Your stakeholders are the MVP’s (Most Valuable Players) to your organization. Without them, you’d have an interesting hobby rather than an organization that you are running. When we refer to stakeholders, we are talking about anyone or business that stands to gain as a result of the success of your business, including:
• Your community
Keeping them in the loop about what is going on in your business serves to build trust, loyalty, commitment and familiarity with your business. A communications strategy (not just a sell, sell, sell strategy) is one way to make sure that you do this.
How many emails do you get per day that are trying to sell you something? How many “free” webinars and tele-calls and partnership offers, disguised as sales tools grace your inbox, even hourly? Contrast that to the number of value-added items you receive. Which are better received?
Your stakeholders would be best served by value-ads (things that would be beneficial to that stakeholder), such as those articles, introductions and podcasts that could help them do what they do, better. Knowing that they can be in regular communication with you without being asked to purchase something helps to build trust, and encourages them to learn more about you.
On the flip side, getting involved with their organizations or them helps to strengthen the growing relationship. You’ve probably heard those dating or relationship stories where one party spends most of their time talking about and focused on themselves. In the same story, 99% of the time, you hear that the relationship fizzles. It will be the same with your stakeholders: if you spend all of your time focused on yourself or your company, they get disinterested, quickly.
A strong communications strategy is balanced; it addresses all of your stakeholders, individually, it gives and receives information about them, it provides value-ads for each of your stakeholders. It is a combination of a number of different contact methods, from broadcast to personal, and uses a number of different medium, from emails to telephone calls to e-newsletters or print newsletters to meetings to personal cards.
Your communication strategy is one of the tools that will help your business grow, exponentially. Because it is designed as a strategy, with regular communication and follow-up, you can give yourself goals with respect to how many people you will communicate with over any certain time period, and can measure how effective your campaign is. Since it focuses on deeper relationships with people an businesses, it will be more effective than advertising, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and a pretty logo.
Be extraordinary. Build extraordinary relationships.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].