Today's post is an interview with a fellow relational marketer and solopreneur, the Digital Doctor.
First off, how should people contact you if they like your interview?
Ken Hawrylak Digital Dr. Fort Frances, ON Computer and IT services www.digitaldr.ca (807) 275 6252
What was the motivation for you to get involved in relational marketing?
The motivation initially was cost hands down. It is far less expensive and time consuming to connect with people through social media than the cost for print ads and radio. By building relationships online with my clients, through social media, I've found there's a credibility and trust established within a community of users that are far more attentive and interested in what I'm sharing with them.
Who are your relational marketing gurus, the people you got all your tricks from?
I would have to start off with Regis McKenna at www.regis.com
This guy has been a marketing guru in Silicon Valley for DECADES. Listen to him, he has the wisdom, and saw relational marketing evolving before anyone else.
In his newest book Total Access, McKenna urges companies to get back to the "real work" of marketing --listening to and engaging customers everywhere, all the time -- creating what he calls "persistent presence." If companies can be always "present" in the lives of every customer, giving them total access to products and services at their choosing, then both customer and company win.
For my IT business I try to follow Geoffrey Moore, one of the leading thinkers on marketing and selling tech products. More than this, I follow /r/socialmedia and /r/relationalmarketing on Reddit, a host of pages on Facebook, and Circles on Google+.
How much time would you say you spend on marketing every week?
As I'm usually spending most of my time in the computer lab as it is, so when my client's systems aren't needing attention, I'm able to spend some time researching and/or writing new material for my blog. In a typical day, I might spend up to two hours total doing social media related marketing work.
How much money would you say you spend on marketing every week?
Other than redeeming and using my Facebook ad credits from my web host, I've spent about $500 total since March 1, 2013 on all marketing. Per week I am currently spending $0. That is going to change soon, though and I have a budget for $25-30 per week (targeted growth).
What did you expect to get out of relational marketing? Is it different from what you got?
I did not see the bigger picture in relational marketing at first. How important quality relationships built on trust and respect really are to your brand. How being transparent and honest with everyone builds even more respect and trust. I've had more than one client ask for 10 or more business cards to hand out for me because of the relationship and trust I've built with them.
If you were talking to a new business owner interested in relational marketing, what would be your advice to them?
I believe that the client will always choose a business they have an established relationship and trust with vs a complete stranger. Recommendations from friends, for your business, carry many times more credibility than any other method of gaining traction in any industry.
Be faithful and honest with your following, treat them with respect and all will be good, neglect any of these and this whole positive engine for marketing can quickly turn against you.
Two other books really changed how I look at my business are:
The One-Minute Salesperson, by Spencer Johnson MD. Customer retention and satisfaction is the name of the game here, give them what they want and they will return the favour.
Breaking the Time Barrier, from the maker of FreshBooks is a must read for anyone self-employed.
If anyone has any other questions for me you can e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org, I'd be happy to answer as many as I can.
Stay safe, it's a jungle out there ...