3 Resolutions to Turn Customers into Sticky Sheep

In October, I had the pleasure of meeting John Ellis at BarCamp Nashville. We worked together at the registration booth and became fast friends (see the photo in the link above). John’s one smart cookie who knows a lot about search engine marketing, web analytics and many other techy things.

But today, John talks about the human side of things in a post will help you turn your customers into raving fans – a great thing to get your year started off right! Check it out!

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Wait. What? Sticky Sheep?
  Okay, fist a little background …

Sticky Sheep was an idea developed by Gavin Richardson and me.
  Through StickySheep.com we often draw comparisons between biblical context and marketing trends. Sticky, coming from ideas that hold a user’s interest, and sheep, having biblical significance associated with followers and flocks.

Having followers (sheep) is what all companies want.
  I know … “Enough about sheep. How does this help me?”

It’s safe to say most companies have a few fans and followers.
  It’s the extreme fans, the ones that are the most “sticky”, that send a company to the next level.
  We all want passionate customers.
  Passionate customers not only spend money, they also ignite new customers. They are evangelist.
  With the New Year ahead, I have developed a few ideas to help you turn customers into evangelist.

New Year’s Resolutions for Igniting Customers

1. Potluck.

A traditional potluck dinner is a gathering of friends, where each person brings food to be shared among the group.
  Excluding the green bean casserole, potlucks are big hits because of the team effort.
  It’s crowdsourcing.
  When people contribute they feel a part of the community and they become more passionate.

This can easily be transferred over to any community. Involving customers ignites them.
  Below are a few ideas for creating potluck environment.

  • Start the conversation, but then get out of the way — Allow your customers to talk to each other. Let them exchange experiences. If you believe in your product, then let go.
  • Make it fun — Give customers a reason to talk about you, other than your main product. Create a game, a survey, or fun video.
      Get them involved.
  • Video/images — Feature your customers on your website using your product or service.
      Ask them to contribute with fun videos. The wackier the better.

2. Be Messy.

We are all messy. We screw up and make mistakes. You are no better. Why pretend you are perfect online? Show your messiness in marketing.
  Customers will appreciate you more if they can relate.
  For example, create a video of you talking about your product.
  Stop waiting for the professional videographer. Stop waiting for the expensive camera or software. Just go.
  Be real, be honest, and be messy.

3. Put Disciples into Action.

As mentioned above, we all have passionate customers.
  The catch is finding a way to use them and reward them.

Reward your passionate customers with free product, a free service, or free shipping. In exchange, ask them to comment on a blog post. Ask them to share their stories. Ask them for testimonials. Your customers can be evangelist, if you provide them with the right tools. Don’t forget to reward them. As much as they love you, they will easily forget you … if you forget them.

These are just a few ways to fill 2011 with passionate customers. Let’s face it all comes back to customer service. If you treat your customers well, they will reward you back.

How do you plan to reward your customers in 2011?

John W. EllisJohn
 Ellis, co-founder of StickySheep,
 is an online marketing expert, and
 frequent speaker at marketing conferences throughout the country, with
 clients ranging from travel and tourism to total e-commerce store
 fronts. John can be found writing about search engine marketing on his
 blog at JohnWEllis.com

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Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

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