Part 3 of 4
Welcome back everyone to Part 3 of this 4-part series on Skype Marketing. Let’s get right back into where we were yesterday. In addition to guru-stalking, you can use Skype to market and promote your business.
Do your research on companies that can help you promote your business, be it companies that can sell your products for you, companies that can help open up distribution channels for you, partners that can help market your products, affiliates, joint-venture partners – whoever it is you’re trying to connect to, do your research, connect with them on Skype and then start building that relationship.
You know, flattery goes a long way. Compliment them on their products, compliment them on their business strategy, even as much as getting on a phone call with them to talk about their business. It’s all about them and it’s all about their business. And develop that relationship and how you can partner with them to be able to promote your business.
And again, when developing this relationship, you want to be very sincere. You don’t want to be laying it on thick and just try to develop a relationship with these people from a level of just being very phony and insincere. You definitely need to be sincere and develop this relationship.
But once you’ve developed this relationship, once you’ve developed the ability to communicate with them on an ongoing and open basis, only then is it the proper time for you to be able to then ask them for something in return, be able to ask them, ‘Hey, Joe, we’ve got this new product coming out, do you think it’s possible for you to present this to your distributors? Do you think it’s possible for you to promote this on your website?
Do you think it’s possible for you to include this in your newsletter? Do you think it’s possible for us to work a deal to have you include this in your call center? Is it something that your sales people can add to your portfolio?’ Only then is it the time to go and ask them for something. Otherwise, you’re just this guy out of the blue asking them to add something to what they’re already doing and they probably get 10 of those people a day already.
So develop that relationship with them first. And use Skype to do it. It’s very easy, once you’ve made that connection, to send a quick note to them, to send a little reminder, to invite them to your events, to invite them to a webinar and just kind of keep that dialogue open. Skype is very non intrusive in being able to communicate. It’s not like calling them and getting them on the phone and interrupting what they’re doing.
When you send them a Skype message, they’re going to read their Skype messages when they have time. Now you can do that on other social media platforms, but honestly I think Skype is that one-to-one communication and as it becomes more and more a mainstream communications tool, I think more businesses are applying Skype as their part of their business life than they are Facebook and so forth.
There is a lot of companies that are actually blocking Facebook and Twitter and a lot of other social media platforms and they’re not blocking Skype. So another reason to be using Skype in that area – it is in my mind a social media platform, but many people don’t see it and many corporations don’t see it as a social media platform, so they’re not blocking that in the business environment or the corporate environment.
So let’s talk a little bit about Skype groups – participating in Skype groups and creating Skype groups. A Skype group is just a collection of people that are all in a group message, in a group text, that every time you send a message out, it goes out to everybody in the group and every time one of them responds, it goes back to everybody in the group.
Now I use Skype groups a lot and in the planning of large events. So when we’re planning a large tournament, I will create a Skype group for that tournament and I’ll put all of my volunteers on that Skype group and then we’ll communicate openly about all the different things that we’re doing to prepare for that event.
So if somebody is going to go on a range for the physical trainers – “Are they going to be there?’ Somebody can ask a question, ‘Did we get a contract with those trainers yet?’ and the person that’s doing that can respond, you know, ‘Here is where I’m at, I’ve got to call this person back, I’ve got to do this to add the other.’
And then somebody else thinks about a way, ‘We need to make sure that we also have access to ice for the trainers’ and somebody says, ‘Did you talk to the facility about making sure that we have ice for the trainers?’ and that person can respond – you know, just back and forward communication.
And it’s not just something – you know, in an email thread, you have to constantly go back through and read all of those emails and you do that as well on Skype, but these are much smaller messages, a lot quicker and a lot more spontaneous. You can be on Skype live and watch these threads as they’re going through live, or if you’re away from your computer or you’re off of Skype for a while, you can come back and scroll back up and read through the messages that you may have missed to get you caught back up.
I have as many as 20 – 25 people in this Skype group and we’re all communicating back and forth. And it gets so much stuff done, because you don’t have to wait for that volunteer to call you back and then to ask them the question and whatever their answer is, you’re the only one that heard that answer, the rest of the group didn’t hear the answer, so the rest of the group doesn’t know what’s going on. So it’s very, very effective in being able to manage and utilize a large group of people.
Now participating in Skype groups is also very valuable and I joined a lot of different Skype groups and those messages pop up on a regular basis. And a lot of those messages I don’t really care that much about, I’m just in the group because it’s good for business or there are some people in there that I want to follow, so I’m in that group just to see what they’re saying and what they’re working on.
But you can go into those message groups at any point in time and scroll back through the previous day’s or month’s worth of messages and go through and read what’s going on and read what’s happening.
You can also search them, you can search by that one person to see what one person said throughout the whole thing, you can search for particular words that they’re using, or phrases, or email addresses or website addresses. So being in a Skype group, if it’s a valuable Skype group, it can really be a good tool.
Now I’m in several different Skype groups for different reasons. I’m in Skype groups with some social media people, because I want to see what they’re doing in social media. I don’t have so much to add from the social media side.
While I know a lot about social media and I studied social media a lot, I don’t usually do the social media work myself. A lot of that work I have my virtual assistants work on.
So if they’re talking about the details of how to do something on Facebook or how to do something on Twitter, I’m not so interested in the details. I’m more interested in the tactics and strategies that they’re using and what’s working, what’s not working, you know – what did Facebook change, what did Twitter change, what did LinkedIn change, you know, what are the different things that are going on. But I’m also interested in seeing what the key people in those groups are saying – what do they focus on, what do they feel is important.
And if you’re trying to get the attention of a guru or you’re trying to get the attention of a junior guru, that’s a great way to get their attention and that’s participating in a group that they’re in. So if you’re researching them and you find that they’re in a group, try to join that group.
A lot of groups are private, you have to ask to be approved, but once you’re in that group, then you can strategically respond to messages that the guru that you’re trying to reach out to would see as being positive and being valuable and they’d see your name. You don’t want to just be responding, ‘I agree’, ‘Yeah, that’s for sure,’ ‘Oh, I believe that.’ Those are little one-liners, but they’re not valuable.
You need to really be putting some insight and adding value to the overall group, because you want your guru, your junior guru to see that and see that as value as well. So there are reasons to participate in those groups as well. And again, this is happening live all the time on Skype, so it’s not like you have to sit down and plan to do this, it’s not like from 8 to 10 in the morning you’re going to do Skype groups.
You just do that, just have Skype open and as those messages are going through, you can get to them when you’re able to get to them. You don’t have to worry too much about specifically setting down at a specific time to work on developing Skype groups or participating in Skype groups. You can do that on an ongoing basis, throughout the day.
Now developing your own Skype group is another way to continue to develop and grow your business and specifically grow your products. If you have a product that you’re getting ready to promote and you have people that you want to go out and promote your product, be it distributors, re-sellers, sales agents, reps – whatever your channel is to get your product out to the market, you can invite the key people to participate in a pre-launch Skype group – if you’ve got a product that’s coming out – or in a product Skype group – if you already have an existing product that you want to promote – and allow them to communicate among-st themselves as well as with you on how best to promote that product.
Now you do want to be a little bit careful with this, because you don’t want to put naysayers in there and have somebody saying something negative and negatively influencing the people that you’re trying to get to promote your products. But you can always kick somebody out of a group if they get in there and start saying negative things. So just be careful who you invite and then quickly get rid of them if you get somebody in there that’s really being detrimental to the group.
Another way that you can use Skype groups as well is you can use Skype groups to offer support to your customer and the reason you’d want to have a Skype group as a support mechanism is because the people in the Skype group can help support that customer.
So if you have a product and you have a bunch of users and you invite everybody to the Skype group and some of the people will join, some people won’t; but you invite them to a Skype group and you get some conversation going and then you have – it’s kind of like a users’ group or a forum.
You have people that are commenting about how they’re using the product and how they’re succeeding with using the product. So you have the opportunity to have them – and again, their good will – helping others.
If you build a really high quality product and you have a lot of customers that really love your product, those customers that are in that group will then come into your defense as somebody says they don’t like the product or they don’t like the way it works.
Oftentimes you’ll see the other customers chiming in and that, ‘You’re not using it right. You should try this, you should do this…’ So it is a way to provide the support. Also, your support person can be participating in the Skype group, and so when somebody does ask a question, your support person can respond with the answer, and not only did they respond to the person who asked the question, but they responded to everybody that is in the group.
Now your Skype groups don’t have to be 20 or 25 people; they could be hundreds and hundreds of people. Another way that I use Skype is to do consulting and to do couching or mentoring. I use Skype to do consulting either one-on-one or in a small group environment if I’m providing some training or some education to somebody or if I’m doing an interview.
Oftentimes when people want to interview me, I’ll do a Skype interview, because they can record the interview a lot easier than you can record an interview from a telephone, because you can do Skype on your computer, you can actually take the output of the Skype and feed it right into your recording system, so you’ll have the ability to use this Skype interview as future content. So I do that and many other people do that to be able to re-use interviews, either in our products or just as content themselves.
Oftentimes, people will do that for podcasting, webcasts and webinars – they’ll take those recordings and make the available. But you can also do small group coaching as well. And that’s, again, creating a private group – nobody can get in that group unless they’re invited by you, anybody that somehow finds that group because their friends told them about the group and told them the name of the group they go look for, they still have to be approved by you before getting into the group – and then you can do your group coaching from there.
So you can have, you know, what they call office hours, where every week on Thursday, from 8 to 9 PM, I’m going to be on Skype, you can get on Skype and ask me anything you like, and then they ask question, you type those questions and again, those questions will live on, so that the people who weren’t able to get on the coaching session at that time can then get on later and go back through and read those coaching sessions.
You can also do those in an audio, you can do them live. You can do a Skype group, invite a bunch of people to it and do an audio conference. You can also share your screen, just like you could in a webinar, so you can do a lot of different things with Skype as far as your coaching.
You can do just text, where they’re typing in questions and you’re typing in answers, you can do it just audio, where they’re asking questions and you’re responding, you can do it with audio and video, where you can actually show them your screen or they can see your face. So there’s a lot of different ways you can use Skype. And again, this is all free, you’re not paying for the ability to provide this.
Now Skype does have some features that they charge for, but for the most part, most of the things that Skype offers are free. And most of the things I use on a daily basis on Skype are free or at a very low cost.
Let’s break here and continue tomorrow in our 4th and final episode of this 4-part series on Skype Marketing.