Sometimes the most interesting stories are the most difficult to report. The story behind the story often needs to be under wraps; sometimes things are developing and incomplete so you cannot share all the details and at other times, strategically you don’t want to tip your hand to your initiatives and projects.
The circumstances I’m describing here fit partially into these “secret” categories. I’m not trying to cover up high-level espionage, but the work is under-way and so blogging about details would do no good. However, I’ll provide some tantalizing clues and hopefully enough information that you can piece together how you can apply the concepts here for your own business and practice.
Yesterday, our company’s leading salesperson sent out an email to a few dozen people, including a PDF of a feature we have just published. Within three hours, he received six expressions of interest in doing business. Likely revenue will be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Previous clients asked to do business again; while new clients said “yes” to the idea.
I hope to be able to share more specific details later, but I can deduce some things here.
The story had some “wow” factor.
We went to a place few people go, and many will never see in their lifetimes.
The story had immediate relevance to the readers.
While the event we reported was exceptionally remote, it involved people the potential clients knew personally — they could recognize names both of individuals and their trade group
We achieved technical competence in completing the project.
Layout, writing, graphics, production and other elements met the standards for quality that anyone should expect.
Within the specific project, we achieved credible success.
The readers noticed the advertisers — some surprising — and thought, “wow” if they could sell ads like this for such a remote community, maybe they could sell ads for a feature within their own communities.
Obviously, lots of pieces go into this success, as they do to most significant and seemingly surprising achievements. The challenge is to build the blocks that lead to success, combining various elements to achieve the results you are seeking.
Clearly, you need the basics: Technically you need to be able to the work and show you can. You also need relationships; ideally with influential individuals. You can often achieve these relationships by contributing to community and association activities. Then, when you actually work with the key influencers on a project, you have the ability to parlay your credibility to other situations. Finally, you can capture some luck. In this case, a highly relevant association decided to hold its annual meeting at a location far off the beaten track — in such a remote place, that most members could not attend. We arranged to get there, and continued with our plans even when we faced a last-minute setback that almost scuttled the project.
You can build on these basic points, too. This is not a fast road to success. While the inquiries occured quickly from a single email, much work and co-ordination went into the project before our representative hit the send button yesterday. But it can be done. (Overall, our marketing budget and time for this work are within norms, especially since we are earning revenue even as we build our reputation. This is the best way to succeed at construction marketing)