We know that good relationships and providing unique products and services are essential elements in having a successful business. Further, it makes sense that showing appreciation of your relationships in all of your branding efforts can accelerate growth to your business.
Here are the activities we consider as essential in marketing ourselves and highly recommend these activities to you: 1) Define your business niche, uniqueness and value, 2) Consistently exceed expectations and include this fact in your marketing materials and testimonials, and, 3) Show appreciation in your marketing and branding efforts to both your personal and business relationships.
Using “Appreciation Marketing” is a personal marketing approach that you tailor to every business and individual. This can be done in many ways so long as you consistently and sincerely show appreciation for something specific someone has done for you or your business. We generally like to keep it direct and simple using “thank you for the referral”, “thank you for your support”, and so on. The results of this direct way of showing appreciation has dramatically improved our business. These results confirm that people do business with people they know, need, trust and like.
We encourage you to focus your marketing on building relationships with individuals at every program and technical level. We have found that the best results come from branding combined with exceeding expectations. Once you have done this, you may then share these results across your market. Further, you will find that appreciation marketing is viewed as fresh, unique, and cutting edge. We encourage you to use the very basic principles of appreciation and do this in face to face encounters. You will find that your peers and clients will speak directly to your showing appreciation in their referrals to others.
Appreciation marketing works best if your core principles direct you to being the best, setting the example and exceeding expectations. When this is the case, you can use appreciation everyday, on purpose, to grow your business. We recommend that at the very minimum, you send personal thank-you cards, notes, and small gifts. Keep your appreciation activity simple, sincere and ensure you always expect nothing in return. The benefits will come.
We have seen that appreciation cards work the best. Thank you cards are probably the best place to start, even if your resources are limited. Cards have the most impact as they tend to be displayed and directly lead to referrals. We recommend you predominately use card software, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, articles, and Facebook in much of the same way. We use social media to say thank you in public forums when possible and encourage you to do the same, openly sharing your content to both engage or attract new followers. It is easy to share your experience and lessons learned through online conversations. To encourage active collaboration with your materials, always ask for comments and view these exchanges as opportunities to grow your relationships and make improvements to your products and services. Over time, the results can be dramatic.
Showing appreciation in your marketing efforts will result in better relationships, trust, new friendships and new business.