Skip to content

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

One Thing - Remember - Shutterstock

[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 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 and host of the Social Pros podcast.

Like Convince and Convert on Facebook:

Mari Smith

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is widely known as the Premier Facebook Marketing Expert and a top Social Media Thought Leader. Forbes describes Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” IBM named Mari as one of seven women that are shaping digital marketing. Mari is an in-demand keynote speaker, corporate social media strategist, dynamic live webcast host, and popular brand ambassador. She is coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, and author of The New Relationship Marketing.

More Posts - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn


  1. Wade Harman on June 20, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    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.

  2. Joe on June 14, 2014 at 6:55 am

    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.

Scroll To Top