In marketing, we reach our audience by using a variety of touch points.   Let me first explain what I mean by “touch point”.  For me, a touch point is any time your business engages/touches your audience and they in turn feel valued.  The second part is the key.  Your customers need to feel you.  When you shake someone’s hand in the “real” world, they are going to feel your hand.  If they don’t feel you, your business will be ignored.

How can you touch your audience?

  1. Blog – Make sure that you have a call to action or two on your blog.  I know of a ton of blogs that are widely read but don’t parlay the popularity into sales because their is no call to action.  This can either be a subscription to a newsletter, or free consultation, or webinar, etc…
  2. Twitter – Chris Brogan is the Twitter legend, but, Laura Roeder shows excruciatingly busy business owners how they can maximize their Twitter efforts in ten minutes.  Simply listen to what’s going on and add something valuable  *Oh, and don’t be that guy/gal who tells me how their stuff can make me more money all the time.
  3. Newsletter – Some people say that because they blog, they don’t need a newsletter.  The thing about a newsletter is that it becomes a bit more intimate.  When you subscribe to a blog, you aren’t giving anyone information about you.  However, when you subscribe to a newsletter, you are saying that you trust people with something personal about you, like your email address.  This psychological hurdle is a key to getting more people to respond to your newsletter vs. your blog.
  4. Facebook – We all know what Facebook is.  If you need help with your Facebook marketing efforts, Paul Dunay is your man.  He wrote the book on it (literally).
  5. Web Tools – Website Grader from Hubspot is the best example of this.  It’s useful and free, and tells you how you can improve your website and drive more sales to your business.  Can you take a piece of your product or a concept of your philosophy and create a tool around it?
  6. Email Auto-Responder – Elena Verlee sends me an email auto-responder about once a week.  I signed up for her public relations ebook (and loved it) and now she keeps in touch with me.  Rarely does she sell me something and she does a fantastic job of intertwining her personal life with tips on getting free publicity.  These emails are both informative, and I feel like I know her.
  7. Publish a book – David Siteman Garland is in the process of publishing a book.  Not everyone is going to be able to find a publisher who wants to publish your book and sell it in Barnes and Noble, however, a self published book can work wonders as a business card and lead to speaking opportunities.
  8. LinkedIn – My friend Todd schedules at least 5 prospect calls per day.  He answers questions and participates in groups.  But his real secret is a system that he implements that makes people want to get on the phone in a very non-pushy/spammy way.
  9. Online PR – You can greatly expand your reach and get on to the front page of Google (at least for a few hours) by spending $200 with PRWeb and writing a kick ass press release.
  10. Referrals – Most businesses, especially in the startup phase, credit word of mouth as the number one reason for their success.  However, when asked, many of these business owners admit that they do not have a system in place that allows them to maximize their referral potential.  Enter John Jantsch, author of Referral Engine.  Your customers are the best marketing tool available to you so you might as well use that to your advantage.