“Anyone you want to contact or with whom you want to connect in the world is only one, two or three people away from anyone you know.”
Facebook expert and marketing guru Mari Smith has become almost ubiquitous in the world of podcasts and new media marketing. Her peculiar Scottish-Canadian drawl makes her stand out when you hear her, and you remember it always. Her bubbly good sense and her constantly on-key message – that you need to be using social media to advance yourself - are enormously attractive, and so I was keen to read her book The New Relationship Marketing. I was not disappointed. It is one of those books that keeps you up at night with a pen and pad in hand (OK, in some areas I am still an old-fashioned guy) writing down ideas and methods for improving your current and future projects. Mari Smith has improved my world immeasurably, and I have only instituted one or two ideas from the book. I must have written down four dozen.
One of Smith’s strategies is an unashamed social climbing, of attending events and finding out where the great and the good hang out. In a high-tech world, she claims, it is increasingly important to be one of those who gets out of the house and meets people in the flesh. We are increasingly in the minority and, like good old-fashioned hand-written letters, our rare appearance makes us figures of genuine interest and excitement. We need to be more active and discerning about the relationships we cultivate, she advises:
“Cast your net wide: whom on this planet would you really, truly love to meet and have as an influencer in your life?”
Who indeed? I am not letting on who mine are because it’s a delicious mix of the sublime and the ridiculous. But I think it’s interesting that she says the people we focus on cultivating should be influencers. That is, not just objects upon which to foist our own ambition and cunning. These are people we should learn from, listen to and try to help. This is a new kind of networking, one championed by other interesting people like the wonderful Keith Ferrazzi, or Monroe Mann.
Increasingly, we sell our products ideas and brands through relationships, and not by shouting through megaphones. Smith advocates a terribly old-school idea of reputation management, In an era when people seem to see fit to broadcast their truculence, bad moods and petty personal vendettas for all the universe to see, she advises considering carefully every single thing you put on social media and online. Oh that her advice were taken more broadly! Every time we put something online it is there forever, and it is saying something about us:
“Always take a moment or two to ask yourself: How do I want people to perceive my company and my brand?”
|Smith with Guy Kawasaki|
Each of the brilliantly helpful and practical chapters ends with a summary of its main points, making this a very easy book to revise and put into practice. The summary from Chapter 8, for example, includes:
“Learn the art of the retweet by placing the author and your short comment at the end of your tweet.
Create an easy-to-manage editorial calendar to maximize the consistency of your quality content.”
|Smith's Contact Circles|
Mari Smith’s The New Relationship Marketing is one of the most tremendously helpful books I have read in a long time, and I know that I will be using it as inspiration and reference for the next couple of years. It is a worthy investment to remind you that you need to think of yourself as a brand and remember that all that you do online is building that same brand. If you are trying to attract people’s interest, then this book is essential reading. Have a taste by downloading a sample chapter from The New Relationship Marketing and checking out this interview with her on Social Media Examiner, then look at the book trailer to hear her gorgeous accent.