Why my Single Greatest Marketing Tip isn´t Marketing at All

I plan to write many articles about a variety of marketing topics. In the mean time, let's start with my ultimate, single greatest marketing tip. You can buy all the tools and programs. You can offer the best price and even the best product. You can pay someone to write your ads and copy. You can buy followers and likes. Fake it till you make it and all that. But there is one more valuable thing that you can neither fake nor buy, connection.

I won’t sugar coat it.

It is a lot of work to build a genuine, personal connection with your audience. The payoff is invaluable. You can buy all the fanciest programs, you can even enjoy success. But, without personal connection there is no reason for loyalty. 
Of course, they could decide to be loyal to you for the best products or the best prices. Then you always have to worry that someone will make a better product or provide it for a lower price. It´s a race you can rarely win. Even with the best writers and ad designers, each new campaign is a fight. It's always easier to keep loyal customers than it is to keep buying both new and old ones.
You can buy followers, likes, comments, and a variety of fake interactions. You can automate spamming comments that are inauthentic. Letting an app comment, ¨this painting is my favorite." on every post with #painting in the caption is not good marketing. On many occasions I got a comment like ¨this drawing is fantastic¨ on a picture of pencils I was using that day. There are a lot of reasons someone would use #drawing. I can tell you it didn´t inspire me to look at that persons profile whatsoever. 

It´s SO much easier to socialize in 2021.

I would still fumble through an in-person interaction. My social skills are still a particularly sore spot. It may be a while before you see me giving advice on how to handle social settings irl. The internet is a game changer. I could never have accomplished anything I have done so far if I still had to contact people face to face and by phone. 
Marketing and socializing online gives you so much freedom. You get to control the narrative and what you represent. You get to decide what image you present and to who and where. Of course, there will be times when this is not always the case. There has never been a time when you had so much control over what people see and don´t see about your life and business.
If you have a failed interaction, you can use the opportunity to practice making it better. If you would rather not, you can always block them. After all, there are always more people. Of course, you don´t want to make this a habit, but early on before you have a following. If you fuck it up, say fuck it and try again with someone else. 

Don’t Even Sell

The first time I took a stab at socializing, I had my first big art show and I had to sell 20 tickets. I decided I was going to send a ¨hello, how are you?¨ style message to my local Facebook friends. I then let each conversation unfold naturally. I made no forceful efforts to tell them about my show and in fact only brought it up if they asked what I was working on.
The conversations were genuine and some of those people never even found out I was an artist. If they didn´t reply I didn´t continue to bother them. If they didn´t inquire, I didn´t try to make the sale. Simple, basic conversation is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to build a loyal fan base. 

They have to CARE

And it has to be genuine. One of the hardest things to achieve is building a loyal and caring following. There is no way to fake it. Take the time to leave genuine comments. Make notes to remember birthdays and special events, or use Facebook. Then, send a heartfelt private message rather than a generic post on their page with the others.
Take that little effort to go above and beyond. People notice and they feel appreciated. When they think of the kind of product you offer they will feel connection to you and trust you and want to help you. A little extra kindness can go a long way.

It has to be Genuine

If you're going to fake it then I'm the wrong person to ask advice. I understand the pains of having to wait for results, but there is no better way if you want loyalty. The people who support me defend me without my asking. They care if I go AWOL and would reach out if they thought I was quitting. We care about each other.
Take the time to build quality relationships with the people who love what you do. Then thank me later. As always if you have any questions, comments or concerns, leave a comment. Or email me at bear@withlovebear.net.

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