While I don’t endorse using friends as a marketing focus group, I have found it extremely helpful to run marketing ideas past my trusted marketing friends. (Using friends as a marketing focus group for your business is only okay if they are the ones who will be buying your services… same with your spouse, but that’s another post!)
- My business friends will gently tell me when I’m off base or just plain wrong. The nice thing about my friends, is that they care about me so they do it more gently in a way that I can hear it, think about it and make a change. That really helps so I don’t get too defensive when they are telling me I’m wrong. Sometimes I get really psyched about an idea and they help rein me back in so I don’t go way down the wrong path.
- Friends tend to challenge me to push farther than I’m comfortable with. Right now I’m working with a group of business friends who are helping me get my podcasts together. Another friend is helping me with focusing on product development by adding new wrinkles into the plan and asking why I selected which product to start with. Yet another helps with my on line strategies. I find working with friends helps me to stretch past where I would have stopped, which results in a far better outcome in the end.
- My business friends help me celebrate successful results. The identification of a tighter niche that needs and wants a certain business service. A ringing phone with new business inquiries. A signed contract on a big new project. It feels good when the plan works, but feels even better when celebrating it with friends. They know that marketing success isn’t magic, but rather a result of lots of strategic thinking combined with some focused hard work.
How have your friends helped you to put the puzzle pieces together to achieve better results from your marketing efforts?