Marketing is a two-way value-based longterm relationship
I have a nine-step process, but like a three-letter analogy for you to remember. But I want everybody to understand that relationships are not built and kept with one touchpoint. You don’t go date your significant other, and then disappear for the rest of your life, and then expect that it’s just going to maintain themselves. You have to water it. You have to nurture it. You have to build it. There are also going to be times in your life where you are in a relationship, in friendship, in romantic relationships, where things start to fizzle out. And you have to reengage them. You have to change your approach. You have to communicate differently. You have to reinvent yourself.
There are going to be times in life where relationships are no longer there. I might unfollow you. You might unfollow people at a very wise shaman when I was in Costa Rica, tell me one day I was really struggling with some friendships and letting go of some things in my life, but also re-engaging people that I really wanted in my life. And he looked me dead in the eye and he said, relationships only happen for a reason, a season or a lifetime. And it was something that really stuck with me. It stayed with me and it stayed with me for a long time. And so what I understand when it comes to relationships, especially in business and marketing as entrepreneurs, is that our job is to show up as consistently and congruently as possible. That is our duty. Our duty is to do that.
And most of the time I get phone calls like, Hey, my Instagram’s not working. Or my email list is dead or, you know, this used to work and it didn’t work. And the reason that happens most of the time is that we’ve become romantic about how we’ve done it. We want to check the box. We want to be like it’s an easy thing to do. It’s just how I’m going to check the box. Checking boxes do not work in relationships. And marketing is a relationship. Marketing is a two-way value-based longterm relationship.
Now, when you think about that, It’s really important to remember the principle is that I have to be here. If I’m going to be on social media, I have to be there. If I’m going to be on email, I have to be there. So you make a commitment to the consistency. Not, Oh, this tactic or, Oh, this strategy or, Oh, this is how I’m going to do it because that just sets you up to fail. You have to be able to reinvent yourself. You have to be able to adapt. You have to be able to match the current state of the world to match the current state of the platform or to match the current state of your customer.
And so there are going to be times where you are on social media or you are in your business, or you are with your team and things are flowing smoothly. They’re really easy. And they’re just going. And then all of a sudden, it’s going to feel like your break checked and your face smashes the windshield. And that’s an opportunity. That’s feedback. That’s the feedback that something needs to shift that a change needs to be made. Not that I need to quit doing it.
It’s not a death sentence. It’s not, I need to quit. It’s I need to make adjustment relationships iterate over time, you grow your customers, grow your team grows your products grow. The world grows, and our job is to grow with them. And so if you ever find yourself in a situation where everything you’ve been doing is working then all sudden it’s not, or your team used to have a really good culture and all of a sudden it doesn’t, or your Instagram used to get a whole lot of engagement, and now it doesn’t, or your emails used to get a whole lot of responses or clicks, and now it doesn’t, that’s amazing. That’s a gift. That’s feedback. That’s an invitation for an adjustment. That’s an invitation to explore.
What were you doing that was working that you need to continue doing? What were you doing that was not working and what are you going to do differently? And are you committing to the principle that I’m going to show up consistently and congruently and reinvent myself as many times as required until it works? And if the answer to that is yes, I guarantee you that it will work. I heard this amazing quote in a Navy seal setting. You have to commit to making it to the top of the mountain before you start climbing.
Climbing the Top
You can’t start climbing and then I’m gonna go and then you get in and you’re like, I’m tired. I’m not going to do it. I want to go anymore. No, there has to be a hundred percent commitment. If you want your email to work, it’s a hundred percent commitment. If you want your social media to work, it’s a hundred percent commitment. You want your team culture to work. It’s a hundred percent committed. If you want your business to work, it’s a hundred percent committed and it’s not a hundred percent committed to being right. It’s a hundred percent committed to being open, to receive the feedback, whether verbal or in lack of response, making the adjustments needed to make it work.
So now let’s get into the process of how to reengage a cold audience, whatever that might be for you. So there are three phases to re-engaging and cold audience, and I break it down in the AAA method, not the AAA that comes to tow your car. This is the AAA that comes to repair your relationship. I’m just like a walking cheesy person today. So there are three ways. Number one is awareness. A number two is the adjustment. And a number three is articulation.
So awareness in order for you to make an adjustment, you have to be aware that something is working or not working, and it goes on their side. And this is where you are aware of agnostic of feelings. I see this a lot. People like it’s not working. I failed I’m to blame and they carry this fault. Blame, guilt, and shame. And do you know what that does that makes you right? But if you notice that something’s not working and you become aware of it without beating yourself up, you’ve given yourself an opportunity to fix it, and then it doesn’t become true.
See when things stop working, they’re only true when you quit, but if you iterate and adjust, then they’re guaranteed to work and you’re continually moving forward and growing. So A number one is awareness. A number two is the adjustment. And I look at it as simple as this adjustment, what was I doing that was working? What was I doing that was not working and what can I do differently to create a different possibility and I commit to that thing and I move forward?
And then the third a is articulation. Articulation is being transparent and authentic with the people that you are engaging with. Of what you have noticed and become aware of and what are you committed to doing differently? And this is the part that most people ignore. We are humans. People do not expect perfection, but we tend to hold ourselves to perfection, which only ends up hurting us in the long run. If I’m committed to launching this podcast three times a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and all of a sudden six months from now for whatever reason something happens and I don’t post for episodes. If I come back. And I just go Monday, Wednesday, Friday, again, without acknowledging what happened. People will not trust me because I had a commitment. I had a verbal contract, an expectation contract when I said I will be here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And then I never renegotiated that contract. I broke that contract. And so if I come back and I take on business as usual without acknowledging what was done or what happened without the story, but just to owning and acknowledging it, I can’t be trusted again.
But if I come back and I’m like, listen, no excuses, something in my life happened. I know I committed to every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I am recommitting right now that this is going to be continuing Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And we’ve mitigated this from happening again. People can trust me. They can understand me. And I get to share how transparent I am with what happened. And so the three A’s are awareness, adjustment, and articulation.
The nine-step process
So now here’s the nine-step process. There are nine steps and these are really easy steps, but if you follow these, it works every time, nine steps to reengage your customers and your audience. Step number one becomes aware that you haven’t shown up that is what we just talked about. Become aware that you haven’t shown up. Once you have awareness, you’ve already won the game because you are in a position of power awareness puts you in a position of power that is aware, not acting, not reacting, just aware.
Step number two, explore deeply why you stopped. Were you posting every day, then you’re stopped. Where you emailing every day, then you stopped. Did you burn out? Did you set yourself up to fail? Did you overcompensate, did you do things for the wrong reasons? Did you overcome it? You have to be willing to be reflective of a position of power. So you have to think about yourself like your own coach, but you can only speak positively to yourself. I use this analogy all the time. Every one of you listening to this as an Olympic athlete, you have everything required to win, to compete at the Olympics, but you can’t name an Olympic gold medalist without a coach and the coach isn’t there to give them something. They don’t have the coaches there to help them navigate blind spots that they potentially can’t see. But they don’t beat them up. They don’t berate them. They help them navigate. You have to be that for yourself or have somebody in your corner that can do that.
So step number one is you become aware that you haven’t shown up and step number two is you explore why you stopped and you have to be honest with yourself. Self-integrity is the secret to success. If you stop showing up because you literally didn’t feel like it. You have to be honest and be like, I didn’t feel like it because only when you achieve that level of honesty with yourself, will you achieve the clarity needed to shift it.
Step number three, forgive yourself and forgive your team. Forgive yourself and forgive your team. This becomes poison. If you do not forgive yourself and your team, none of us are perfect. And we try to set ourselves up to be all the time. We are human beings. We are supposed to grow and we are supposed to iterate. If you made a commitment that you were going to show up every day and you missed the day. Great. You have to forgive yourself before you can commit again, or else you’re reacting and setting yourself up to fail again. If your team made a commitment to you that they were going to show up every day, beating them down. And breaking them down and making them feel bad and wrong is not going to help it fix it. They already feel bad and wrong. They already have regret. And your job is to be a teammate to bring them up, to see the power in them and to support them and support yourself and moving forward. So step number three is to forgive yourself and your team.
Step number four, develop a new plan. Look at what you reflected on what worked, what didn’t work in your new plan, set yourself up to win, look at that plan, and make it. So there is a zero chance that you can’t keep it. This means if you notice you haven’t shown up jumping on today and starting again without a plan is just going to set you up to fail again, develop a plan that you and your team all know that you can maintain and succeed with. Non-negotiable not predicated on your feelings, making sure that you learn the lessons and you permanently plug the holes in that bucket for the future moving forward.
Step number five, acknowledge it to your customers and your audience. If you have not shown up on Instagram for two months, and you told them you were going to be there every day, or if you told him you were going to be doing a free for all Friday and answer questions on Instagram stories on Fridays and you haven’t done it and you want to start doing it again. Your first step is to acknowledge from a place of responsibility and power that you gave your word and you did not keep it and here’s your new commitment, the level of depth that you go and sharing is completely up to you, but people will realize people will know. And if you don’t think they will watch, you’ll have people that miss you and they didn’t even realize they missed you until they came back and saw you again. And all they want to know is that you are above the brow, that you are there, that you are committed. And really what they want to know is that they can feel safe. Leave with you. Your authenticity, your integrity, and your transparency is what gives your customers or audience the ability to feel safe to advocate their responsibility or their pain or their fears to you as they consume your content and look at you to guide them moving forward in their life or in their business, towards their goals. You have to be impeccable with your word, Don, Miguel Ruiz said it, the four agreements are powerful, own it, acknowledge it to your customers and to your audience.
Step number six, once you have owned it and acknowledged it, state your commitment going forward. I am committed to this. I am committed to this amount of time. This is when I will be here. And because you have created a plan, that commitment is solid, it can’t fail. And so you can wear your hat on it and you can own it all day. You can commit to it and people can trust it. And it may take time for them to reestablish that trust. But you maintain. Your resolve when that commitment and it will shift.
Step number seven. Once you remake that commitment, you need to communicate what the upcoming weeks will look like. Let’s say you stated you were going to go live every Friday and you stopped going live every Friday. Your new commitment is to come back to going live every Friday, but now you need to give tangible evidence of what they can expect. So now that you have a plan. Tell them next Friday, I’m going to be talking about mindset the Friday after I’m going to be talking about the mistakes people make with email marketing, the Friday after I’m going to be talking about loving yourself and filling your tank. And the Friday after I’m going to be talking about eliminating self-sabotage because just giving your word that you’re going back Friday is enough to get their attention, but now you can create the trust and authority that you’re going to maintain it because you are giving specifics, which makes it real and tangible.
Just like, if somebody quotes a number like, oh, I’ve made, you know, $28 today, that’s specific. I’ve made a couple of bucks today. That’s not specific people. Trust specificity people trust specificity. So in your plan, get specific. And I don’t care how uncomfortable it makes you that uncomforted or that discomfort if I’m being grammatically correct, I think is what’s going to pull you into your best self, take the time to think about it, to get specific, and then have the intentionality and discipline to maintain that plan so you can establish these deep touchpoints of trust with your customers.
Step eight, open the door to communication and feedback. Marketing is a two-way value-based longterm relationship. So your job is when you remake this commitment and you tell them what the upcoming weeks will look like is to open the door to communication feedback. You can ask questions, like is there anything that you’d like to see for me? Is there anything I can do to support you? You know, what’s happened since I’ve been gone, what’s been coming up for you. You get to pick based on the nature of your business, the nature of your avatar, and the relationship between the two, but this is the best opportunity to get as connected as possible to your audience because if you do it correctly and you are firm and solid and somebody feels safe, they will tell you everything that you need to keep that going from this point forward.
And then the final. Step number nine, maintain your commitment, maintain your schedule, maintain your word, implement all of these things, and maintain whatever it is that you promised. And in the worst-case scenario that something is to happen. The worst-case scenario that you’ve given your word and for whatever reason, you can’t before you break your word. You let everybody know when you renegotiate your commitment even if it’s only for an hour a day or a week,.But you maintaining above brow integrity is going to be the biggest secret to your success. So that is the AAA method to reengage a cold audience or customer base.
So the triple A’s are: awareness, adjustment and articulation.
The nine-step process from a high level again.
- become aware that you haven’t shown up
- explore why you stopped
- forgive yourself and your team
- develop a new plan with specificity
- acknowledge it to your customers and your audience
- state your commitment moving forward
- communicate with clarity what the upcoming weeks will look like
- open the door to communication and feedback
- maintain your schedule
Here is one big important note, do not overcompensate. If you made a promise to go live every Friday and you stopped, the worst thing you can do is go live every day to try to make up for it. It does not reestablish trust. So for the first 30 days of your re-engagement, you need to maintain the schedule that you committed to nothing more, nothing less. Once that maintenance is done, you have established a new baseline of trust and authority. And then for the following 30 days is when you enhance surprise and delight, that is how to re-engage an audience using the AAA method