How To Stand Out With Your Follow-Up

How To Stand Out With Your Follow-Up


More Clients TV

How To Stand Out With Your Follow-Up

In last weeks 5 minute marketing tip I showed you how to use value-added follow-up to strengthen relationships with potential clients instead of nagging or chasing.

In this week's video we're going to go a little further and look at how you can differentiate yourself and stand out from your competitors through the type of follow-up you do.

Watch this week's video to find out how…

For my comprehensive guide to follow-up, click here:

>> The (Almost) Ultimate Guide To Follow-Up <<

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Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another five minute marketing tip. On last week's tip we talked about how to use value added follow-up to build relationships with clients and potential clients. Today we're going to look at how to differentiate yourself through your follow-up, how to really stand out through that follow-up approach. I'll see you after the break.

Hi, welcome back. How do you stand out or differentiate yourselves through your follow-up? The first thing to bear in mind is that doing any follow-up at all will differentiate you from the vast majority of people who don't follow up or they follow up by nagging and chasing rather than adding value. That's the first thing to bear in mind.

There are three real ways you can differentiate yourselves through your follow-up. The first of those you can sometimes achieve, and it's the goal to aim for, and it's the quality of the content that you share when you follow up is so brilliant that it makes you stand out. If you've written the world's best article on a particular topic, then obviously if you send that to someone, they're going to be so impressed by it it's going to make you stand out. Obviously that's the goal to aim for but we can't really hope to write the world's best article on every topic that we follow up with or some of the follow-up isn't articles, obviously, it's introductions, or saying thank you, or saying it was nice to meet them, so you need something else there.

One method you can use to differentiate yourself through those sort of follow-ups is to change the media, change the format of the follow-up. Most people don't follow up at all, the vast majority of people who do follow up just do it by email. You can differentiate by using a different approach. If you're good on the phone, you can phone people up, you can have a quick call, say it was nice to meet them or to thank them for doing something for you. That's great if you're good on the phone. If you're anything like me and you're pretty rubbish on the phone and you feel uncomfortable all the time when you phone people up, then you might want to use something else.

I prefer to use good old fashioned post because very few people post things these days. Using the post can range from sending an article through the post, so if you've got a decent article, rather than emailing a link to it, actually print it off, get a nice good quality print out, put a cover note on it, say “I thought you might find this useful, Ian”, put it through the post and they'll get it and it'll make you stand out. Firstly because it's coming through the post as opposed to the hundreds of things they get in their email, secondly, it's also easier to read when things come through the post because it means they can put it in their briefcase, read it on the train, read it over breakfast or whatever it might be, or in a coffee shop, without having to open up their computer. It's more convenient for them as well. It's more likely to get read.

Another approach for using the post is to use cards. You can either use a thank you card like this, if you're thanking someone for something, or you can create a nice to meet you, nice to have met you card. This card itself I got custom printed by here in the UK. It has a little caricature of me on the back and a little blurb there, so that people know it's come from me and it feels like I've made an effort rather than just picked something off the shelf, and I would hand write out the contents of the card and send it to them in a hand written envelope. I know some people use online services, like SendOutCards. That's great, and it's quite convenient, but I prefer to use stuff where it's obvious I have hand written it and I've thought about them because I think it's the visible effort that counts a lot of the time, rather than it looking like you've typed something in and got someone else to send it off.

You too can get your own custom cards printed off for a variety of purposes; thank you, congratulations, nice to meet you, all that kind of stuff, very cheap, well worth doing. You might be thinking, “Oh, it's a bit cheesy to send someone a card,” but it doesn't feel like that when you receive it. If you get an email from someone, you think, “Oh that's nice,” move on the hundreds of other emails you get. If you get something through the post, especially a hand written note or a letter, you go, “Oh I wonder what this is.” You open it up, “Thank you, oh right. Oh that's nice of them.” That's what people think. They don't think, “Oh that's cheesy.” They think, “Oh that's nice of them.” Make use of the post.

The final thing you can do is to really go overboard and tailor whatever you're doing for people. Great example of this, a lot of people if they're saying thank you for someone doing something nice for them, might send a bottle of wine through the post, for example. You can go much further than this. This bottle of wine I got from my good friend Mike Seddon a couple of years ago, obviously it means quite a lot now given that Mike has unfortunately passed on, but Mike didn't just send me a bottle of wine. I'd given him a little bit of help with his membership site, a couple of days later Mike sent me this. As I say, it wasn't just a bottle of wine. It says on it, “Ian Brodie, the James Bond of marketing, and a closet coder extraordinaire.”

Mike had taken the time to tailor this gift. He put my name on it, he'd used an in-joke, there's an in-joke amongst us and our American friends that many of them seem to think that my voice sounds a little bit like James Bond, Obviously if you're from the UK you probably realise my voice doesn't sound anything like James Bond, it sounds more like Ant and Dec, but it's a nice little joke, made me laugh when I got it, and it obviously showed that Mike cared. He'd taken the time and put some thought into it.

I'm assuming Mike had already pre-set-up a relationship with a provider of this sort of thing that you can type in the tailoring and get it sent. He didn't have to invent it from scratch every time. He's probably done a few of those, and that's exactly what you can do. Put the time and the effort up front into some provider of gifts that allows you to tailor them, so then when you do want to say thank you to someone or you do want to do something special, you can call them or go online to their service, tailor the gift, get it sent off pretty quickly, and it makes a really big impact. It honestly does, when you get something tailored, it makes you feel as if someone really cares, because they've taken the effort and put the thought into tailoring it for you.

Those are my tips for really standing out with your follow-up. I'd use a different format, either the phone or use the post, and make sure you tailor it and personalise it. Make it really zing, make it something they wouldn't expect. People expect bottles of wine, people don't expect their own tailored bottle of wine. I've still got this two years later. I'm not likely to throw it away. It sits on my shelf. I actually noticed it when I was recording last week's video and that's the kind of thing you want. You want the people you're sending these things to to notice them on a regular basis and go, “Oh yeah, I remember that.” Do do that, make the effort, and personalise things.

See you next week.

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie is the best-selling author of Email Persuasion and the creator of Unsnooze Your Inbox - *the* guide to crafting engaging emails and newsletters that captivate your audience, build authority and generate more sales.

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