6 min read ⌚
Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter to You
Have some of your customers ever said to you: “I was just thinking of you”?
John Hall says that it’s vital.
Because being and staying “Top of Mind” with your customers is a prerequisite if you want to succeed in today’s dynamic world of marketing and business.
Who Should Read “Top of Mind”? And Why?
If you’ve spent some time in the world of marketing, you may think that you already know everything there’s to know; however, if you’re long enough – you must be aware that marketing is an ever-changing field in which the nuances matter and in which self-development is a prerequisite.
“Top of Mind” is for both novices and veteran marketers: it introduces the former to the new rules of marketing and some basic content marketing secrets, and it helps the latter understand how marketing has evolved from persuasion and selling to trust and lending a helping hand.
About John Hall
John Hall is the founder and CEO of Influence & Co., a content marketing agency which was ranked No. 72 on Forbes’ list of most promising companies in America in 2014, and No. 239 on Inc.’s similar list the very same year.
John Hall himself was recognized as one of the Business Journals’ Top 100 Visionaries, and two years later he received the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Best Emerging Company.
One of the most powerful people in media whom you’ve never met,” John Hall has so far authored only one book, “Top of Mind.
“Top of Mind PDF Summary”
The Internet managed to change so many things that people born few decades before it feel as if strangers in the world of the 21st century.
However, John Hall argues that with the advent of the Internet, the most important thing that changed isn’t the field itself, but the mindset of the customer.
And in an almost counter-intuitive way!
And marketers and marketing companies aren’t keeping up with this since they fail to acknowledge the revolution!
What are we talking about?
Well, you see, just a while ago – and by while we mean merely two or three decades ago – marketers could have ignored the Internet altogether.
But then, the first dot-com companies started making money, and the more perceptive advertisers started taking notes.
Some time passed, the millennials took the world by storm, and few people realized a painful truth: The Internet hasn’t merely changed some of the rules of the marketing game; it has changed the game altogether.
Namely, the 21st century meant that for the first time in history, customers were able to get all the info they like and need via the Internet.
And this didn’t only pertain to products and prices, but to reviews and expert opinions as well.
The big question:
So, what were all these salespeople supposed to do?
The startling answer:
They were obsolete.
They are obsolete.
And that’s a good thing.
Because, John Hall argues, it means that Selling 101 has morphed into Altruism 101.
Namely, since today’s customers are not passive – and are, even more, suspicious of salespeople who don’t ask for permission to invade their privacy – your job isn’t any more that of a marketing rep, but the far more humble and noble of being a friend.
Customers today don’t like to buy from people who are intrusive and persuasive.
Sure, you can trick them once or twice, but the minute they find out – and, trust us, these relentlessly displeased millennials will – you’ll lose them for eternity.
Them and about a million other people who’ll find out about it the very next second – on every social network in existence!
So, instead of tricking them – earn their trust.
Being authentic, honest and truthful is your best promotion, because if your customers trust you, then you will be the first thing that comes to their minds in case they need your goods or services.
This is what being top of mind means.
And what should be your objective if you want to be a successful company in the world of today:
Authenticity is the foundation of your relationship with your audience. But for the relationship to flourish, it’s not enough to simply be authentic; you also have to deliver tangible value.
To get to your customers’ “top of mind,” you need to earn their approval.
The very same way you would get the approval of people you’d like to be your friends.
By expressing genuine concern about their likes and dislikes, by establishing a type of communication between you two that’s based on mutual trust and commitment.
Most importantly, by helping your customers from time to time without seeking any compensation.
Let us rephrase that:
How would you feel about a company who suddenly presents you with a high-quality product you really need for no charge whatsoever?
Wouldn’t you feel almost obliged to buy the next product of that company once it arrives on the market?
Keep this up for the long haul, and you’ve reached your objective: you will be uppermost in the minds of your customers, and they’ll think of you first in case they need something you provide.
John Hall neatly zips the process in a simple formula:
Trust” plus “consistency” leads to “opportunity.
To strengthen the relationship with your buyers, use relevant content which – remember Simon Sinek? – should always start with your company’s why.
People are suckers for core purposes.
The rest is merely decorum.
Key Lessons from “Top of Mind”
1. Salespeople? Who Needs Salespeople?
2. Trust Plus Consistency Equals Opportunity
3. Content Marketing’s Best Practices
Salespeople? Who Needs Salespeople?
Maybe you haven’t noticed so far, but in the age of the Internet, salespeople – the good old Ziglar type – have become a thing of the past.
Well, because of a change in the mindset of the customers.
Your buyers are now capable of finding everything they want to know about your products online, rendering them much more powerful and much less susceptible to being tricked or persuaded to buy something.
The only way you can do that today is by earning their trust and becoming their friend.
And, thus, placing yourself at the top of their minds!
Trust Plus Consistency Equals Opportunity
It’s not easy to gain someone else’s trust.
If it was, you would have much more friends than you have now.
And when you want to sell something to someone, it’s even more difficult.
So, start by doing something extraordinary for the marketing world – don’t take advantage of your buyers, but lend them a helping hand.
We never thought we’d say this, but it seems that in the 21st century, Kant’s second formulation of the categorical imperative can’t ring any truer: “Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.”
Do this in a more consistent manner – and you’ll be granted with an opportunity.
Not to sell your products.
But to have them bought.
Content Marketing’s Best Practices
A good way to promote yourself in an age where earning the trust of your customers is an imperative is by using strategically developed – but always honest – content.
If you’re new in the business, follow these few steps:
#1. Set the right goals and document your strategy: and always start with a why.
#2. Focus on ideas which attract people: and seek guidance on how to do this.
#3. Commit to the process of content creation: and make it as enjoyable as it can be for your team.
#4. Find a way to distribute your content well: and make sure to update the methods continually.
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“Top of Mind Quotes”
Our Critical Review
As Al Ries and Jack Trout noted in their 1981 classic “Positioning” (which we didn’t hesitate to include in our list of top marketing books in history), “positioning is not what you do to a product: positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect.”
“Top of Mind” shares some tips and tricks which may help you emerge victorious from this battle for your mind.
And according to John Hall, once that happens, you’ve won the marketing war.
You want to have this book as an ally: it’s smart, practical and thorough.
An excellent resource!