B.Human isn’t just a marketing agency – truthfully, I’d call it more of a creative agency, but tomato / tomahto. Anyway, it’s my experiment on testing what I’ve figured for some time now – the quality of your relationships will be the #1 factor in growing your business and life. There are times where I will fall into the trap of what all other marketing gurus tell you – that it comes down to numbers and generating leads. But the greatest results you have on anything won’t come from the many – it’ll come from the few.
Know. Like. Trust
Marketing and sales 101 will tell you that any sell is made based on three key things: know, like, and trust. It’s true, but I think that the idea of how most people go about getting people to know, like, and trust them is flawed.
Marketers try to grow an audience and get people to know their brands by creating “brand awareness” campaigns. This usually involves creating an ad where the only focus is generating reach – getting as many eyes on it as possible. There is usually no true call-to-action, only that their name has gotten in front of people. The flaw here is that they’re just throwing out whatever message they can to “see what resonates” with their audience.
“Here kid, want some candy?” We were all told to RUN from strangers offering us free things – so why do we so quickly run to people offering something free to us? Anyone who is trying to manipulate someone knows that the first thing you have to do to earn someone’s trust is to get them to like you. That’s why they offer something for free or package it in a way that seems like a gift…but then they want something in return. Sure unnamed software company, I’ll try your 14 day free trial where I have to give my credit card information anyway and I’ll be billed if I forget. 🙄
You can’t fake trust. But you can certainly abuse it. This is often done through false promises that can’t be met or saying the right things, but never following through. Everyone is guilty of it at some point in their lives – but the continual abuse of trust is why people stop growing. If you lose trust, you stop growing. Remember how Fairlife was a trusted dairy name until we found out how they treat their livestock? We found out their promise of ethical milk was not-so-ethical.
How to Grow Without Faking It
Whether you are a wedding photographer trying to book your next wedding by offering a free engagement session, or an ecommerce business running a buy-one-get-one special, your customers know you have an agenda – to take their money. At least, that’s how it is perceived. Everyone knows we’re in business to make money, but no one likes to part with their hard-earned dollar. If that’s the case, how do you grow? Simple – relationships and client experience. And you do this by adding value to your character.
Digging Deep Into Your Relationships
B.Human started because I was let go from my job a week before Thanksgiving because I told my boss I was feeling burnt out. (I specifically said I was glad the next week was Thanksgiving because I actually took the week off so I could rest from burn out, but I digress). It was at this moment that I had a choice – I could find yet another job, or I could bet on myself.
I’ll forever be grateful to my friends Savanna Groves, Joe Torres, Alex Medvick and Miles Witt Boyer. They’re the reason why I bet on myself – and of course my wife, Grace. Leading up to this catapulting moment, I have been involved with Miles Witt Boyer’s Facebook group for Photographers, the Photographic Collective Community. Each week, I’d share SEO tips and other marketing tidbits – enough to show my worth before the personal Case Studies came along. When it came down to it, I told them I was going to do this myself.
After building a relationship with them over the course of a year, they had my back. They referred people to me or even became a client of mine. And they continued to pour into me and I poured into their referrals. For any business, the same can be said for you.
It Starts With The Brand You Curate
In my four part series of curating a brand, I begin with telling others I believe you don’t own your brand. But you are responsible for how others speak of it.
If you want to be known for excellent customer service, then you need to understand what is it that will make you have excellent customer service? Does 24/7 support really mean customer service? Or does willingness to spend 4 hours solving a problem (and not making the customer do the work) while only open 8am – 5pm mean better service? I’ll tell you this – its far better to have 1 customer rave about your support than to have 20 tell others how they felt rushed or as an inconvenience…
Do you want to be known as a donut shop that isn’t a hangout spot but is great for getting in and out quickly? Then take out your tables and booths, and set up a line that leads in and out of the store easily.
We can get in our own heads for the brands we curate – sometimes you need help. Part of the B.Human brand is that we’re rebellious and bold – we’re not doing things the same as other agencies. We can help you define your brand, but we’re not a free consult. It’s $200 for us to interview you, but I promise you will come out the other side with an understanding of your brand. And we’ll package it in a brand guide for you too.
Before we meet, I want you to be able to actually take some action on items too – so here are a few examples to grow your relationships and your brand.
Ideas to Grow Relationships
Before going into any niche, it’s important to note that anyone can tap into their friends. Your friends are people who already know, like, and trust you, and they want to see you succeed. My friend Miles Witt Boyer has this amazing guide that can help you launch any product or service, or reignite what you already have. It’s the Varsity Protocol – it’s worth at least $500, but it’s available now for only $20. Go buy it. Run, don’t walk.
Marketing Ideas for Wedding Photographers
Slow on business? Don’t sit in silence – pour into your relationships. There are wedding planners who would die to have more photos of their work. Venues want more than photos of the couple – they want to highlight their venue. Tux rentals need their suits and tuxes on display during REAL events! The opportunity to build relationships is huge! Put down editing your website for the 100th time so that you feel like you are growing your business, and go rely on people.
Marketing Ideas for Personal Brands
Personal brands are my favorite because they are truly marketing themselves. My belief with SEO is that it shouldn’t be something to appease the algorithm gods – it should only be something to enhance the client experience. Personal brands, instead of writing about how coaching is important, write entire articles highlighting your students! Sure, these are case studies, but how much more meaningful is it if you show that the success is because of the work they put into it – not what you did to help?
Marketing Ideas for Realtors
Realtors – I know you love social media. It’s how you show off the homes you’ve sold or are for sell. You are also on Zillow listings. What if instead of sharing the homes that are for sell, you started showing the lives your previous clients have built in their homes? We know that the house at 17 Cherry Tree Lane was sold a year ago to a family with child number 2 on the way, but what if we were told the story of what their life looks like now in this home a year later? I’m sure they love the space they have now because of how you helped them find their home.
Lean On Your Relationships
In these last examples, the focus of each is to rely on building relationships. Are these measurable? Sure. But that’s now what this is about. This is simply about inserting the immeasurable – which is the way people feel about you and their situation. Your relationships will help you grow faster than any other marketing tactic will.