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Monday, December 20, 2010

THE FOUNDER’S DEN: Grilled Cheese Marketing

In a world that is built on information and the sharing of it, one thing is clear, the more information that is out there, the more confusing it becomes. Social media is no different. Social media is sharing media that provides information to people that may or may not be interested, period. It is a form of communication, it isn’t changing the world, it is just making the world smaller. We have to keep that in mind when we think of social media. It is not a virtual gold mine where millionaires are made and dreams come true, it is the modern version of the telephone, just another way to connect.

One thing that can change the world is the information you share with it, in other words content. Content is king and always will be. In a former post I wrote about social media being similar to hiring flagmen, and that is still true. However, it is the first stage of the game. Just by having the right flagmen out there you are one step ahead of the game, you are in places and can point people in the right direction. By spreading yourself out there and making yourself available you are on the right path, but let’s make things simpler.

I was recently in Hawaii with my family on a vacation and the reality of social media hit me, through my 1 year old son. It is amazing how simple life can be and how complex we can try and make it. My wife made him a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner and asked me if I would feed my son Nolan. So I grabbed the sandwich and headed over to him and asked him nicely to eat it, he declined. I tried to place it in his hand, he declined. I tried to act like I was going to eat it, he could have cared less.

As the moments rolled by I gave up and left the sandwich on the coffee table by the TV. As a few moments passed and the sandwich got cold, I looked over and saw him turn from the TV and grab it. He began to eat and then it hit me, this is social media phase 2.

People do not want to be spoon fed, they do not want to be sold, they do not even want to be pitch on endorsement, they want to discover on their own. The goal was to get him to eat (or buy a product), which was the only concern. Even a child of one year in age new that he didn’t want to be forced or sold, he wanted to do it on his own. Imagine what your buyers must think when you shove your product in their face or slam their inbox with MLM propaganda.

The most important thing to notice here is that discovery is the key. Be present and ready, but let others discover your brand; it will give them a real sense of ownership when dealing with your business and help them endorse you all over the place. Let them decide the time and place and then awe them with good content that is the key. Make a REALLY good grilled cheese sandwich and place it is the areas they go to and let them find what you have intentionally left. This discovery process is the most powerful thing in marketing if done correctly.

By Eric Rice

LWI and The Founder’s Den

The Founder's Den

The Founder’s Den is a collaborative group of successful entrepreneurs, attorneys, investors, tax professionals, and advisors who are committed to sharing their knowledge, expertise, and resources to improve the environment for rising startup businesses. The Founder’s Den Members come from a variety of professional backgrounds and business sectors, and are focused on leveraging their wisdom and experience to offer advice to young companies, and in select cases the Den serves as an incubator for promising ventures who are in need of support to turn their plans into reality.

Eric Rice is a successful entrepreneur and has built a number of businesses in sectors ranging from financial services to gaming. He is currently the CEO of LWI, a non-traditional marketing firm specializing in social media and online branding.

Eric Rice

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The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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