Being an expert in your field seems like a monumental task. Think about it. Knowing everything you can get your hands on about the topic seems almost impossible. However, with the vast resources that hang out on the internet, becoming an expert in your field is easier than you think, just don’t let it be a crutch.
Gardening Has Gone To Google?
About three weeks ago, my husband and I went to a local garden center to purchase some flowers to “beautify” our yard. Growing up with a father that had a degree in Botany and Fruit Science and a mother that literally spent every summer taking us to the area greenhouses to learn more about native plants, I feel like I could potentially be an expert at anything that’s green. However, I am not. There are still plants that trip me up from time to time. So as the two of us browsed through the nursery, we stumbled upon a few plants I didn’t know. I was curious and read the little card that was placed within the pot of the plant. “This should be planted in full sun, with proper drainage.” Followed up with a scientific name I couldn’t pronounce. What the heck is this I thought. Then a lightbulb went off, let’s ask one of the nursery employees what it is and how to take care of it.
Carrying the plant toward the front counter I approached a dirt-covered associate and inquired about the plant. Her first response, why don’t you just look it up on Google. Google!!!! Yes, I know that resource, as I writer I use it often to research facts, figures and stats. But seriously, I now need to go to Google instead of asking you about a plant? My dad would have been dumbfounded much like his daughter was at the response. I am pretty certain I stood there like a child who just found out the candy store was all out of lollipops. I swear I didn’t move for at least 30 seconds. Then she asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” (I digress and for fun I asked another associate for help with an Orchid. I know this is shocking, but I got the same response.)
While I might expect this reaction from a big superstore garden center, I was shocked to see that this well-respected speciality greenhouse wasn’t able to educated it’s customers on the plants it grew. Yikes! This of course got me to thinking about how important educational marketing is for business owners. Think about it. If you’re not perceived as a leader in your business sector, why would a potential client choose you?
How Does Educational Marketing Make Your Business Grow?
1) Nurture the important benefits of your company and share with your clients. If you want new clients and to help maintain the ones you currently serve, what have you done lately to nurture those relationships? Have you called them to survey how you’re doing? Have you provided them educational information so that they can learn more about your product or service?
Solution: Begin an email marketing campaign. Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your current clients and foster new relationships with prospects. Check out this article about how to effectively sell your company’s benefits.
2) Become a social butterfly. Using social media like Twitter and Facebook is another great way to share information you gleam each week. You don’t have to spend hours updating your page each day.
Solution: When you sit in front of the computer and read an interesting article over your “first” cup of coffee, if you find an article that would be of interest to your clients, post it or tweet about it. It takes 2 minutes and can create a raving set of “groupies” in your garden. Read more about the impact social media can make on businesses.
3) Incorporate new species of flowering connections into your company’s landscape. Networking with like-minded business professionals is a great way to grow your business. Not only can you meet new people who can connect you to their business, you can also build relationship with other experts. In addition, you can showcase your expert status by offering educational presentations that inform and enlighten. I can’t tell you the numerous speaking events I have attended. Some are boring and drab, but for all of those presentations, there is the 20% that are amazing, motivating and inspiring.
Solution: Be one of those speakers and people will flock to you and your business. Schedule a speaking engagement and showcase your vast knowledge of your business and the customers you serve. Look into some ways you can connect.
While I love Google, I hope that business owners and their employees don’t abuse it, thus loosing potential customers and or clients. We cannot put our businesses on autopilot and hope that someone will come back. The internet is a great resource, but it’s just that, a resource. Keep in mind that no matter how tempting it may be to refer a client to “learn more by Googling”, there’s still nothing like talking to an expert to really solidify the customer experience. As for the garden center I visited, let’s just say, next year, I’m going somewhere else!