Sounds opposite of what you may think, but moving from global to local could be your next big move.
My first client lives 1,800 miles away from me. By the time I opened up my online social media marketing and advertising academy I had clients in Malaysia, Dubai, Canada, and all over the United States. Three I had met in person, but 17 were strangers from the digital space. They all clicked the same PayPal button though. Now I am taking my inbound marketing experience from the trenches of digital marketing from global to local, where it is needed most.
I have met nearly all my clients on social media.
They came from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest. Over time I developed relationships with them through Facebook groups and caught their attention again and again with Facebook advertising, even when they weren’t logged into Facebook. Some of them used smartphone apps, saw my ads, and clicked through to my website at alarming rates!
My journey is not as unusual as you may think. There are thousands of people getting to know each other online first and meeting in person later, if at all, at many of the global conferences on digital marketing.
Sometimes it feels as though my online life is in a parallel dimension.
After jumping ship from my 25 year career as an actuarial statistician who spun stories out of statistics for executives of Fortune 100 and 500 companies, I had one local connection at Dollar General. My clients had been all over the US, so I was used to remote communication by email and phone. The day-to-day use of mobile devices and my computer were not that foreign to me.
Meeting people locally sounded like a good idea, especially since I wanted to take my actuarial knowledge and apply it to social media for corporations. Individual proprietors coaching their clients from their living rooms are easy to reach online, but convincing a corporation to work with me while petting my cat and blending a protein shake isn’t that simple. I needed face-to-face.
I needed local corporations to know me personally.
I reached out to my banking partner, Nancy Boring of Pinnacle Financial Partners in Nashville, TN. Nancy has been an excellent account representative for our family businesses for well over a decade. Her attention to customer service, no matter how inane my requests would be, were always personal, even when she handed off the task to someone else in the bank to handle.
Let’s just say that when you are in Italy traveling, and your mother who likes to buy anything and everything ‘As Seen on TV’ calls the bank to get a new debit card issued, so she can sign up for a free credit report that actually costs $150 per month if you don’t click all the right buttons, and your banking partner calls you to let you know, that’s customer service.
Back to the meeting with Nancy. We had lunch, and I filled her in on the things that her LinkedIn account could be doing for her and her clients. It was clear to me from the start that this was an untapped opportunity, as most people use LinkedIn as place to park their resume.
Taking by business from global to local.
A year later, when Nancy reached out to me to come to the bank for a mastermind book club meeting, I jumped at the chance to get to know some local businesses. I want to help one established business at a time locally, like I did online with individual proprietors, until I am equipped to scale my training to large corporations. Miraculously, it is already happening.
Enter book club mastermind on Michael Gerber’s The E Myth Revisited.
For 6 weeks, I got to know the concerns, struggles, and operating procedures of a dozen or more local businesses.
The fundamentals of marketing were playing out in front of my eyes:
- Research struggles that you can solve,
- Identify businesses with those struggles,
- Craft your marketing and sales copy to speak their language,
- Find a common interest to highlight,
- Offer valuable information that catches their attention specifically,
- Develop a relationship,
- Nurture it,
- Then ask for the sale.
Most of the things I do online were done for me at these mastermind meetings, and now the bank is asking me to come back and do a mini-workshop for more of their clients on what they can do with social media.
Suddenly I am thrust in front of an audience of businesses, many of which I already have marketing plans developed in my mind.
Don’t blow the opportunity by moving too fast.
Even though I am going to be in front of these businesses to offer solutions to finding their ideal clients more easily with digital efforts, I still have to develop these relationships further with small bits of information that make them want more. Just because I’m in front of them does not mean that I get to move faster.
Taking the step from global to local can feel like a snail’s pace. Digitally, everything seems to move faster because of the thousands of people that can be reached at once, but locally, you are dealing with businesses that would likely spend more money with you than your online clients, so slow down. They aren’t used to this fast-paced digital life.
I’ve already blown it a couple of times because I was accustomed to moving much more rapidly with clients. My discovery calls with potential clients I have met online turn into 4-figure sales within 20 minutes. Play it at the right pace, and you’ll end up with local clients for life. My intention is to take them from local to global if that is what they want. At least their marketing efforts will be much easier, even if all their clients are local. Who doesn’t want that?
Sally Hendrick, public speaker and founder of Social Media Traffic School, specializes in target market research, marketing funnels, digital courses, and Facebook advertising strategies. To have her speak at your local event, message her here.