List to Last: Why Your Email Marketing List Matters

Real estate agents say – “list to last” because when you list a home for sale you have the opportunity to earn money when that home is sold by you or a fellow real estate agent.

As a business professional, the care, nurturing and development of “your list” determines how long you last as a professional or expert in your field. Grow and develop that great list and your great connections on that list will be your avid brand advocates, supporters, mentors, referral sources, trusted vendors, great clients and friends.  Your email marketing list is the lifeblood of your business. Don’t be fooled by those who say that email is dead or last year’s marketing tool – it is the foundation of all your social content and is a viable tool, still.

What do you do to develop and care for your list? How do you stay in contact? How up-to-date is the information on your list? Have you opened your list and found 20 different versions of the same person with email addresses from each past employer or different phone numbers? How, or have you, stayed in relationship with that person?

When a relationship (this goes for business and personal ones) ceases to be mutually beneficial to both people involved, somebody leaves. Are you ready to “fall out” of relationship with someone just because you got too busy, forgot to stay in touch or just didn’t have good contact information to stay in touch?

What have you done to take care of the people on your list? Remember, each name on your list represents a person and a relationship. [tweet this]

As a small business owner your list is vital.

If you’re a restaurant, you need your list of patrons to make sure you have meaningful and timely conversation with them.  Without knowing how to contact your current customers, how will you know:

  1. Who’s having a birthday?
  2. Who would appreciate a coupon for Grandparent’s Day, Mother’s Day or even for Veteran’s Day?
  3. Which customers have a favorite dish and provide them a special invite when you’re serving or showcasing that dish?
  4. How will you provide them an exclusive sneak peek of new dishes, desserts or even wines?
  5. How will they be able to enjoy the benefits of being in your exclusive “in the know first” list?

If you’re a Realtor, how will you know:

  1. Important milestones in your current customers or even vendors’ lives?
  2. How will you let people know of upcoming open houses?
  3. How will you know what other family members they have who might be in the market for a new home or who might be selling their home?
  4. How will you update your current clients on the updates in the market?
  5. Or, how will you update a local business on the challenges and how you can help in recruiting and moving new employees here?

Watch our video, How to Build a Responsive Email List for advice on adding new emails to your list, and growing an engaged audience for your business or organization.

About the Author:

Maria Elena Duron is a Marketing Coach and Strategist with Know, Like, + Ignite and @mariaduron on Twitter. Would you like practical tips to create and curate content and experiences worthy of being passed person-to-person? –Get exclusive access.


Feel the Sound – Your Audio Brand

With the dynamic nature of sound you can create an emotional connection with the target audience in your business. In some instances, people often tap their feet or hum to a company’s unique tune even when it is not playing at that particular moment.

Sound, and by extension music, taps into the emotions of an audience. When it is delivered reasonably, audio conveys information, entertain consumers, and in the long run helps form a lifelong positive association with customers that reinforces brand values.

Designing an audio brand would mean more than just creating a short melody or a catchy jingle[tweet this]

When considering the right music production source, listen to most of their work as much as possible then compare the overall quality.

Take your time and do the research; talk to the producer and writer to get a feel for their work before you start the project. And you, be the strategist and leader in your own personal brand, to make sure that in every way you express your brand that it’s truly – on brand.

Audio branding, also known as sonic branding, is a verbal identity that gives a brand its own distinct personality using tone of voice. It makes use of sound to reinforce a company’s identity and brand. Sound has always been a great tool to convey memorable messages to consumers as it is something that we’ve been able to consume even when we were in the womb according to Colleen Fahey, U.S. Managing Director of Sixieme Son, an Audio Branding Agency.

Listen in to a recent interview we did about what audio branding.

Author Bio:

Jake Rene is the Know, Like + Ignite Senior Writer, Author. 

Podcast: Audio Branding and Sixieme Son

Colleen Fahey, U.S. Managing Director of Sixieme Son, the largest audio branding agency in the world shared:

Audio branding brings life and continuity – so when you hear the brand, it sounds like the brand – making every touch point a relationship-builder.

We cover

  • How important is it for the sound brand to fit in with whatever visual branding already exists?
  • What are the top audio branding dos and don’ts?
  • The top things marketers need to think about before creating an audio logo.
  • How do you scale audio branding for a small business?  Do you have any recommendations on ways a small brand can begin to craft an audio sound strategy or style guide?
  • In that same focus, what about an individual (personal brand) who is an executive or solo-entrepreneur?

Listen in.


How To Find The Exact Count of Your LinkedIn Connections?

Stumped that when you look at your LinkedIn Profile you only see 500+ connections? Wondering what the exact number is?

If you’re on your LinkedIn home page,  look to the right and scroll down to a section titled, “Your LinkedIn Network”  on the right side.  Scrolling down you will see:  (A) the number of connections that link to you; (B) the number of new people in your network.  It gives you an idea of the number of people in  your first level of connections and the number and size of your network through three levels of connection.

When you are on  your LinkedIn Connections page, click on the gear icon and you can see the sources of your LinkedIn Connections.  You can also  find the same information if you  go here:  It provides the ability to see what sources your connections have come from and the amount of connections from each specific source.

You can also go here:  (you may need to refresh the page) and it will show the exact count of connections you have.

Author Bio:

Justin Duron is Digital Assets Manager | Craftsman for Know, Like + Ignite.   Justin manages and monitors the reports, data, insights and gives us a look at what’s actually working and not just the “bright shiny” vanity numbers! 


Quality Connections are the Goal

A lot of social media woes can be traced back to the wrong choice of platform to engage customers through. [tweet this]

This goes back to your market research. At the very beginning, find out where your target audience is most likely to hang out (pun unintended). Not every social media platform will work for your business, and you shouldn’t establish a presence in all of them, especially if doing so will spread you thin. As a small business owner, focus your efforts with platforms that are compatible with your company’s marketing approach and offerings.

Quality content

Social media is meant to be a way to engage and interact with clients and consumers, not an avenue for the company’s sales pitch. Aim to post information that contributes meaningful and insightful knowledge. If you use social media for advertising purposes, you are more likely to reach a wider audience who will boost your follower numbers, but won’t be true brand advocates.

Numbers don’t equate to success

If you are seeking an audience that will be happy to engage you in meaningful conversations and dialogue meant to grow business, numbers will not be your focus. A lot of marketers make the mistake of focusing on the numbers.  Most likely, the thousands of followers will be people who don’t care about your business, and are only there to boost their numbers as well.

Rather than focus on numbers, try and grow your community through offering targeted information and incentives. Doing this means performing the necessary market research to determine who your target audience will be. Provide them with useful content, and integrate word of mouth marketing tactics with them. Over time, you’ll be able to build a loyal fan-base and witness far less follower’ attrition when a promotion or competition you broadcasted over social media ends.

Let the conversation flow

All this time, listen to what your followers say about the business, and encourage them to interact with you. Fans that interact genuinely with you are those that already like your product/service, so avoid pushing your marketing message on them. Social media engagement should reflect a casual flow of conversation, one that is rich with advice and valuable content. Always listen and take the opportunities to address any complaints and concerns; it shows that you value what the fans say.

Aim to make fan interactions two-way. Besides offering regular posts, tweets, and updates, acknowledge fans that want to actively and genuinely engage with the brand. The more interaction you have, the better an impression you are leaving on the fans, who will spread the good word about your business to others.

Slow and steady

Building quality connections is all about taking it slow, like a long-term relationship, so to speak. If you are in it for instant gratification of large followings that mean nothing to the business, then you’ll resort to the sales pitch and advertising/self-promotion strategies. When you want your connections to mean something to your business, who engage and help you grow the brand as a whole, then you’ll cultivate them from potential customers to eventual brand loyalists.

Though using social media is easy, it takes time and thought to grow a quality social media following. Daily monitoring, providing valuable and informative content, giving fans a chance to engage with the brand, and generally taking it slow are the ways to build quality connections. Social media shouldn’t be viewed as a one-off investment, but rather as a long term avenue to engage and interact with loyal fans.

Choose the right platforms

For many social media marketers, there is always a tendency to do too much. Most of the time, this has to do with the fact that social media platforms are easy to use. Updating your status updates on multiple platforms will only take a matter of minutes, and monitoring retweets, mentions, likes, and shares is as easy as using a single app. This all makes life easier, but the key to establishing a quality following on social media is through care and consideration.

This aspect is more so important when it comes to building a community of loyal fans. The more the better, right? This may not always be the best strategy, especially where you are looking to build a quality following. Your key consideration should not be how many people follow your business on social media, but how many really appreciate the brand and can advocate for it in their private personal networks.

About the Author:

Maria Elena Duron is a Marketing Coach and Strategist with Know, Like, + Ignite and @mariaduron on Twitter. Would you like practical tips to create and curate content and experiences worthy of being passed person-to-person? –Get exclusive access.