Pamela Wilson

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How to Speak to One to Reach Many

Have you heard about my friend Peter?

We featured Peter and his cheese shop in episode two of the Small Biz Stories podcast.

When we first met Peter, he called email marketing spam. And social media? “Anti-social media,” according to Peter.

The job of any good content marketer is to influence behavior over time and that’s what I was determined to do.

As I learned about Peter’s business through the interview, I also got a better understanding of the beliefs and views of my “audience of one.” And I used this newfound knowledge to help Peter transform his business.Peter’s shop is only 12 minutes away from the office. Lucky for our content, but for my cholesterol? Not so much.

My visits to the shop would start with a great lunch and lead to equally great conversations with Peter about what he wanted to get from his marketing. In particular, he didn’t want to waste his time or that of his staff.

These conversations led me to create some posts that would challenge Peter’s current view of social media and email marketing.

See: For the Ferret on Crack Who Puts the Cheese in the Bag.

Little by little I discussed some ideas that would not only satisfy Peter’s marketing demands but also point him in the right direction in terms of getting better results with less effort.

Eventually, Peter agreed to bring in his staff to spend half a day with us. We provided guidance and worksheets to give the shop’s marketing more impact.

What was the result?

Peter and his staff left our little workshop energized and ready to commit to marketing with email serving as the backbone of their efforts.

A couple of days later I received a text message from Peter. It read, don’t fall off your chair when you check our inbox later today.

I couldn’t wait to see what he was sending. When the email came through I was like a proud papa. Peter and his team had taken our advice and created a short message about the shop’s new Cheese of the Month Club.

I went to visit Peter the next day

When I walked in he proudly showed me his calendar worksheet filled with the emails he and his staff were going to send through the next seven months.

Then the best thing happened.

As we stood there talking, the phone rang. A staff member came over to us after she hung up the phone.

“We got our first order for the Cheese of the Month Club. The customer said they received our email and wanted to join.”

Peter and I looked at each other and smiled. Big.

In the end, Peter attributes four of his club sales to email. The result was over $900 in revenue. Not bad for 15 minutes of work to send two simple emails.

“Great Dave, you helped one business”

Actually we used our interactions with Peter to create a Virtual Workshop Series for Retailers, How to Increase Sales with Email Marketing.

The goal was to produce something that hit on Peter’s needs. Whenever he or someone on his team had 15 minutes, they’d know exactly what to do, what to do next, and if they got pulled away they’d be able to pick up where they left off.

We developed one workshop per month over five months on the following topics:

  1. The 15-Minute Email Marketing Plan
  2. How to Write Your Marketing Email in 15 Minutes or Less
  3. How to Design Your Marketing Email in 15 Minutes or Less
  4. How to Measure the Business Impact of Your Email Marketing
  5. Grow Your List, Grow Your Retail Business

Over the course of the workshop series we had over 2,200 registrants.

We designed something with one person in mind to reach many.

We’ll reach many more as we repackage the content in different ways.

We’re also confident that if people implement the advice from the workshops they’ll start to see better results from their email marketing as well.

You can create content by speaking to one person too

When you build relationships and engage with your best customers you create great stories to tell that resonate with others with the same challenges. You’re no longer guessing or making things up to satisfy some imaginary persona.

Instead, you’re focused on an actual person with thoughts, feelings, and objections. You begin to create content that’s more useful to your customers and prospects.

Start by finding your own Peter. And begin all your content conversations like we do ours, “How would this help Peter?”

Here’s what you can do to get started:

  • Make a list of your favorite customers
  • Have conversations with them (you can even turn it into a podcast)
  • Create content that speaks directly to their needs

Let’s hear it in the comments: do you find it challenging to tailor your marketing to one person? Do you have a favorite customer who inspires your marketing?

Pamela Wilson

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4 thoughts on “How to Speak to One to Reach Many”

  1. Thanks…great read on how you turned a business into a believer of systems that works in today’s world.

  2. Love the storytelling and the concept. Thanks for sharing, Dave. In a world where “the majority rules” and the most popular issues become trending topics, it’s refreshing to read about how both you and Peter benefitted for focusing on one person’s needs and objections.

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