Take a trip to the mall and improve your blog.
That's the title for Day 13, and it's why I didn't post yesteray. I was out people watching.
Actually, I went to Dyllan's school and volunteered in her classroom to help the teacher out. In the process, I was able to watch two ladies give a guest presentation, see how the teacher and students work together, and how the students reacted to having a stranger in the room (me being the stranger).
How often have you read or heard the advice "know your customer?"
Yea, me too. Probably about a million times.
So why is it that we are hearing this advice so often? Even with my own clients - and myself - why do I have to continually remind them (and me) to focus on "what's in it for the reader?" Obviously none of us are dumb, and I certainly don't work with low-quality products or clients.
And even Darren's exercise for Day 13...when I first looked at it, the exercise seemed me-centered. You know, it's all about how to improve my blog, right?
But watching Dyllans' class yesterday got me thinking about teamwork. It brought home the idea that you and your readers are a team - you and I are a team.
We're all providing something for an audience. Our audience then provides feedback, participation and revenue back to us. It's a team effort that gives everyone satisfaction.
Dyllan's classmates help the teacher by filing completed assignments at the side of the room. Ms. Callahan (the teacher) gets a necessary task done for her, and the students feel responsible and helpful by doing it.
Your team members might give you some feedback about content they want added to your newsletter or blog. They feel involved and rewarded when you respond by giving them what you want. You feel good because you're getting the feedback you want.
It works the same way with making a sale.
The customer gets what they want - new shoes, a sales letter, or a new house. The seller gets what they want - a happy customer, more referrals, and revenue from the sale.
This is, I think, Darren's purpose in getting his readers to spend time watching how other people do things.
Whether you're watching a father with his children, or how a retailer sets up his window displays, watching other people makes it easier to look at ourselves. The father picks up his kids, loves them and has fun with them. While we're watching, we think about how we interact with our clients. Is it a fun experience for them? Do they enjoy hearing from us?
Maybe the retailer's window display is loud, garish and has way too many lights. You can see it attracts attention and people are going into the store, but you dont' really like the look. Isn't that a good time to think about why you don't like it? Maybe you feel undignified when drawing attention to yourself - I feel embarassed all the time when everyone looks at me.
But you know what? I'd much rather be embarrassed, let everyone see me blush, and get that attention than sit in my chair and go unnoticed. Getting someone's attention is the first step in the buying cycle.
So I suggest you do 2 things today. The first is to get a copy of Darren Rowse's 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.
Go to www.problogger.net and scroll down the page. When the background colour changes to black, the link for the book is the first one on the left. It's only $19.95, and I think it's an excellent investment.
Don't have a blog? Okay. As a marketing consultant, I'm flat out telling you that a blog should be the centre of your online business marketing efforts. So pick up a copy of Darren's book and be ready to do it right.
The second thing is to go for a walk and pay attention to how other people do things. Visit a mall, go downtown, or stroll through a fall fair and watch how vendors attract attention. See what people pay attention to, and how they interact with each other.
You'll be amazed at the ideas it gives you for tweaking, adjusting or even starting something brand new.
Thanks for reading. You're always welcome - and invited - to leave a comment, but I think today is a little different. Don't leave a comment today.
Really, don't make a comment yet.
Take time to look around and make some observations, then let it stew in your mind over night. Today's Friday, so come back during the weekend and share your insights with everyone else. Before you know it, we'll have a little stew pot just chock full of new ideas for everyone to benefit from.