Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Useful marketing tip

One of the most powerful ways to develop your business, is to focus on being useful.

Here are just a few examples of what I mean:

  • Useful service providers retain their clients or customers for longer.
  • Useful blog posts and newsletters get read and shared the most often.
  • Useful videos attract more viewers.
  • Useful people attract more contacts and build larger, stronger commercial networks.
  • Useful websites get linked to the most.

‘Useful’ beats ‘demanding’ every time!

Typically, we see people trying to build their business by asking for help, rather than being useful. They ask us to; share their links, ‘like’ their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and recommend them to our friends, etc.

All of these things are far more likely to happen, if we are consistently useful rather than continuously demanding.

A useful tip

Take a look at any area of your marketing, which is under performing. Now, look for ways to make your marketing messages and interactions around that area, as useful and helpful to others as you can. For example, if you want a larger, more targeted following on a social network, focus on being as useful to people in your niche with your social networking as possible. Offer ideas. Suggest useful resources. Connect people. No, you’re unlikely to see thousands of people immediately flock to you, but over time you can expect to make meaningful progress.

In short: If we want to be regarded as a valuable asset for our clients and customers, we need to consistently look for opportunities to be useful to them.

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  1. Very useful post :-). I agree, it is about being liked as a person and the best way to achieve this is to be of service to people.

  2. This should be obligatory reading for participants of LinkedIn groups! It’s quite amazing to see how many people that ought to know better still seeing social media as a push push push channel – minimal resource sharing, minimal networking and hardly any “useful”. Such a shame of what could be a great sharing platform!

    • I agree Tom. The majority of small business owners are using the ‘new’ tools, to do the old thing. They see LI, Facebook or Twitter and think “cool, free advertising!!!”

  3. Great point!

    The problem with being useful, is that many people have a fraction of the knowledge they claim. You can’t use a plugin to make yourself look useful, but you can use one to automate Facebook with a stream of self serving links and requests.

    • I’d never thought of it quite like that, Gill.

      I’m sure there are a lot of people, who fail to be useful because they lack the knowledge. I think more fail, because they are so committed to pushing and pestering, rather than being useful.

  4. Interesting timing for me to see this post. Just got off a late consulting call with a client and was talking about this same idea.

    It seems to me that the “rules” we were taught by our mothers when we were growing up apply to business and social media:

    1. Treat people the way you want to be treated. (Empathize)
    2. Engage others. (Actually be interested in other people.)
    3. Help people.
    4. Listen to people. (When people are heard by you, they bond to you.)

    I love that none of this takes advanced schooling or seminars. Just actual care and concern for others. :)

  5. Be Useful: I like how you manage to get important points into your posts, with very few words.

    Thanks Jim.

  6. Thanks for the useful tips that will help be more effective in my marketing efforts. I will be looking more closer now! at how I can be more useful and service my clients & customers.

    David M.

  7. Often the most useful thing that you can do is ask a question… it’s just got to be the right question. I just posted a list of lists – questions for every marketer that is trying to sell something. Would love to know what you think.

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