Episode 6 of the No Sugar Show is here and today we are talking cultivating lasting relationships with your audience. Give the episode a listen, or read the full article below!

These days, digital communication is embedded in every business there is. Eons ago, we differentiated between things like “print marketing” and “digital marketing,” today we just call it “marketing.”

With more and more businesses putting stock into how they show up online, you can bet your bottom dollar that competition is on the rise. 

The solution isn’t to just throw more money at your advertising and hope you’re the highest bidder (although you certainly could try). 

The solution is to get more creative in how you spend your advertising dollars. And for that matter, your time and energy on all digital platforms. 

Kindness in marketing is a very real movement. One that starts with arguably the most important part of your marketing strategy. 

Cultivation.

Cultivate with Care

The scramble for leads, personal information, and connections is very real. 

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There’s nothing wrong with this at all. If you have a product or service that can help someone, you sure as hell need to get that message out to as many people as possible. 

It’s what happens next that is often a missed opportunity.

Before we dive into the digital realm, let’s talk about a real-life human interaction, shall we?

Let’s say you have an amazing product, service, gift, or talent that you know can help small business owners scale their business. 

Your friend Joffery tells you that you should really connect with his friend Ramsay because he is currently looking to scale his business. 

You being the sweet Sansa type say, “Well, of course! I’d be pleased as punch to help him out. Why don’t you give me his email address and I’ll send him over a few pointers.”

You send ol’ Ramsay an email with a few pointers. Then you go ahead and send him another email that’s all about buying your product or service, and you’re just plain old shocked when he doesn’t reply. 

WTF RAMSAY

But really, he’s thinking, WTF SANSA. 

In real life, it doesn’t work like that.

You wouldn’t simply dish out a few suggestions then ask someone for money to buy something from you. 

What would you do?

A more likely scenario would be that you follow up with Ramsay. You ask him if the information was helpful. You show him that you’re genuinely interested in his problem and the specifics of his situation. You try honestly to see his point of view. You actively listen and make him feel important. 

After several conversions, the idea of working together comes up naturally. And, guess who’s idea it was… Ramsay’s. 

After getting to know him and cultivating a relationship with him, the sale comes with ease. You’ve taken the time to understand him and he’s developed a desire to work with you because of your sheer brilliance. 

Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that fucking human?

Applying In-Person to Digital

Alright, let’s enter back into the digital realm. 🔮

In this scenario, Joffrey is the internet and interest-based targeting, so we can just rule him out (how fitting).

In internet world, you use interests (Joffrey) to reach your audience (Ramsay). You tell him you can help, he opts in, and you send him a freebie. Maybe you send him a few emails, but shortly after he’s met you, you start asking him to purchase.

Hey, what gives?

If this isn’t how you’d do this in real life, why would you do it this way in internet life?

This is where the art and science of cultivation come in, and today, it’s more important than ever.

Instead of going straight for the sale, consider the customer voyage (sounds cooler than journey right?). 

Once someone has opted into your list, in most cases, they need a bit of time before they convert.

How are you cultivating that conversion currently?

This is the whole know, like, trust phenomenon. At this stage in the game, they know you, but they may not even know if they like you or trust you. 😒

Here is your golden opportunity. Whether you’re running ads or connecting with your audience via email or organic social media, this is the point where you want to pinpoint your messaging to be as strategic and laser-focused as possible.

Your social strategy (both paid and organic) should work to cultivate your prospects as they enter into your sphere. 

To do that, connect your messaging to your prospect in a way they can understand, align, and fluidly flow through the thoughtfully-architected voyage you’ve developed for them. 

Types of Messages for Cultivation

When creating a social strategy, I use the following message types for the majority of my clients.

  • Community Building
  • Big Picture
  • Lifestyle
  • Authority Building 
  • Training, Teaching, Responding
  • Problem Solving
  • PR & Street Cred
  • Testimonials, Reviews, Case Studies
  • Question / Engagement / Interest 
  • Micro Ask 
  • Solution Showcase

Each piece of the puzzle serves a different purpose for your new prospect. 

  • Community Building – content that gets people saying “yes, this is me. I’m all about this life”
  • Big Picture – content that showcases the whole damn picture
  • Lifestyle – behind the scenes of the dream, vulnerability is key
  • Authority Building – boss content
  • Training, Teaching, Responding – how tos, tutorials, answer FAQs
  • Problem Solving – shed light on a common problem and exactly how you can help
  • PR & Street Cred – you on the cover of Vogue 
  • Testimonials, Reviews, Case Studies – all your raving fans and killer results
  • Question / Engagement / Interest – algorithm busters and conversation starters
  • Micro Ask – action deployment!
  • Solution Showcase – highlights any one of your conversion opportunities

Cultivate with Ease

Now that you have an understanding of the TYPE of content to create, it’s time to put it together with ease. 

You might be feeling like, girl you’re trippin’ that’s a whole lotta content to come up with. 

But, you don’t have to come up with it overnight and you most certainly shouldn’t be reinventing your wheel. 

If you look at your emails, past social posts, website, any marketing collateral you already have, chances are you’ve already created a big fatty slab of this content. 

For a category like the big picture, take the time to write out your whole genius idea and how you’re making it happen.

Then take that beautiful ball of creative, and repurpose it into micro-content. For example, that one piece of heart-felt writing could then become an email series (or part of an existing series), it could become 10 social posts, 20 million graphics, a blog or 5, a podcast, a video, a live stream. All this from one document… say whatttttt. 

Pro tip: use Google Sheets and Docs and you know, folders, to keep yourself organized. 

Once you’ve started creating and you’re feeling pretty dang proud of yourself, create a simple content calendar. 

I use a Google Sheet for this, but you can use whatever floats your boat. Pick a message type, pick the day you’re going to use it, then look back at your pool of content to determine what fits best there. 

The key here is to remember that you’re telling a story. 

It might feel repetitive to give your big-picture idea a different spin three times in a month, but remember, not everyone is seeing every single post you create. To be seen, heard, understood, and grow your tribe, you need to get comfortable with the idea that sometimes, you’re going to feel like a broken record.

You’ve got your calendar, you’ve got your content, my friend, you’re a social sorceress. 

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