Fear of Loss

Have you ever worried about “backlash” from followers on twitter or subscribers to your enewsletters or blog, which would cause them to unsubscribe?  unsubscribe-emailI confess I recently had this irrational fear, and it was over something so ridiculous that if someone did unsubscribe then it was probably someone I didn’t  have a relationship with, and there would be no real loss.

The instance I’m referencing involved a fundraising event.  I decided to promote the event to about 1,000 contacts in my network who were in my constant contact database.  That’s the platform I use for sending  enewsletters.  I was worried that some people may not want to attend the event and would unsubscribe.  It wasn’t a problem if they didn’t want to attend the event, but I was really worried if they unsubscribed.  I wouldn’t be able to market to them again about ANYTHING, and that could have a negative impact on my business.  Fortunately, no one unsubscribed and in fact some thanked me for sending it because they would not have known of the event otherwise.  I’ve since learned that it is probably best to use my EventBrite platform for sending event announcements, rather than constant contact, so that someone can unsubscribe from the event promotions without unsubscribing altogether.  But I also learned another important lesson; people you have a relationship with are much more forgiving about marketing than those who you don’t have a relationship with. 

I’m the same way.  If I get something in my inbox from some out of state person or company that I’ve never heard of who provides a service that I can get from someone locally, who I have a relationship with, it’s a no brainer.  I delete the unknown contact.  They don’t even get a shot, because we don’t have a relationship. 

I was grateful that I had a network of relationships and could leverage them to help a friend by building awareness of her fundraiser.  I was glad I took the time to attend events years ago and recently, where I met some people I didn’t know but we enjoyed chatting and agreed to stay in touch.  I am glad I planted seeds long ago that I could harvest in November (Thanksgiving) to build awareness for a good cause and help my friend.   None of us ever know what our networking or marketing activities will yield, but if we stay in front of our target market and those who we’ve started to build a relationship with, they will more than likely turn to us when they need our product or service.  Why?  Because we cared enough to stay connected. 

Frankly, I’d much rather communicate with and provide value to those I know than to spew some message to the masses hoping something sticks.  I’m glad that relationship marketing works, because for me, there’s just no other way I’d rather participate. 

What are your thoughts about effective marketing?  Do you respond to ads from strangers or call someone you know when you are ready to select a product or service? Do you market mostly to those you know, or do you also try to reach those you’ve never met in a particular demographic?  I’m not implying one is right or wrong; I am curious what works best for you and your industry.  As a professional service provider, referrals and relationship marketing has proven to be most effective for myself and for my industry (law).  What works for you?

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Lori T. Williams is an attorney based in Birmingham, MI, licensed in 1989.  As owner of a legal referral business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC, Lori personally assists individuals and small businesses in need of legal advice or representation in Metro Detroit by connecting them with the right legal specialist to meet their needs. Click here for a pdf of legal referral services. 

Through group training and events, Lori also focuses on referral marketing strategies for attorneys and other professionals. For more information about Lori or Your Legal Resource, visit www.bestlegalresource.com.  For networking events, training programs, and workshop information, visit: www.bestlegalresource.com/events.


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