Why asking for help could be your next great marketing strategy

asking for help

By Fab Giovanetti, {grow} Contributing Columnist

Most of the marketing advice on the web is about giving — creating content, dispensing help, coming alongside customers at their point of need.

But marketers can also benefit from taking if they learn the art of asking their community for help. If you know how to become a little vulnerable and open the doors let people in to help, they just might fall in love with your brand. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. 

When it came to publishing, promoting my second book, Reclaim Your Time Off, I didn’t follow any normal plan from the “marketer’s playbook” (if such a thing even exists!). I took my skills as a friend and and a compassionate human being and applied them in a completely different way. For this launch, for this book, I didn’t push it out, I pulled my community in to help.

It was an experiment. If you never ask, you will never know! It may sound cliche, but it’s still a hard lesson to swallow for many people. By asking, I do not mean selling. Asking for help, asking for guidance, asking for what people want and need from you. 

I used to be a music journalist. I learned the power of connecting with a community by studying artists and musicians. Like the music industry, the creator economy is in full rage right now, and it is equally dependent on community. And community engagement can go both ways.

Marketing can be a value exchange

Successful creators — the ones that want to make a positive impact — put their audiences first. They communicate and listen. Not because they need their brand to fit with a specific narrative or to tick a box, but because they realize that their message influences people and their lives. 

Launching this book by leveraging that loyalty taught me so much about how to be a better marketer. 

I could lean on my existing community to amplify that message and bring awareness around the book. That passion, that willingness to ask, again and again, made me determined to leave nothing to chance.

Authors have specific expectations about what books might bring to us, fame, recognition, authority, new leads, and clients. This book was never about that. 

It was about inspiring people to change the overall narrative about what success should look like at work. I wanted to change conversations in boardrooms, as well as households. When I started promoting this book, my main goal was to provide so much value to my readers that I could change their lives forever.

My audience was involved from the beginning. Getting clear on my audience’s pain points by asking them their main obstacles and struggles (often on LinkedIn or Instagram stories) allowed me to outline a full spectrum of different topics that will be complementary to my book. All I had to do was create content that would answer those questions, providing solutions to those problems.

By having a bank of ideas and questions, I could craft conversations that would guide my content that led to the book. Next, I had to find the right platform to help people amplify that message.

The power of asking for help

When it came to the promotional plan, I wrote down everywhere my audience would be actively looking for answers to those questions: from podcasts to publications to LinkedIn and Clubhouse

It was time to ask for help again. In this instance, I reached out to influencers within those specific platforms to help me share my message. 

I thought about who I already knew and how I could bring value to their audience. I had to be humble enough to realize that I couldn’t do it all by myself. I looked at the list of these influential people within the topics I wanted to cover and the platforms I tried to focus on. I started by putting myself out there and asking how to provide value to their specific communities. 

I started a conversation with them: I didn’t reach out, asking for their help to promote the book. I asked how I could help their audience improve work-life balance. Feel less stressed. Become more successful. How could I help them make positive changes? 

This allowed me to tailor my message to them to be remarkable, memorable, and easy to apply. My book is about service to others and to ask for help I had to be of service to others, too. And by doing that, I found that people connected and listened. 

The power of vulnerability

I think there is tremendous power in the phrase “I need help.” It puts you in a place of vulnerability that is hard to ignore.

The promotional journey for my book was less about a complex campaign, and more about cultivating trust, vulnerability, and connection. Something I am always striving to practice more as a marketer.

Here’s something else I learned. Once you ask people for help, they feel seen. They feel connected to you, a process, and a product. They become part of the journey instead of spectators.

I’m still exploring this idea. It obviously has limitations … you can’t be asking for help every day!

But when the time is right, let people in.

Asking for help and involving people in your world can create a great emotional connection to your content, your products, and your brand. And to me, that’s what great marketing is about.

Fab Giovanetti is an award-winning entrepreneur and the author of the book Reclaim Your Time Off: The 3-step Solution to Overworking.  Her mission is to support people making a positive impact through their marketing. She is the CEO of Alt Marketing School, she is on a mission to raise a new generation of purpose-driven marketers.  Follow Fab on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

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