Building strong relationships with influencers in your niche is a tenet of Marketing 101. The folks you connect with can not only provide terrific insights about your target market, but they can also help get your brand in front of potential customers. Nobody understands this strategy better than Jon Ferrara, founder and CEO of Nimble. A pioneer of CRM (customer relationship management), Jon firmly believes in the power of connecting with influencers on a personal level. His company strives to help marketers reach consumers through social influencers on a variety of online platforms. As the world of social media continues to expand, Jon offers advice on how companies can break through to their target audiences by networking with trusted advisors.
Jon explains that in order to reach your audience, you must look beyond it. People would rather buy a product or service that’s recommended to them by somebody they trust, and that’s where social influencers come in.
Nimble, a social selling software, lets its influencers talk about the brand to its target audience, rather than toot its own horn. “I think it’s more powerful when other people talk about you than when you talk about you,” Jon proclaims.
Jon began marketing Nimble not by talking about how great his brand is, but by adding value. Whenever he found a great article from a relevant influencer, he would share it on social media. Jon states, “Once the influencer who wrote that content reached out and thanked me, I then reeled them in and started a conversation.” Many of those conversations turned into relationships, which in turn resulted in more clients for his brand.
Jon’s example shows that by giving a little, you can get big returns providing more proof that we are in what I call “The Give to Get Economy.” Jon even goes so far as to say, “I think service is the new selling… Even if it means recommending somebody else’s product, that’s social selling.” Jon bases his business model on this message, and believes that “giving to get” is the future of marketing.
Jon’s doctrine has significantly expanded Nimble’s footprint. “As you see it, share it,” he says. “So that’s the way I built the Nimble brand…by identifying the influencers, sharing their content, engaging with the people that responded and engaged with those influencers as they’re responding, and turning them into evangelists.”
When getting in touch with influencers, Jon makes a point to genuinely connect with them rather than advertise to them outright. He’s been teaching salespeople to get to know the people they do business with from day one. Whenever we meet a new potential connection, Jon urges us to look around that person’s office and take note of the books or knickknacks. Jon says, “All those things are opportunities for you to discover things that you might have in common with that person to develop the intimacy and trust that you need in order to get that person to open up to you about their business issues, which as professionals you could then solve.”
Meet the Guest
Jon Ferrara is a social marketing sensei, providing top-notch social customer relationship management to marketers everywhere. As a co-founder of GoldMine CRM, he innovated new ways for marketers to build relationships with customers. In 2008, Jon launched Nimble, the next generation CRM product for small businesses. He currently serves as Nimble’s founder and CEO, where he specializes in entrepreneurship, product innovation and brand and identity development.
What You'll Learn
- How to develop a smarter, more effective social selling strategy for your brand.
- How sharing knowledge on social media can help your brand succeed.
- The benefits of developing relationships with social influencers.
- How to find and embrace trusted experts in your niche.
Quotes from Jon Ferrara
- Service is the new selling.
- To access prospects and customers at scale, don't think about marketing to them -- think about identifying their trusted advisers and help those people succeed.
- I've got five E's for that: you educate, enchant, engage, embrace, and empower your customer.
- The best you could do as a businessperson is give your knowledge away.
- Every day you wake up; if you're passionate about what you do, you're consuming more knowledge. Just give it away.