Hey muses! So I called because I promised you a challenge. But before we get to that, I want to tell you story.

I was at a library somewhere in Manila yesterday and I was really excited to go there because I haven’t been there in, like, five years. I love that library because they had these good art and design books. And I was looking through these philosophy books on the table that looked really nice — you know those books with really nice covers? And then this lady who I assumed was helping out at the library, called my attention. She looked so stern and then she turned to me, “Miss, researcher ka ba? For assesment yan.” And then I said, “Oh. I’m sorry. I didnt know. I just came here to read.” And then she asked, “From what school are you?” Then I replied, “Graduate na po ako po ma’am. I’m just here to browse for my business projects.” And suddenly she was so apologetic and then she left me alone.

I wasn’t really offended or anything like that, but it made me think about that moment. I realized that during that exchange, there was no effort made to get to know the visitor (me). And I’m not being vain or anything. (This is a lesson on marketing, I promise!) I mean I understand, I completely understand that we’re all conditioned to be wary of other people. But it’s sad because it also dismissed an opportunity: the opportunity to build a relationship. If you hear that someone goes to the library to just read, wouldn’t you think that this person is that passionate about books? And shouldn’t you as a keeper ask them how you can attend to them? Maybe ask what they like to read, or recommend something? And imagine if you did know that this was the first time in many years that they visited, isn’t that an opportunity to make the moment welcoming for them? And if you were the visitor and you had that welcoming experience, wouldn't that be worth sharing? Wouldn’t you want to tell other people about it?

And what’s so funny is, all it takes is listening to someone to know how you can better the experience.

This is how most of us are with our brands. I’m guilty of this, too — we don’t listen enough. We’re so busy promoting. We make it about ourselves too much. We make it about making a sale instead of nurturing the moments that could lead to that sale.

And this is my challenge for you today. If you have a product or a website or an event you’re promoting, please, with all respect, just for today, don’t front your offer. The one mistake that we marketers make, is that we think we can make the choice for other people. We want them to buy our product, or do what we say. But honestly we don’t we have that power. We can only care about our audience, listen to them, and love them into believing in our brand.

We don’t make the choice. We can only empower our audience to make the choice. If you really believe that your offer is good, that it helps, you don’t just sell it to people. You would guide them into making the decision.

So, for example, let’s say, and you just launched a dance workshop, of course you want people to enroll in your class. Now, what we normally do is we post our offer on instagram, put a caption, and a link to the registration form, and we do that more than once. But do you think that’s enough to make them decide they want what you’re offering? Will this empower them enough? What if, instead of constantly telling people about your class, you recommend something like... your favorite dance studios in the area? You may think this is not related, but that’s where you’re wrong. Because when you tell them that there are these accessible dance studios, you are telling them that there are places where they can practice, where they can apply what they learn. So you are guiding them. You are holding their hands. You are not just selling to them. You are empowering their choices. And those are the kinds of things that spread. People would want to talk about things that they love, people that they love. But our customers don't talk about our brands because they are not in love enough. Because we don't show enough love to them. 

 

So, anyway, sorry if I rambled a bit. Before I end this call, I want you to think about that. Your product is already good — that’s a given. Now think of tiny ways you can come up with ideas on how you can empower you audience to make the decision. What can you tell them that will truly make them feel more mindful about buying your product as opposed to being manipulated. And I hope you know, this all starts with listening. And remember this all starts with listening.

 

Thanks for your time. love.