In starting a business you will often look to friends, family and existing contacts for initial customers. Nothing wrong with that, except that if can prevent you from growing your business.
We suggest you consider a slightly different approach. Why not build on the back of giants.
We do not suggest that you compete with Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter Facebook. Rather why not incorporate one of these networks into the core of your business. Why not use their reach and power to extend your own?
This map on a page from the Facebook social network site displays friendships as lights on a deep blue background. It hints at the value that a vibrant network can have.
Mitch Joel, in his recent book: Ctrl Alt Delete, said: “The Facebook value proposition to Wall Street is simple: We own the data and direct relationships with these hundreds of millions of people, and the value is in the data and the ability to put advertising on the pages of content that these people are creating and sharing.”
Mitch Joel speaks about advertising, but there could be other revenue sources as well. Facebook may or may not choose to exploit them, but you might want to consider:
2. Product sales
4. Affiliate deals
5. And, yes Advertising
6. Others….might include joint sales, cross sales, etc….your thoughts?
Remember that there is no linear “how-to” on building direct relationships with your customers.
Five thoughts that serve as a primer for creating valuable direct relationships:
1. Deliver value first
2. Be open
3. Be clear and consistent
4. Create a mutually beneficial world
5. Find and nurture your true fans. Your heavy users.
Remember PFactor – Pareto first termed this ‘predictable imbalance’ which has evolved to the 80/20 principle and we know at the PFactor. An example of this is that 20% of products account for 80% of sales or 20% of clients account for 80% of revenue.
While some attach mystical properties to numbers, we just think they are neat. Proportions are fun. Proportions are also useful. If you have 100 customers or so, knowing that 20 provide 80% of your revenue, might lead to a different customer service dynamic.
On the internet where developing a direct relationship is easier to start, but harder to consummate, you might find that the relationship is PFactor^2, in that sense that 5% or even 1% of your ‘contacts’ deliver 95% or even 99% of your revenue.
Hence why it is important to focus on the relationships…but which one?
Our advice: listen, learn, anticipate, and respond – but focus on what they do, not on what they say.