You might have heard it referred to as Inbound Marketing. Maybe you know it as Content Marketing. We call it Relationship Marketing because if there’s one thing everyone in this space would agree with it’s this: Success depends on the relationships you build with your audience.
Actually, there’s one more thing anyone in the trenches of creating and building audiences would agree with… it is an amazingly difficult world to navigate! You need email list building, landing pages, a content platform, an ecommerce platform, email marketing, autoresponders, video hosting, podcast hosting, image hosting, image editing, website hosting, website backups… etc., etc., etc.
And that’s all before creating the first tiny bit of content, which is by far the most important part of the work!
The number of systems you need and the number of providers ready to help you with those systems seems daunting. Add to that the endless levels of free plans, tiered pay plans, pay-a-year-in-advance discounts, and abundance of referrals based purely on getting a commission and things just get downright impossible to figure out.
If you’re struggling with all of that right now, this post is going to help you out. We’re going to simplify the discussion. We’ll boil it down. Cut to the chase. Sound good?
Important Fact #1 – Content Matters Most
The road to good relationship marketing is littered with the burnt out wrecks of thousands upon thousands of “incomplete” marketing efforts. Well-intentioned business owners and executives knew what they needed to do because the future has been clear for awhile now. They started out on the journey and spent thousands of dollars getting everything just right and ready only to fizzle out completely when they found out that they needed to create a whole lot of content.
The need for great content can’t be avoided. It’s the most fixed requirement of all in this new world order of attention capital. If you don’t know how to create content you have to learn or you have to hire someone. If you hire someone, which is expensive, they had better be good or your money is wasted.
That being the case, why is that so many businesses focus so heavily on the platform first? They spend massively in time and money to get the platform right and barely get past that point. You see these beautiful websites and click to the blog to see that the last post was in 2012; you click to the Facebook page to see they have 340 followers and haven’t done an update in a year.
Don’t go down that road.
Start with content creation as your primary goal. Yes you need a place to put it so you’ll need a simple blog to start with. That and some social media accounts will get the ball rolling.
Important Fact #2 – “Expensive Equals Good” is NOT a Reliable Mindset for Marketing Tools
Expensive tools might be good. But free tools might be better. Free stuff might be garbage, but then again expensive stuff sometimes is too. In the world of marketing tools such as Content Management Systems, Email Platforms, and Marketing Automation Tools, you really just can’t judge based on price. Too many creators of these products have played the odds that people will think “if they charge that much, it must be good”. Don’t think that.
A huge part of the service business of BrightHacks is built upon totally free software and we compete directly with software that the platform alone can cost $1000.00 or more per month! The money we don’t spend on software goes into, you guessed it, content creation!
That’s not to say that some of the paid platforms out there aren’t a good deal. The Rainmaker Platform is a great deal at less than $150.00 per month. If you are skilled at creating content but not so technically inclined (or just don’t have time for tech), that’s where I’d go for sure.
But Rainmaker is based on WordPress and WordPress is both free and infinitely extensible. We build almost everything we do on WordPress.
Important Fact #3 – Consistency Is Golden
We recently were in the Q&A portion of a Five Circles of Relationship Marketing live training when an attendee asked “How frequently should I blog?”. First, lets rephrase the question… “How frequently should I speak to my audience?” because blogging is just one of the ways you reach out to your audience.
The answer was that it matters much more that you’re consistent than how frequently you show up. Obviously the more frequently you’re present the more recognizable your brand is going to be, but five emails in one week then nothing for two months is a recipe for failure. People will unsubscribe. They will stop coming to your blog. They will check out of the “unpredictable relationship”.
It’s pretty much just like real life! So be consistent. Try to be present on a regular basis, daily on social media and a few times a week with blog posts which might include other media such as video, podcasts, etc. But be consistent!
Important Fact #4 – You Miss 100% of The Shots You Don’t Take
Whatever overall selection of tools and tricks you decide to start with… just make sure you start! Don’t let the planning and the thinking and the idea collecting be as far as you get. Just get started. Relationship Marketing is the inescapable future of your business so start on the journey today and make adjustments as you go.
Cutting to The Chase
At the beginning of this post we promised to cut to the chase. Maybe you feel like we’ve done that. But if not… if you’re reading this and thinking “so what do I do right now?”… here are two action plans that will work. Pick one!
Action Plan A
Call BrightHacks and we’ll set you up right. We’ll get your blog going; we’ll set-up your email collection, sending, and drip campaigns; we’ll design a content strategy; and we’ll start creating content for you NOW! We’re full-service hands-on… not software you have to read fifty hours of documentation on to use. Our fees start at $1000.00 per month including everything.
Action Plan B
For as low as $125.00 per month The Rainmaker Platform includes everything you need to be able to professionally start building relationships with your audience today! It’s a great deal compared to the cost of all the components bought separately.
To get a reliable roadmap of the marketing journey ahead of you, grab a copy of The Five Circles of Relationship Marketing. (coming soon)