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We spend a lot of time talking about the strategy for building relationships for your business. And even the systems that can be put in place to support those efforts, making them consistent for long-term benefit and gain. The words alone, systems, strategies, and long-term, can make a business owner feel overwhelmed and ready to put these efforts aside. So, when we came across a community of leaders with an approach called Tiny Marketing Actions, we thought it might be a great way to ease into this long-term relationship-building stuff.
“Tiny Marketing Actions” (TMA) is a concept we learned about from Pamela Slim, author of The Widest Net. Pam’s definition of TMA is – “Small consistent actions that you take, in a highly relational way, to connect with people who are in strategic parts of your ecosystem. Past clients, partners, leads, etc. Over time, we home in more strategically on the actions to take.”
Pam recently held a webinar with one of her clients, Karley Cunningham, to discuss the impact of the TMA approach. Karley is a business growth accelerator, as CEO of Big Bold Brand, Inc. During Pam’s webinar, (which can be viewed in its entirety here), Karley shared that “Sometimes you reach this point where you feel like you slipped off this mountain and you wonder how on earth you’re going to get back up there. It is these tiny marketing actions that give you one step at a time to get there.”
It is Karley’s one-step-at-a-time story that really showcases that sometimes stepping away from the mountain of business growth goals, and simply focusing on the human-level connections, you find yourself advancing further, faster.
Karley works with business leaders on a regular basis to develop “the strategy that guides all other strategies”. She helps business owners get clear on who they are, what they do, and the value they deliver with her SureFire Strategy™. As she shared with me, not too long ago she found herself completely heads down in her very successful company, suddenly forgetting the things that made her successful in the first place. She said “I did the one thing that I know you don’t do – stop networking, stop connecting – stop nurturing. I was deep in the business work, versus working on the business.” And that’s when she found her business leads dry up. “There were no leads. There wasn’t business coming in. There were no referrals.”
Karley went from growing 10-15% year over year to being down 30%. She shared that stepping away from doing all the right people things led to people just flat-out forgetting about her. And at her lowest point, she very candidly shares, she reached rock bottom in trying to understand where the money was going to come from. She and her wife had just invested in their dream property and her wife was working in the business as well. There were no fall backs. And that’s when the severe depression kicked in. The inability to do much more than survive. If you’ve been there, you know this mode and it hurts to think about it. You understand that it takes all your energy just to get ready in the morning, let alone try to work or strategize.
That’s when she got reconnected with Pam. And in the recent webinar conversation the two held, Pam talks about recognizing that this is the time when just simple actions need to kick back in. She needed to help Karley make some wins and see the progress return. Enter, Tiny Marketing Actions.
Tiny Marketing Actions can be any small action that you take to help build relationships with your prospects, your clients and even your strategic partners. All these relationships, when nurtured, can lead to additional word of mouth, repeat business and other business opportunities. It brings the momentum back to your business and certainly provides a confidence boost as you watch all those seeds take root!
One of Karley’s top values is intimacy, so Pam knew, and admittedly so did Karley, that these missing activities would change the direction of her business. Being in the community with people is what Karley knows to be a key factor in her success – “that’s what helped make the difference” in her business. She “believes that business comes from being connected and doing good things.”
Within a few months of implementing and tracking her activities versus sales, Karley was able to see a direct positive impact. She shared with me that “if you build a relationship by being of service and providing value and care – by being all about relationship building – it’s then that the sales happen”. And that’s exactly what she experienced as her business has rebounded.
Oftentimes, we don’t know what steps could be taken or what it looks like to nurture those relationships and so we simply don’t. As a business owner, your days are filled with many tasks, and it can be challenging to find the time to consistently nurture important relationships. But as Karley’s story reminds us, it is so important. And when it’s done right, it can really have an overwhelmingly positive impact on the success of your business. Let’s take a look at some tiny actions that you could take each week to get started.
Below you'll find a long list of Tiny Marketing Actions. Take a look for which activities might help your team create some momentum through relationship building.
Share a social media post from one of your connections: Sharing other’s content with your community gives them additional visibility, it validates their expertise and makes them feel that you care. These are things the create stronger relationships.
Send a personalized email: Take time once a week to send a short message to a handful of people in your business’ ecosystem. People like to know you’re thinking of them, and you never know what type of conversation might open up.
Create a blog post: Providing valuable content and thought leadership is a value to your followers. Your goal is to simply give to your community.
Share valuable content: Share valuable and informative content with prospects, partners, and clients. This can be via social media, email or even in physical mailings. It can include articles, whitepapers, or books. Contributing to their efforts to learn will make you a valuable resource for them.
Attend a networking event: Attending events and meeting new people expands your community, and therefore opportunities.
Make introductions: Introduce people among your community. People love to reciprocate introductions and you never know what opportunities will open as a result.
Provide a testimonial or review: These are valuable assets for business leaders and by showcasing their credibility, you create an emotional connection with that person.
Comment on social media posts: By commenting on other’s posts, you increase their credibility, rank and validate their expertise. People will notice you over time and appreciate your engagement. You may even begin to open new lines of communication with those contacts.
Find time to connect with new people on Social Media: Increase your reach and visibility by following others and making new connections. This starts to open new channels and relationship building opportunities.
Mail thank you cards and messages of appreciation: Take time each week and handwrite a message to one of your connections. Studies show that physical mailings trigger the activity in the brain that recognizes value. You will create an emotional connection with the recipient.
Share your values: Share your company's values and mission statement and demonstrate how these values are reflected in your products or services. This can help to build trust by showing that your company is committed to ethical and responsible business practices.
Record a video sharing new ideas: By sharing additional thought leadership you are adding value to your community. You are slowly creating trust and credibility with members.
Host a regular Q&A or webinar: Invite your community to free learning events. Share some content and provide opportunities for people to make new connections. Each time you market these events, that counts as a TMA as well.
Send a Newsletter: Sharing valuable updates, content, and overall communication, you’re showing up for your community. You’re making yourself available and reminding them of your offering. Plus, each little nugget of wisdom you impart further moves the relationship along the path to pitch or opportunity sharing.
Solve a problem for someone: By making life a little easier, be that through making an introduction or completing a task, you will earn points in the recipient’s book for your generosity.
Be a podcast guest: By sharing your wisdom with someone else’s community you are earning visibility and creating relationship opportunities with a new set of connections. Each time you pitch a podcast host, that can be one TMA and each time you share the episode, that’s another TMA.
Speak at an event: Teaching others is an ideal opportunity to create trust and credibility. Any downloads or new social media connections that happen as a result can also be considered TMAs!
Create a new resource for your audience: Do you have a new way of teaching some material? Create a new worksheet, resource lists or whitepapers to giveaway to your community.
Attend mastermind or group sessions in places where your ideal strategic referral partners hang out: Offering support to your community naturally showcases your expertise and also leads to people reciprocating the help.
Overall, tiny marketing actions are a very effective tool to plant seeds for your marketing. As Pamela Slim shares in The Widest Net - “Relational community building centers on a true appreciation for the human you are connecting with, regardless of their perceived power or influence. These relationships tend to move slower, last longer, and go deeper.
Consistency will be the key and over time, you will notice an influx of opportunities open because of your efforts.
Identifying opportunities for small touchpoints is something that comes naturally to us at The Expressory. We know this can be a painful effort for some to identify and execute and we’re all about helping simplify that process. Join us for one of our upcoming Q&As and we can talk through ideas for your brand. Or schedule some time to talk and we can discuss an approach that would fit your needs. Click here to set up a Marketing Strategy Session.