It's not what you know...

We had the privilege of spending some time with some pretty prominent Novocastrians this month and this reconfirmed what we all kinda know - it's not what you know but who you know. Here's what happened:

We have a finance client who recently (off their own bat) became Surfest Women’s Pro crowd funders. They then subsequently donated their winnings to two well-regarded charities: Got Your Back Sista and the Mark Hughes Foundation

 It's who you know. From left: Surfest chief coordinator Warren Smith, CommBank Executive Colin Law, Long & Co Director Cat Long, Funda Co-Founders Mark Owen and Nathan Wright, Mark Hughes Foundation Founder Mark Hughes, Purser Communication's Managing Director Meg Purser, Surfest Event Manager Emily Flook and Got Your Back Sista founder and CEO Melissa Histon. Photographer: Katie Wade. 

It's who you know. From left: Surfest chief coordinator Warren Smith, CommBank Executive Colin Law, Long & Co Director Cat Long, Funda Co-Founders Mark Owen and Nathan Wright, Mark Hughes Foundation Founder Mark Hughes, Purser Communication's Managing Director Meg Purser, Surfest Event Manager Emily Flook and Got Your Back Sista founder and CEO Melissa Histon. Photographer: Katie Wade. 

Now, this is not a story about the importance of charitable work by community leaders (although that is arguably an even more important story to tell, it's details can be found here).  

This is a story about how great things can be accomplished when you have access to the right people.

It was a warm autumn morning...

I rushed along Hunter Street with my Labradoodle Ponyo in tow. We were headed to a very important meeting with a VIP at the Culture Club, a little cafe in King Street. 

The purpose for the meeting was to canvas whether there was a publicity opportunity to amplify the donation of the Surfest winnings. VIP enters as Meg Purser, Managing Director of Purser Communications. The meeting paid off.  

 Coffee with friends - can really pay off!

Coffee with friends - can really pay off!

Big outcomes need someone in the know

Meg Purser knows Newcastle and many (most!) of its movers and shakers. She connects people with a few touches on her phone. 

Voila! A get together, photo session and interviews were organised the very next week. People with impossible diaries were pulled together on short notice, bringing plenty of good-will. 

Insight: Who do you know? Who should you get to know? Go on, think of 3 people you'd like to connect with. Now do it - use LinkedIn. Before you rush though - add a personalised note. Tell them why you'd like to connect. Use their name so they realise you know of them. (I'd love to connect with you right here). 

Connect with influencers

My friends would chuckle at me when we were in our early careers as I was working my way through another coffee catch-up. "Cat is having coffee again" they'd say with warmth and a bit of wry.  

 Coffee with HunterHunter Director, Alissa McCulloch (left) and Long & Co Director, Cat Long (right)

Coffee with HunterHunter Director, Alissa McCulloch (left) and Long & Co Director, Cat Long (right)

For someone who claims they don't like to network, I do have my fair share of coffees. That's how I socialise, and I guess a happy side effect is it builds friendships. 

These friends can become strategic alliances when we band together on a common cause. 

Insight: Identify the influencers in your network. Are you a property developer? What finance and legal people should you develop a relationship with? Do you have an e-commerce site? What suppliers or customer segments should you be focusing on? Where are they? On LinkedIn? You can search based on location, where they are in your network and even the company. Go on - connect with your 2nd degree network in Sydney/Newcastle/Melbourne in a matter of minutes! 

Bonus tip: Instagram is a great place to connect with influencers. Did you know Instagram's audience is more affluent than Facebook users? Connect with Long & Co by searching for @longandco in your gram. "Like" a few of our posts and make a comment to say Hi! Look at that, we are becoming acquainted as we speak:)

FOF is the new black

In today's saturated and noisy world people are fighting for our attention. To simplify our decision making we rely on two things: branding and endorsements. We are always looking to de-risk our conclusions, and brands that 'get us' gets rewarded. Better still, if our friend or friend-of-friend (FOF) endorses a product we are 100% more likely to consider it. 

 A chuckle between Mr Hilton Grugeon (right) and Cat Long (left)

A chuckle between Mr Hilton Grugeon (right) and Cat Long (left)

What does this mean for you?

Insight: First, build a brand not just a product or service. Don't know how? Read this or invite us for coffee and a chat (remember, it's not what you know, but who you know - and you know us now!)

Secondly, endorsements. Trust us - we know. One of our most popular content pieces is this one of a prominent female executive. It blew up in her significant LinkedIn network and reached 30,000 VIPs in the first week. It also doesn't hurt that we got published on this national platform featuring a marketing story about Alibaba Founder Jack Ma. 

Endorsements are also relevant when using social media. People are 5X more likely to click on a post that has been shared, liked or commented on by someone else. So: When you publish content, socialise with your audience prior. Like their posts, comment on their blog, get their attention. They become curious about who you are and also positively inclined to give you some love back. 

Then, publish your content not just to your Facebook business page or LinkedIn company page, share it to your personal profile, invite your FOF to share it by including a call-to-action. The algorithm, whether its LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram rewards you. If it's good enough, it may go viral. One thing that will help is a little help from the ones you know. 

Did you find this article of value? Thank you! Like, comment and share it with your friends below. Keen to catch up? Book our 'marketing over coffee' chat right here

About Long & Co

 Cat Long, Director of Long & Co

Cat Long, Director of Long & Co

Long & Co is a marketing company based in Newcastle with local and big city clients. We have one purpose and that is to help our clients go to the next level by unlocking their marketing potential. We do this by partnering with our clients, starting with strategy and then skilfully implementing. Our expertise in strategy, creative, production and media delivers work that drives actual business results. We market for today, we love emerging technology and we grow because our clients do.