In one of my favorite books, Youtility, Jay Baer explains this notion clearly, “The premise is that you maintain a consistent presence in the marketplace of messaging, with ongoing advertising and promotions so that customers think of you first when they are ready to purchase whatever it is that you sell.” This “top of mind awareness” drives me to invest my time and money in this ridiculously looking idea of divulging my secrets to the competition. I like how Baer points out that there is a two-letter difference between the words “helping” and “selling” – but this difference makes all the difference in the world.
In this blog, I will list specific examples from my own law firm’s experience to give you a head start and prove to you that being competitive is no longer the core characteristic a business owner cannot live without.
Many have always been taught to beat others. We were never really taught to just live a modest life and be happy with it. Why should there be a race or a competition? Why can’t we set our own standard instead of someone else’s?
Competition is just an illusion. It starts with jealousy and rivalry. Competition means doing something better than other people. However, by the time you know you have defeated a person, someone else might have achieved a lot more than what you just did. Why limit yourself to a counterpart and come down to comparing?
As part of our approach to being helpful and useful, we mentor other lawyers (yes, even the competition) to help us and others grow. We have set up a mentorship and coaching tool. Most people are so blinded by the term “competition” that they have actually forgotten the very essence of it: the act of competing is known as competition. We need to compete against our goals, not against the people. That is why we are willing to share our expertise and knowledge with other lawyers, even in our own practice’s proximity. Sharing samples, document formats, checklists, marketing tools, systems, and procedures is not going to give away our business to competitors; on the contrary, the beneficiaries will be grateful forever. They will refer business back to us and spread the good word. Our goal of expanding our brand and reputation has been achieved. We beat our goals, not the people.
How We Do It
1. Facebook Q&A
On a regular basis, I will host an hour-long Facebook Q&A session on my law firm’s page to answer followers’ questions regarding anything immigration. As you can imagine, hundreds of followers flood our page with questions and a considerable amount of these people become returning clients.
2. Citizenship Pal App
The beginning of 2014 is an extremely exciting time for me and my firm. Not only do I have an information-dense eBook that is about to be published, our new Citizenship Pal app will also be introduced to the general public on all platforms, available to all devices, free of charge.
I have noticed that many of our clients are often confused and intimidated by the citizenship test, possibly due to their language barrier, having difficulties with accessibility, or as simple as not knowing how to prepare for the test. With an interactive, self-explanatory layout, users can fill out their corresponding application forms and email them to themselves as a PDF file. They can also test themselves on the USCIS’s 100 naturalization questions.
The same concept of offering free eBooks applies for the creation of apps. It’s a conveyance of information, minus the aggressiveness and provocativeness of selling. Nothing works better than an app to show the service provider’s dedication to bringing convenience to the client’s life. When it comes to fruition, you harvest their businesses, loyalty, and a positive word of mouth.
3. YouTube Videos
In my previous blog posts, I have emphasized countless times on the significance of video marketing. According to Forbes, 90% of marketers prefer/use videos to convey their messages. All movements, from your tone of voice to your facial expressions, send out your messages in a more believable and appealing way. Below is a recent video I made, using showme.com, on How to Immigrate a Spouse from Overseas Step by Step:
With the help from surging technologies, even if you do not own a high-definition camera or a production studio, you could utilize software like Keynote or showme.com to transform your plain words into vivid pictures. The key to bear in mind here is to bring original and fresh content at the speed that is quicker than your competitors to your audience. Use your phone like a news reporter on scene when necessary. Moreover, always be attentive to your video like it’s your new born baby, who needs your constant nurturing. Opportunities are buried in the comment section. Yes, consistently checking back and replying to questions can be time-consuming and hectic at times but the results are rewarding and addicting.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. All of the above examples, from giving out free advice to developing an app, stress my reoccurring point: always go the extra mile to bring value to the table. Bluntly put, do not be lazy. Jay Baer said it well: “If you want to succeed in a world where the balance of marketing power has swung dramatically in favor of the customer, you need to become a YOUtility.” So start being useful and helpful. Nothing is something you did not already know, only something you thought of but did not act on.