5 Ways To Use Data to Make More Money
Using your brand story to invite the right prospects and opportunities to your business is not as easy as it sounds. People are skeptical and even when they “like” you it’s still sometimes tough to get them to invest with you. To bridge the gap it’s helpful to paint a picture so that the story becomes relevant to others. One way to do that is to by using numbers which including research, surprising facts and trends that your prospects will find alarming, inspiring or actionable. As they say, numbers don’t lie.
No matter your brand persona, there is enough data and opinions out there to support it. Here are a few tips to help you gather the relevant data you need to support your unique story and improve client conversions (people like and trust numbers):
1) Use Book Data. I don’t think there’s a topic under the sun that isn’t covered in a book somewhere. Ant Farming? There’s a book for that. Whale watching? There’s a book for that. Building a brand as a small business start up… yep, there’s a book for that. One fun way to gather data that supports you in this way is to go to Amazon.com
Once there, find out how many books are written about your topic, and then dissect that information according to your needs. For instance, how many books on branding are written by African American women? That statistic could support me in the marketplace. I could use it as an indication of scarcity or abundance. How many have been written in the past 3 years? That could indicate growth or decline. Be creative.
2) Use the Google Keyword Count. When I first launched Brand Excitement the Google search for my exact term had a count that was less than 1,000. That term now has over 15,000 queries. In 2 years! That’s a clear indication that the concern over brand excitement in the marketplace is growing exponentially. A statistic like that is great for business. To get an accurate count be sure to put your keyword phrase in quotations, like this: “brand excitement” – that way, the exact term is searched.
3) Poll Industry Leaders. Contact leaders in your industry, tell them you’re conducting research on your topic and ask if they can answer 3-5 short questions. You can do this by email, phone or mail. When you do this, you want to gather at least 100 responses, so that you have a fair data set to base your answers on. Get more if you have enough connections. Make sure that at least 1 of your questions is open ended, so that your participants can type out their responses. You’ll learn the most from these answers and if someone notable participates you’ll have a quote that may garner media interest.
4) Discover Trends Through Industry Surveys. Most industries have periodicals and publications that perform annual or bi-annual surveys on the most relevant statistics of the professional. For example, the AIGA – American Institute of Graphic Arts, conducts salary research among professionals at all levels from the CEO to the proofreader. The report is then based on region, location, and role. Looking at a report like this from 2005 – 2010 will indicate a growing trend in online marketing, for instance, and a decline in print advertising. By giving those numbers a percentage and a projection you have an accurate data set that helps solidify your story, no matter the side of the fence you’re on.
5) Enlist the Help of a Librarian. Libraries are under-used today. When I was growing up I was at the library 3 or more times a week. Even now I still go to the library more often than anyone else I know. Computers are great, but nothing beats the privileged experience of using a professional… and with librarians you don’t even have to pay! All you have to do to get the data you need to support your story is take it to the librarian and let then guide you to the resources you need.
If you simply don’t live near a library and can’t pull yourself away from the computer, find out if your library has an online center. Many of them do. And you can speak to a librarian online in much the same way you speak to one in person. They’ll even forward a copy of the conversation to your email when you’re done so that all of the facts, figures and references they gave you will be at your fingertips. It can’t be beat.
There are more people ready to work with you than you would imagine. One way to influence them is to paint a picture that they can easily understand, that isn’t based on feelings and emotions. The next time you’re giving a speech, writing an article or speaking with a prospect, use your research to sell your story and you’ll see a positive impact on your brand’s reputation and the number of people willing to invest with you. Be sure to do this exercise, even if you don’t need the info now, so that you’ll have it when an opportunity presents itself. You’ll be glad you did.