As a digital marketing agency, we help clients increase traffic, leads, and sales with online content. We accomplish this through the use of video, social media engagement, and creative content pieces that help them develop and nurture relationships with their best types of customers. Okay, enough of the sales pitch. The hard truth is… without the human to human component, none of this online stuff really matters!
This statement may seem a bit odd- that a digital agency would take this position when the breadth and scope of so much of what we offer is predicated on using digital marketing tools and resources to leverage our client’s online assets and help them communicate more effectively with a more targeted audience. Can business be done without ever formally meeting or communicating directly with a client? In some industries, absolutely! But at the end of the day, we’re all human and no amount of zeroes and ones will ever replace that intrinsic desire for “real” communication.
However, despite our natural tendency to have meaningful conversations and share eye contact or a good ‘ol fashioned handshake, the world is forever changing. Digital marketing provides a great way to connect with more people, foster new friendships and create opportunities to develop deeper relationships offline.
Let’s take a closer look at how this can play out. I’ll use myself as an example. In context, most of what I’m about to share has taken place within the past four months.
PERSONAL CASE STUDY
We’ve been writing blogs for our website for some time now, while steadily increasing our connections on LinkedIn. A new-found friend, Jeremy Birch, reached out to me after checking out my LinkedIn profile (and I assume some of our website). We could have remained acquaintances, like so many of us on LinkedIn are, but instead he initiated a phone conversation for us to connect and get to know more about each other.
Our discussion and subsequent messaging back and forth was the beginning of a new relationship. We’ll follow back up with this in a moment and you’ll see why this was so crucial.
Fast forward a while as I found myself on Twitter (among some of the #AVtweeps) I ran across a call for presenters for a marketing summit that was tweeted by Hailey Klein. I replied with an interest in speaking at the event but did not receive an immediate response.
Soon after, Jeremy joined the conversation and provided an unsolicited referral (I swear I didn’t pay him)! Days later, Hailey and I connected through LinkedIn and as you can tell from the images below, it was a big hit!
The event gave me an opportunity to meet some great people and make several new connections. One of which, was Lisa Matthews, Marketing & Brand Strategist at (Technical Innovations) Diversified. It was exciting to meet one of our clients (in person) for the very first time! I also had the pleasure of meeting Bruce Kaufmann, CEO of Human Circuit, and a natural competitor with a witty sense of humor. The list is too long to name all of the great folks and companies associated with PSNI, but one who has since introduced me to many more is my new friend Tim Albright, of AV Nation.
Tim invited me to join his partner George Tucker and his esteemed guest Rita Leitensdorfer on episode 249 of his podcast AVWeek. Being on the show sparked further conversations that gave me an opportunity to connect with more of our industry peers at InfoComm. Among them are the lovely ladies (Barbara Blaskowsky, Kelly Perkins, Hailey Klein) pictured below. My wife, Elkie (on my right) also had the pleasure of joining me and meeting a bunch of great people.
George Tucker introduced me to Tom and having been a fan and subscriber of the publication for years, I was excited to chat with him briefly. We exchanged cards and connected again later. The end result… my first article 3 Ways AV Integrators Can Increase Sales Using Digital Content was recently published on their website!
One of the more notable outcomes that initially stemmed from this thing we call “digital marketing”, was meeting Chris Miller, PSNI Executive Director. I can’t say enough about this gentleman. His passion for the industry is contagious! It’s also been my pleasure to have recently partnered with PSNI as our new client.
The evolution of actively marketing Video Social Creative online, combined with continuous efforts to develop my personal brand is coming full circle. The key takeaway, however, is that it has resulted in offline engagements, real conversations, and new business, proving that human to human interaction is so important for personal fulfillment and business success.
My sincerest thanks to Steve Smith for helping me early on! I look forward to continuing to meet new people, creating new friendships and helping more businesses find success in this great AV industry.
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Also published on Medium.