|Levi Strauss Volunteer Day|
Personal contact is immeasurably better than any form of virtual contact. Personal is face-to-face, not over the phone—which is still enormously better than email, mailer, or social media. Personal contact is hard, that’s why it’s effective. Fewer people are doing it, which is one of the reasons its more productive. More importantly, big ticket items like video—which start as intangibles—require a lot of trust. You may be able to build that through your website, but only if they get there. By email it’s virtually impossible.
So how do you make personal contacts? Visit your local chamber of commerce. Participate in Meet-ups. Go to conferences if your niche has them. Cold visit rather than cold-call businesses. If it sounds terrifying it’s because it is. No pain no gain. Keep track of who you contact and the outcome; spreadsheets are great for this.
My second rule of marketing applies to the virtual contacts: Do less well. Don’t engage in all of the platforms unless you you've got a marketing team (in case, why are you reading this blog?). Pick three. This goes for blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Flickr… but also newsletters, forums, and your website. Choose a medium that you actually enjoy and commit. I’ll get in depth on what it means to “do well” in next couple of posts.
But by now it should go without saying that whatever platform you choose you should engage in it from your audience’s perspective. In other words, don’t join a forum for cinematographers; join a forum for wedding planners, or new entrepreneurs, or colleges.