Ad-Vocation: Marketing or Selfless Promotion of Your Mission?
From Latin: advocare – to summon. Advocates are your fans, friends and cheerleaders. They are current clients or previous clients who love what you do, why you do it and want to tell the world about how great you are. The determining factor on how many of these ideal advocates you have isn’t fate or coincidence, it’s intentional. There is a direct correlation between how much time and energy you put into creating and curating them and the long term success of your organization.
Perhaps the most important element of your marketing plan should be finding great advocates for your organization. Every organization has them. It may be one or 100. But you have them.
How can we set ourselves up to be great at creating these advocates? Here are a few thoughts:
- At least once per quarter, have a face to face “just for fun” event to invite your best advocates to join you. Try something that allows you to really talk to each of them. Keep it small with no more than 10 people.
- After each project, update your advocates. Keep their affinity for you current.
- Don’t just tell them about what you are doing. Ask their opinion. Give them permission to be brutally honest. Then be prepared to take action on the feedback.
- Never offer the new customers something better than you offer your advocates. Reward loyalty with your best work and best offers.
Advocates are your fans and they want to share what they know. You have to do your part to encourage them and intentionally create more of them.