chapter 41

Tell Family and Friends

Your network of friends and family will mostly likely be your easiest first sales. You may not want to sell to them, but consider that every time someone else has your product in their hands, you’ve increased the chance of something very important happening: the opportunity for social currency to take place and word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing to kick into effect. That is, every time someone has your product in their hands, there is a very real chance that they will:

  • Tell someone else the benefits of your product. 
  • Tell someone where they can find the product.
  • Verbally deliver your brand name.

These three actions we listed above are a lot more powerful than if you go out and advertise your product yourself.

The key lies in the third party validation of your products and your brand.  To put it simply: do you believe what advertisers are telling you in a television commercial? Or do you trust what your closest friends and family members recommend to you?

The more you can get people who do not work for your brand to evangelize your products for you, the greater the chance of success you will have. We would go as far as to say that should be your ultimate marketing goal for the life of your company.

And the more your friends and family know and use your products – the more social currency they will have when telling other people about your products. 

A great way to give your friends and family awesome social currency to use – is to give them something newsworthy to talk about. What’s special and unique about your products or brand? What makes you different, remarkable or great? 

For example, Toms Shoes gives one pair of shoes to someone who is shoeless for every pair of shoes they sell.

Obviously, having the effects of social currency take place as soon as possible is in your best interest to getting your business off the ground. 

Your First Lesson in Targeting and Demographics

Since your friends and family are mostly likely made up of people who are of different genders, ages, interests and personalities – your first marketing campaign will have a scattered effect that might not yield much return, but that’s okay.

This is actually a very important moment in your business development. It’s important to take note which people your product resonated the most with. Was it mostly women? Was it an older crowd? What you need to start doing is creating personas that fit your product offering.

To build your personas, figure out what your typical customer looks like. Write down their age, gender and their interests. Start to determine what kind of personalities like your products.

As you refine your personas and target demographic over time, you can launch more specific and relevant marketing campaigns that will yield better returns.

Get Testimonials

Now we want to talk about testimonials in a little more detail.

Your friends and family have a unique value that no other group really falls into. And that is, they are the easiest and cheapest ways to get awesome testimonials for your products. It’s so easy that people forget to ever do it.

Simply ask your friends and family (one by one again) to write you testimonials of your product and more importantly: your brand. These testimonials will come in very handy one day for your website and other marketing material. Just imagine if you had a unique testimonial on every page of your website.

Having your friends and family write you testimonials will require them to really get to know your product. It might inspire them to buy one for themselves. But really, the intimacy they achieve with your product gives them more social currency to use when they talk about it with other people. It’s like having the world’s best trained salesmen roaming the earth for you.

One Huge Problem with Friends and Family

Although your family and friends will be your best evangelists for spreading the benefits of your products – they also can be the worst source of feedback.

Simply put, your family and friends don’t want to hurt your feelings. They will naturally tell you things you like to hear and tell you “you’re doing a great job…keep doing what you’re doing”. This actually can be the worst possible advice.

Getting feedback from people you don’t know is the best navigational tool you’ll ever come across. You will want to develop an addiction to getting feedback from real customers and people you don’t know personally. 

Now this doesn’t mean your friends and family can’t write the best testimonials. They will indeed and they will write them more passionately than almost anyone else. But for real feedback, you want to listen to the cruelest of unsatisfied customers. 

The Second Lesson on Targeting and Demographics

Your products most likely will not have mass appeal. That’s why getting real feedback from all kinds of people will be very important. Some people will hate your products, some people will find flaws and of course some people will absolutely cherish them. 
The important lesson is to start to understand who your products are for and who they aren’t for. It’s also why we like to say: “Love thy Haters.”

They will increase your profits. How? Because you’ll know not to waste advertising money and energy on them.

The real important point we’re trying to make is that you need to start understanding your target audience and how to get people to evangelize your brand for you. These are long term strategies that the best entrepreneurs and businesses focus on for ultimate success. It is what separates the best from everyone else.

Next chapter

42. Participate on Forums

3 min

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