Our first frost of the season, and I’m already looking back at the long, hot summer of 2012! This summer I faced my own “inconvenient truth”: I am a wader, not a jumper. No matter how hot it was, not matter how much better I knew I would feel once I got in the pool, I couldn’t jump in.
You probably have a client or two who is a wader. They love the idea of social media, mobile apps or some other new tool, but they’re just not going to jump in. What can you do if you are dealing with a client who is a wader?
1. Don’t push them in. Just like people really hate being pushed into a cold pool, a client doesn’t want to be “pushed” into trying something just because you say, “C’mon on in, the water’s fine.”
2. Show them other swimmers. Give them examples of how social media worked. And if you can show them how it worked within their industry that’s even better. If your client is a small nonprofit, don’t show them how some big, corporate entity with a million-dollar budget and a huge marketing department added 10K followers in a week. Show them how a non-profit with 10 full-time people built excitement for their annual walkathon using social media.
3. Key an eye on the lifeguard. Look what happened to JCPenney’s when they listened to the “experts” and not their customers.
4. Encourage them to get their feet wet. Let them start with a blog a week, a post a day, one photo on Instagram…you get the idea. As they begin to feel comfortable, suggest how they can increase their social media presence.
5. Show them the progress they’re making. Their initial focus will be on how many likes, followers or mentions. Take the time to educate your client about the variety of social media metrics tools that can help capture their true success.
Some clients are always going to be waders. They may have a large organization, management or staff that is reluctant to change or other priorities competing for the same dollars and time. As you work with your client—and listen to their concerns (a Gracie specialty!) – you create trust and build a great foundation for a long-term relationship with your client.
(Photo from www.daytonachamber.com)