How To Succeed At Relationship Marketing With One Simple, Universal Method

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[Finger image via Shutterstock]

[Guest blog post by Jay Baer]: Every day, consumers get overwhelmed by a flood of  invitations on the web from hundreds of companies asking them for likes, follows, clicks, shares, comments and attention. These invitations are in addition to all the legacy advertising that constantly bombards us, too.

There are two major ways for companies to break through in this competitive cacophony:

  1. Be “AMAZING.”
  2. Be USEFUL.

You’ll find tons of books out there that tell you how to be an amazing company. Most of them say you can win hearts and minds by doing things differently, providing knock-your-socks-off customer service, or fundamentally changing your corporate culture.

While being amazing can work, it’s difficult to do and doesn’t produce reliable, linear results. So instead of betting all your money on “amazing,” what if you instead relied on a simple, universal method of marketing and business success — one that’s never been more important or easier to accomplish?

[Finger image from Shutterstock]

What if—instead of trying to be amazing—you just focused on being USEFUL?

What if you decided to inform, rather than promote? You know that expression, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”? Well, the same is true for marketing:

If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.

I call this Youtility. Not “utility,” because a utility is a faceless commodity. Youtility is marketing upside down. Instead of marketing that’s needed by companies, Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers.

Youtility is massively useful information, provided for FREE, that creates long term trust and kinship between your company and your customers.

The difference between helping and selling is just two letters

But those two letters make all the difference now.

The way customers gather information about companies and make purchase decisions has changed. Consumers’ time and attention has never been more scarce, and their suspicion of lazy interruption marketing has never been more acute. In this climate, Youtility is not an option; it’s a necessity.

Smart marketers today will need to change the way they use the social space and become a Youtility to truly connect with customers to build long term relationships. You’re not just competing for attention against other, similar products. You’re competing for attention against everything.

To win in this hyper-competitive environment, you must ask “How can we help?”

People will not magically find your Youtility; you have to add promotional support. Use social media to promote your useful information first, and your company second.

This shift in thinking will move your company from just another business pushing their marketing message to becoming a Youtility that will build lasting relationships.

Are you ready to make this shift?

Let us know your thoughts on this approach to marketing in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

Youtility Book – Free Chapter

See below for a free chapter of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype by Jay Baer, published in late June by Portfolio/Penguin. See YoutilityBook.com for other resources.

Youtility Book Trailer:

Watch this fun trailer for Jay’s new book!

Jay Baer About the author:
is a hype-free social media and content strategist & speaker, and author of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype. Jay is the founder of ConvinceAndConvert.com and host of the Social Pros podcast.

Like Convince and Convert on Facebook:

Mari Smith

Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencer | Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker, Author | 'Mari like Ferrari' | Bubbly Scottish-Canadian!

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Posted in Business Building Strategies, Content Marketing, Relationship Marketing, Social Media
  • http://YourStressMatters.blogspot.com/ Dr. Rae

    Brava Mari for your fabulous presentation of Jay’s book!
    Bravo Jay for your fabulous presentation of Youtility on “relationship marketing…” by being aware, and useful!
    Looking forward to learning more, and reading more on how you weave being aware, and useful into relationship marketing.
    Congratulations, and thank you both for sharing… ~Rae

  • Ravi Shukle

    Great post Jay, Love this quote “If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.” Totally agree and this concept goes hand in hand with customers wanting to interact with real people who can provide that value through solving their problems. Look forward to diving into the book.

  • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

    Many look a relationship as a way to a sale, I prefer to use the transaction to start a relationship

  • http://la.nerium.com/ Mabyn Shingleton

    I agree that we need to provide useful information. It is a hard thing to do. You really need to think out of the box to reach your target market with sharable, likable, saveable info. :)

  • http://Woystermedia.com/ Denver Lane

    Good stuff Jay and you are 100% correct.
    The old sales adage, “Make a friend-Make a sale” is more true now than ever.

  • Emeric

    Jay rocks, no doubt about this! I’m a huge fan of the speaker, expert, author and human being, but the human being is the part I appreciate the most :-)

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  • http://www.viralseoservices.com/ MOS SEO Services

    Excellent information on Relationship marketing. thanks for sharing this?

  • Heidi Simonian

    Such an insightful post and found your “Youtility” concept to really nail what consumers need from a company’s social media site. Personally, my favorite companies on my Facebook and Twitter feeds are the ones who can provide me with insightful information.

    I agree with your statement, “Youtility is massively useful information, provided for FREE, that creates long term trust and kinship between your company and your customers.” I have also felt this way as a consumer when a company has been able to educate me on a particular subject. For example, I’m a fan of Nordstrom on Facebook. Their posts often give guidance on fashion trends and I’m more likely to stop from scrolling down the feed to read what they have to say.

    Also the notion of helping vs.selling is a more non-invasive way to communicate with the consumer. I often delete or ignore selling messages from companies because it seems like they always want something when they communicate with me. The “helping” approach seems like it is more beneficial for me, the consumer, than the company. Helping puts the consumer first!

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  • http://www.vintagevoguecottage.com Jule Johnston

    I love this concept. I had a store front for 12 years and I really miss the one on one with my customers!

  • Joe

    How about a responsive customer service department? I enrolled for one of your courses, was told it was going to be online for a year and now its a dead link. I’ve written your customer service department twice with no reply. Nice that you don’t at all practice what you preach.

  • http://www.wadeharman.com/ Wade Harman

    I still love your approach Jay and totally agree with you that we need to be more active and helpful with people and try to make customers for a lifetime rather than that one individual that just meets the need of our pocketbook once.

    It’s more than just money, its deeper than that, its a thought and action that is based on helping people meet their needs and by definition, ours gets met as well.

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  • http://eltambalache.com/ Edgar Toala

    Great post Jay, “If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.”

    http://eltambalache.com

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