If you want to win, start with awareness, then consideration, and then maybe—the conversion
You can’t build a meaningful relationship with your customers if you constantly interrupt them. Even a free “10 Essential Steps to Washing Your Dog” guide to launch your email newsletter requires preparation. The word free still implies an exchange, there is still a trade going on.
Nothing exchanged online is truly free and your user intrinsically understands this.
If you want awareness, you have to give something in return. To gain consideration, you have to provide an excess of value to the end consumer. And your customers don’t buy your products and services unless you’ve established a relationship with them—the type of relationship that takes a substantial amount of time to earn.
Your competition is not only those brands within your industry, the companies that are selling similar things. Your competition is every single company and person who wants a relationship with your customer. Your customers can sustain multiple relationships at a time, but to enter into that list or relationships requires effort and time.
Of course you can spend money to interrupt your customers as they navigate their feeds, but ad spend is often wasted on users who have no interest in you. You are also wasting money when you retarget interested users, pushing the sale rather than a relationship. There’s a fine line between positioning yourself and being a nuisance.
People buy when they are ready to buy
Your customer most likely already has a list of bills and other financial commitments that require more attention than what you have to offer. Even if you are providing the most stellar product or service, you can only convince them to consider you. That is the most you can do with all the money and effort in the world.
We have to assume that if the person we are speaking to really needs us, they will buy when they are ready. We can’t force them to make the decision. Focus on building a relationship, which may take years to make depending on the price and the value of your work. Trust that building a relationship is more important than the bottom line. Building a relationship with your customers is what’s going to distinguish you from the competition.
Convince your customer to consider you, not to buy from you. That’s how you win.
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