Winning friends with influencers? Really?

Sometimes it’s obvious what you want to buy

It’s strange we are so sceptical about businesses’ ability to evaluate themselves objectively. Ironically one would imagine it was an essential skill if you wanted to succeed. [Tweet “Why shouldn’t we be honest about our strengths and weaknesses?”] Are people really expecting perfection right across the board? Do we have to win friends with influencers?

Grr! Another blog post ignored!

As a content writer I need to know my own strengths and weaknesses

I then develop strategies to improve performance.  This happens daily. ‘Self talk’ is something I employ by keeping a journal every morning before I begin work. In fact, when things are not going well I immediately stop and start writing, by hand. I scribble about what is causing the problem and find a solution through this process. Perhaps it’s a form of meditation but it’s very effective.

So why do we mistrust company testimonials and what they say about their work?

How do you get noticed amongst the big players?

Have we been mislead so very many times? It appears that way. One recent Nielsen report, published back in February 2014 suggested that most visitors were looking for ‘credible’, third-party online articles to validate their own opinions. Are we really stuck and almost forced into winning friends with influencers?

This conclusion was based on a sample of 900 people. It’s interesting that [Tweet “we still believe even when we know the whole testimonial, product review etc. is open to abuse”]. Yet even though I know this tendency I still look at reviews of books n amazon and check the rating. It’s a natural reaction and a habit that’s hard to break.

I suppose the ‘tribe’ mentality is too powerful to resist

What did you say about his book darling?

Oh if Seth Godin approves of this it must be something I should read. There’s nothing wrong with that. We want to be aligned with people in whom we place our trust. The problem is we miss so much that is not endorsed. Therefore it seems to me [Tweet “we may have to learn to take more risks and maybe put more faith in start-ups and newcomers.”]

The Nielsen Report concluded that potential customers wanted independent viewpoints and information and also rely heavily on third party assessments.  Consumers apparently perceived expert content to be more informative regarding their needs. Personally I think that depends on context. However, it was found to be 10% more informative than user reviews and 8% better than branded content.  So is winning friends with influencers really the thing to do? This reciprocal system can be so open to abuse.

What you do is more convincing than what you say

Notice your customers are there and respond immediately  

I think [Tweet “customer service, answering questions quickly, engaging with requests for information and advice will prove far more than an expert opinion.”] Yes, they are always useful but wouldn’t it be better to write to an author and say, ‘convince me why I should purchase your title?’ and receive a provocative reply?

You can call into question company newsletter and social outreach and simply go for the endorsement but remember they are open to abuse and a lot of money can change hands to get the star review. For me [Tweet “the best advice is to treat your customers with respect, be on the lookout for opportunities to help and be prepared to engage”]. What do you think?

You can read my testimonials here – no one was paid – I asked and they were very kindly provided and simply uploaded. I am extremely grateful to all those kind people who so generously responded to my request.

Photograph used with permission from Menachem Ganon and I am deeply indebted to his generosity. Please check out his Flickr account right here and leave a comment

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