Unless you use some sort of fluffy critter (Nice job Cheezburger) I wouldn’t be lured easily. If you are a startup you most likely have given up on me and my stubborn, busy and “thanks, but not interested” friends. I am never the one to wait in line for a new apple product, nor do I jump at new social media invites. I have not and most likely will never be a customer of QVC. I still use a $300 Windows based Toshiba laptop, own a blackberry and drive a manual six speed. I am by no means an “Alpha Quitter”, however the few times I have tried to be an early adopter has created one more inactive account, or a no-longer-loyal loyalty card holder.
For most companies looking to gain traction, I am not your ideal customer. My hard to sell friends will nod in agreement when I say that doesn’t mean we aren’t worth talking to. Here’s why:
We aren’t moles. We are actually quite social.
Just because we aren’t joining you at midnight to wait for the newest Apple thingy doesn’t mean we live in caves. Think beyond the web. I host and organize events, work with non-profits and consult with small businesses. I am one of those crazy people that say “Good morning!” to strangers, and happily shares conversations while waiting for coffee. I am also very interested in listening and learning one of the reasons I attend workshops, meetups and networking events. I read blogs, the news and forums.
Listen, and join in the conversation.
First off are you where I am? Do you participate in conversation in Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, how about networking events and workshops? I might be a bit extreme as I am unusually accessible for a late adopter. My best advice, learn to listen before you speak.
“The market need you’ve identified may be foreign to most people you speak with. The value you’re creating doesn’t yet translate. The very people you could help, think you’re crazy.” – Four keys to selling beyond early adopters, Geekwire
Have fun learning the language, the culture and jump with the intention of having a conversation.
In your network? Instant evangelist.
One quick direct message from someone I know on Twitter and I am on it like a bee on honey! Your network is mostly likely stronger than you give it credit for. Even if your network isn’t your target market they are more than willing to help you spread the word. They will spread your message like butter across hot toast. Keep them in the loop with as much of a personal touch as possible, in other words don’t just add them to your MailChimp list, maintain a genuine connection.
Give a little, get a lot.
I love hearing what my friends are up to and look for ways to support them. After meeting Chris Lynch founder of Thoughful.co was kind enough to talk to me as well as the BizeeBee founder about fundraising. So what did I do, I instantly started scanning Thoughful.co for a birthday present for my sister in law, found – done and with great success! I also forwarded the site on to a few friends wondering what to get a mutual friend who has everything, (even a sailboat).
Don’t give up on those who aren’t going to fill your pockets quick with cash. Look at them differently, more as eh… humans. Don’t be afraid to refresh your strategy, reach out to your existing network for feedback help and assistance in spreading the word. Zoom out and let your teeth chew on the big picture. Don’t fret over trying to catch a quick buck. (Even though they are cute, and fuzzy.)