Corine La Font, Contributor
Technology is here to stay, and for those of you who are not on board yet, be ready to be left behind! There's nothing wrong with being 'old school', for old-school approaches still work, but with increasing competition for the same dollar, old-school businesses need to step up their game to get ahead and stay ahead, or at least separate themselves from the pack by incorporating innovative approaches to doing business.
Recognise how interaction with your customer has changed. They need faster service, turnaround time and with the same or better quality than before at a reasonable price, and even if it is at a higher price, they are prepared to pay, if they know they are getting value for their investment. Understand that marketing has taken a different turn. It's not about pushing the product on customers anymore and influencing them to buy. It's more about relationship marketing which involves getting to know your customer from a different perspective - it may even mean going as far as knowing their families and friends, colleagues at work, their social likes and dislikes, even to what they read and eat.
One of the best ways to really build relationships with others is using virtual technologies. I would say that because I am in a virtual business and have seen my business and network grow because of it. As a virtual events specialist, I use these technologies and have seen my business grow in the following ways:
1.List building - Virtual events such as webinars, tele-seminars and tele-summits have increased my customer base. Having this list has allowed me to keep in touch on a consistent basis so that I am able to gather research data, needs and trends in order to make my offerings tailored to a specific target audience.
2.While traditional face-to-face events won't really become extinct, they are slowly but surely becoming the second choice when given the option to attend an event virtually. Why? It's not only easy to get into these events, the cost is low to attend, you can listen or watch from the comfort of your office or home, you get the added benefit of the recordings and transcripts afterwards, you can sign in at the last minute, and you can attend from anywhere in the world! Traditional events significantly limits the level of success you can gain when compared to virtual events, and while some persons see it as a way of getting away from the office and the family, you can't do it as often as virtual events which you can pay for and attend many times for the year.
3.Repurposing the audio and/or video allows you to generate multiple streams of income from just doing the event once, Isn't that awesome? Now, who wouldn't want that? I know I do. It's called the working SMART and not HARD approach.
While I may make this sound easy, there are many facets to making all this work smoothly behind the scenes to make any individual or business look good from the customer end. Lots of technical stuff I can't go into here, but it takes work and you have to know what you're doing to get it right.
There are so many parts to this oiled machine that some service providers specialise in only one area of making this virtual event a success. Others, like me, do it all; for not only does it get my blood pumping, I know that my clients really don't want to be stressed with doing anything but just showing up for the event, and showing up here simply means sitting in front of their computer to speak via their microphone or headset as the presenter.
They will be coached throughout the process and their input and objectives will be taken into account, but all the heavy work in making it happen is done without their involvement, making them a happy camper in the end. Persons who have attended webinars may be familiar with the ease they felt when they participated in an event like this, but little do they know what goes on the back end to make that so.
If you would like to experience what that feels like, given the season of giving, I am doing a 'Tweet and Win' giveaway of my Pre-2014 VA Start Up Teleclass - 3 Winners will be selected. The cut-off date is December 31 and you can enter via this link: http://tinyurl.com/kbkabhb
As you know, my first book on book marketing during the Christmas holidays for which I won an award earlier this year is also up for grabs. I have a 'Double Deal' promotion going on right now up until December 10. You get 50% off the paperback version when you use this code H3TXRTT6 at my e-store at https://www.createspace.com/4044201 There is more! After purchase, enter your name and email address with transaction code as proof of purchase at this link http://bit.ly/1eUcjoh and I will also send you the Kindle version for FREE! That's two for the price of one deal!
Be on the lookout in 2014 for FREE tele-summits and more from me to help you on your publishing, marketing and business journey. Make 2014 your year to use virtual technology to establish yourself in the market, build credible relationships, earn that additional passive revenue and reach the global audience you always wanted.
Corine La Font is a self-publishing, online marketing and virtual events specialist and consultant. She is also an award-winning publishing resource in the 2013 Small Business Book Awards. Get a copy of her book at http://amzn.to/TFHQka and Tune in to her radio programme at http://www.blogtalk-radio.com/helpdeskja.