakes so take a page from my play book this year and don’t make this mistake as your business grows in 2010.
What I did WRONG in 2009:
Hands down the biggest mistake I made in 2009 was not communicating enough with my customers.
With all of the communications methods available to me: cell phones, SMS, email, Twitter, Facebook, etc etc I really dropped the ball on this one.
In retrospect I focused too much on the day-to-day work in front of me and learning new technologies (and some old ones like copywriting) rather than investing quality time getting to know my customers better, managing their expectations and adding value to their lives.
My business grew in 2009 which was a good thing. However, the trick is to grow and be able to take even better care of the people who you are in business to serve in the first place.
Critical lesson: sometimes you can get results for people but by not clearly communicating the results (AKA the value you are creating for them) and insuring they know what you’ve done, you can still loose an account, a customer, and a relationship.
Your current customers are worth far more than any future prospects you might encounter. More than that, if you offer the level of service that I do, one to one in most cases, you’ve got a personal relationship on the line.
- Communicate early, communicate often
- Stay in touch via whatever means your customers find acceptable. This includes email, SMS, by phone, by video, by snail mail, social media and any other ways you can think of
- On an ongoing basis, find or create relevant ideas, news, and other information to send to your customers but only if it’s something you truly think will add value to their lives
- Continue to get to know your customers by reading their emails, listening to their questions and learning about their businesses, their customers and their industries. Find out what’s important to them and then find a way to help them achieve more, be more, have more and do more of whatever that is.
- 1 to one email systems like Gmail
- 1 to many email marketing systems (that also have social media integrations) like Vertical Response, Mail Chimp or ExactTarget
- Social Media Tools like Twitter, Facebook, linkedin and Yelp
- Tip: use Ping.fm to update all of you social networks at once
- Video (People can subscribe to your Youtube channel for example)
- Snail Mail (Yep, I just said that)
- Cell Phones (SMS, mobile websites, mobile advertising etc)
If you are providing outstanding value, and are sending information that will truly help them succeed, then you’ll be heard, you’ll build the relationship, and you’ll continue to build your business.