We are talking about connection marketing of course…
A connection marketing framework. There are three pillars. This is the first. I call it the ‘Story & Contribution’.
These are very important things, very simple things that you can start implementing into your marketing right now and start seeing great results.
Without further ado let’s get into it.
Why would you want to incorporate this stuff in your marketing? Well, I believe people buy stories and ideals, not just products or services. People buy your vision. They buy from people they know, like, and trust. People buy from people; NOT companies.
How do you get them to know, like, and trust you? You incorporate your story and contribution. Pillar number one.
You can’t connect with others based on your price point. This is what traditional marketing used to do. Traditional marketing, as we said, worked for the past 150 years. It no longer works. In connection marketing you can’t expect to connect with people based on price point.
If you’re looking at this and you’re not sure if you want to put story and contribution to work for you, here’s a great way to figure out if it can work. If you believe in the human connection, you believe in people helping people, then this is great and you should probably take advantage of the story and contribution. If you can’t stand the get rich quick mentality. If you can’t stand seeing really shotty products being hyped, and I know you’ve seen commercials, I know you’ve seen ads, I know you’ve seen products that are really really bad but just hyped to the tits!
If you can’t stand that kind of stuff, stick around, this is for you.
There are six major steps to pillar one, which is the story and contribution. We’re gonna go through all six right now. Even if you were to just implement step one or step two or just one of them, you’ll already be ahead. Implement all six and you’re golden, but start.
Step one is what I call the ‘why’. You want to look at past experiences that made you want to be in your specific industry, in your specific market, and you want to look at WHY you created certain products or certain services. If you’re in the financial services industry, why did you get into the financial services industry? If you are a pastry chef and you opened up your own bakery, why did you get into that market, and why do you create cookies and strudels and muffins? What made you want to do that?
Sometimes it could be what you heard your parents say when you were very young. It could have been something that you learned at school. It could have been something you heard on TV or on the radio that really made you decide: “I know that this is what I really want to do” and “this is why, and this is what I want to create.” So find that stuff out.
I’ll give you a very quick example of myself. I remember being young, like six or so, and I saw an ad on TV and I brought it up to my dad, and I said: “Dad did you know that there’s a company out there that’s gonna do this and this for people?” I don’t remember exactly what the ad was, but I do remember his response. It was something along the lines of: “yeah but look at the fine print”, and that’s when I realized that every company would advertise one thing but they wouldn’t fully make good on their word. It’s like there was always a fine print or a hidden detail or something.
Then growing up, I remember thinking to myself, “well why wouldn’t a company just be straight up and transparent and upfront rather than having people look at what they offer, then read the details of the fine print, and then turn sour about the company”.
It didn’t make sense to me. I think that companies are owned by people, not corporations, as I’ve said before, and I think that – and this is key – I think that the relationship that a company should have with a consumer should be the same type of relationship you would have with your neighbor. So: very frank, very honest, very non-pushy, non-deceitful. That’s what I think the relationship between a business and a possible customer ought to be.
Figure out your why. Why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why you’re offering what you’re offering. Write it down. I firmly believe that there’s something magical about writing stuff down. It does something to your brain and it just works better. Write that down. That’s step one.
Step number two is what I call the ”Goals & Accomplishments”. This is what you hope to achieve. This is the big picture or your ‘legacy’ – where you want to take your business 20 years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years now. Anytime I have goals and accomplishments or anything like that, I like to use the timeline approach. I’m a very visual guy. I like lists. I like putting stuff down and check marks.
The timeline approach goes like this. “Here’s where I am now. Here’s where I want to be someday”. Again, it could be 20 years from now, 50 years, 100 years, 200 years from now if you want. “Here are the goals that I would need to accomplish to get to my someday goal”. I’m using three here, you could have five, you could have ten, you could have two. I have a monthly goal. I have a yearly goal. I have a five year goal. If I hit those goals, those milestone goals, I will get to my someday goal.
Very quick example: Here’s my monthly goal. I want one new client, and I want to hit so much dollars worth of business. If I do that, my yearly goal is: I want steady and exponential growth. I want to have a certain number of clients by the end of the year. Here’s my five year goal: I want massive brand recognition. I want 51% of the market share, and I want to create a major buzz in the industry. If I do all those things, I’m gonna hit my someday goal, which is to see the entire marketing industry use more of a connection type of approach. I want to be considered a pioneer of connection marketing. Traditional marketing on the way out, connection marketing in. So if I hit my monthly goal, if I hit my yearly goal, if I hit my five year goal, boom, I’ll hit my someday goal.
Step three is similar yet different. This is called the ‘Refined Goals’. These are the practical steps, the tangible things that you need to do in order to hit your goals and accomplishments.
Again, we’re gonna use the timeline approach for this example. Before I was looking at my ‘now’ to ‘monthly’ goal, now we’re talking about the practical steps that you have to take. If I’m here now and I want to hit my monthly goal, I need to do these three things, right? So thing number one that I need to do, tangible. I got to start with goodwill, so I’m gonna offer my best stuff for free in a very transparent and honest way. Why would I give my best away for free?
Some people don’t want to learn how to do something. Some people just want to have it done for them. They don’t want to learn how to fish, they just want the fish, so by giving away my stuff for free, some people will just say, “Well can you do it FOR me?” That’s where I’ll succeed financially. Another thing I need to do if I want to hit my goal, is that I need to incorporate contribution as a genuine form of giving back. I’ve always naturally wanted to start charities and foundations to help people, but I’ve never had much success. Now if I take a portion of my profits and I give them away, everybody wins. Third thing is, I want to build a community of like-minded people. A place where people who believe in connection marketing the same way I do can kinda huddle together and discuss this stuff. Multiple voices are stronger than one obviously.
Step four – let’s talk about the ‘Values’. Values are what drives our interactions. Compatible values will create bonds with people. In order for me to connect with you (if we share the same values), it will be that much easier. As we said earlier, people build relationships with people they like, know, and trust, but the important key I want to point out here is that you have to be genuine. You can’t just talk about a value that you don’t own because you think that’s what your prospect wants to hear.
Don’t be afraid of using your own values. As different as you are, by that same token, we’re all kinda similar in some ways, and there are more people out there than you may think that will share those same values, so don’t be afraid to be yourself.
Again, let’s use an example. This is just for me. So these are my three values. Integrity is number one. I’m super honest. I’m a straight shooter. I always have been. If I can help you, I will. If I can’t, I’ll let you know and I’ll point you in the direction to somebody who can help you. Number two is I value passion; 100%. In the grand scheme of things life is really short. Why would we bother doing things that we don’t like. I, personally, I feel compelled to be unique and creative and different, and if you’re doing business with me you can rest assured that because this is a passion of mine I’ll move heaven and earth if I have to. Another very strong value of mine is connection. Obviously we’re all human, we’re all made up of the same stuff. Most of us, we want and we crave similar things, so if I can help a person achieve an accomplishment, it not only makes them feel good, but it really brings me a sense of purpose and accomplishment. That’s a big one. In order for me to connect, I want to build bridges with people, and my values are how I can do that. You can do the same.
Step five is what I call the ‘Mantra’. This is the underlying belief of the director of the company. Whoever the director of the company is, whether it’s the business owner themselves, whether it’s a group or a committee or a council or something like that. Everyone who directs the company, who takes decisions for the company, has to have the same underlying belief. A mantra is different than a mission statement. A mission statement is usually long and drawn out and it’s very ambiguous and it’s very impersonal. A mantra is short, five words or less usually, and you can use it as a slogan if you want.
Again, we’ll use me as an example here. The mantra for what I’m doing – for everything that I’ll be doing, every product, every decision – the mantra is “bringing back the humanity”. That’s what I want to do. That’s what connection marketing will allow me to do. Connection marketing will be the vehicle with which I can bring out my mantra, “bringing back the humanity”.
Step six, obviously, in the pillar of story and contribution, is ‘Contribution’. I believe that you need to give to receive. If you want to receive help, you’ve got to give help. If you want to receive love, you’ve got to give love and so on. I believe in karma. For contribution, it doesn’t have to be money. It could be time, volunteer, that kind of stuff, but I believe that it’s very important to give back. If you can’t think of a contribution for you, think of a worthy cause, offer to share some of your profits, as I was saying. You can think of friends and family.
Unfortunately, we probably all have a friend or a family that has gone through some sort of an illness or a tough time, so you can think of a charitable cause that way. If you haven’t had friends or family go through anything, God bless you, then look to your values. What are your values? Look at a charitable organization that has those same values, you can go there.
Very quickly, I’m just gonna recap the six steps to the ‘Story and Contribution’ pillar. First, the ‘Why’. Why are you in this industry? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Feel free, share that with people. People buy stories. They resonate with that stuff.
Then, come up with your ‘Goals and Accomplishments’. I’m sure you have them. Rather than have them ringing around in your head though, as I was saying, there’s something about writing that stuff down that just makes it real. This is your legacy, what you want to leave behind.
The ‘Refined Goals’ are the actionable steps, the tangible things that you need to do to hit your goals and accomplishments.
The ‘Values’ are how you build bridges with people. You’ll see that people are attracted to others who have the same values. If I show integrity and you’re an integral person, chances are that we’ll connect that way.
The ‘Mantra’ is really that underlying belief that will control every decision you make, every product you build, every ad campaign, all of that stuff. The mantra is the underlying belief, the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Then finally is the ‘Contribution’. Give to receive. The same parts of the brain light up whether you receive or whether you give. It can’t tell the difference. You can’t control what you receive, but you can definitely control what you give. Give makes you feel as good as receiving. Incorporate it into your profits.
The more unique you are, the better. If you want to stand out, you gotta stand up.
People won’t be talking about you if you’re doing what everyone else is doing. Is everyone else doing this ‘Story and Contribution’ stuff? I don’t think so. If you incorporate it, the more unique you’ll be and the more chances you have of being talked about.