by helen on July 17, 2011

How to give stakeholders the people that matter to your business what they want

OK, so now we’re really getting into the nitty gritty of reputation management… we’ve done our research, we have our plan, we know where to find the people that matter to us, so this week we’re focusing on how to persuade them to do business with us.

How are we going to do that? We’re going to give them what they want.

How do we find out what they want?

Ahhh. So that’s why everyone says the most important characteristic of a successful entrepreneur is their ability to listen.

We need to listen to what people are talking about, what they like, what they don’t like, what issues they have, and don’t have… you get the picture.

How do we do that?

We ask. Our customers, at networking meetings, at the pub. And we use Google. (How did any of us ever find anything before Google? ;) )

Firstly, talk to your target audience as much as possible about what they want and how what you do satisfies their need.

Secondly, use Google. At a recent Yorkshire Mafia Freelancers and Consultants meeting business coach and “superwoman” (check out her Linkedin profile for all the amazing things Angela has done, does and is planning!) Angela Whitlock shared insights into how she had managed to “get noticed” using the 4Gs…

  • Google Alerts – we have already touched on how this is a great way to track mentions of your company, your industry, your competitors etc (Day 9)
  • Google Keywords – a fantastic way to find out what people are actually searching for and a great way to source keywords to use in all your content – for your website, blogs, emails, Tweets, online discussions and offline campaigns
  • Google Trends – information about searches on relevant topics to your business, where they are, and how popular they are
  • Used together, Keywords and Trends can help you identify the phrases that are currently popular – so you can develop content that will help drive traffic to your website.
  • Google Maps – according to a Daily Telegraph article in July 2011 Google Maps is the top app for UK mobile users. If you are a retailer or you have visitors to your office, you should register for your free listing NOW!

Angela described how she had reluctantly thrown away a professionally designed website and SEO campaign (worth around £8k) to start again from scratch using the above to help her find out what people were looking for, so she could tailor her offer herself. And it worked. Within days of launching her new WordPress website she was asked to appear in a TV programme, and now does a regular slot on a local radio station. She listened, gave her audience what they wanted, and was suitably rewarded with opportunities. A happy ending all round.

What have you got to lose? Give the 4Gs a go – you might be surprised by what you learn.

P.S. If you’re an avid tweeter, How to find your target audience on Twitter is a great post including tips on how to use Search, Lists, #hashtags and other Twitter tools to build an engaged community of the people who matter to your business.

Photo courtesy quinn.anya, Creative Commons

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