Late, late, late one night at the end of October, I signed up for the November round of the Customer Love Challenge.* This is the brainchild of LaVonne Ellis, conceived on foot of a post by Naomi Dunford of IttyBiz, entitled Make Them Love You. THEN Ask For Money.
Make Them Love You
I’m not a huge fan of making people do things. Fortunately, that isn’t really how this works. Customer Love is far more subtle, and (I think) far more worthwhile, than the raw “make them do what you want” message you might initially pick up.
Apart from anything else, the “love” part of “customer love” is a reciprocal deal. Challenge participants set out to spend the month showering their people with good things – information, links, offers, answers, small kindnesses and large gestures – with a view to broadening and deepening their connections. Broader and deeper connections help businesses to thrive, goes the theory.
That sounds good to me, which is why I signed up.
THEN Ask For Money
[Insert obligatory agonising.] I’m still struggling with this part.
As you’ll gather if you read my tortured witterings about marketing back in March, I find it extremely hard to think of anyone as a customer. (Augh! Aieeeee! Buy! Buy! Buy now! Give me all your money!) Since starting String Revolution, I’ve tended to think of you as friends, people I’m connecting with. If pressed, I might go so far as to say audience.
Which partly explains why it took me so long to start offering things for sale, and why most of my ideas for offers are as yet unimplemented.
And yet, obviously, if I want a business, I need customers. I want to create things that touch you, and I want some of you – ideally, hordes of you – to get such value out of what I offer that you pay for it. Delightedly, and frequently. Hooray!
At the same time, I don’t want you ever to feel pressured to buy from me, or to buy for any reason other than sheer inclination. So if you’re concerned that this whole “Customer Love” schtick means that I won’t love you if you’re not a customer, don’t be. Really. I can’t emphasise that enough.
I’ve been following along with Customer Love silently all month. And here we are, November more than half gone, and I’m only just mentioning it here.
But! I have a Thing!
One of the things I can do for you is to make an embroidery out of words and symbols that you choose (aka the secret crowns and capes service).
Before stitching these, I design them – letter shapes, line art, composition. Essentially, I’m creating a personal emblem for each client.
And it strikes me that some of you might want just the emblem, thanks, to use however you like.
So in honour of Customer Love (and also, I must admit, to see if there’s any demand for this) I’m offering free emblems until the end of November.
You could use your emblem as a monogram or a logo, put it on your stationery, print it on a card and stick it somewhere to remind you of the qualities it expresses, carry it around in your wallet – anything. You could even embroider it yourself, if you’re so inclined. I don’t mind, as long as it makes you happy.
What I’ll do
- I’ll sit down with your chosen words/symbols, and play around until I come up with a great design.
- I’ll clean up the design, trace it onto blank white paper, and scan it.
- I’ll e-mail you a PDF of your emblem to use exactly as you wish.
What I want you to do
If you like this idea, please do any or all of the following:
- Comment below, and tell me what words and symbols you want in your emblem (up to five elements in total). Tell me roughly what size you want it to be. If you like, tell me how you’ll be using your emblem when you get it.
- Tell everybody! Look out for my tweets on the #customerlove hashtag and retweet them, or just do whatever you normally do when you share this kind of thing.
- Tell me how I can do this better! In the spirit of Customer Love, I’m launching with minimal preparation, working with the tools I have, so please don’t hesitate to make suggestions. In particular, if you like this idea but you’re not going for the free offer, what could I change to make it irresistible to you?
In the (fairly unlikely) event that I am completely deluged by requests, I reserve the right to end this free offer before the end of November.
I also reserve the right not to make an emblem featuring words or symbols that I find offensive. (For reference, I’m offended by oppression and by all forms of bigotry – so no racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, biphobia, sizeism, ableism, ageism, classism, sectarianism, or similar. Not that you would.)
I’m emphatically not offended by queerness of any kind, reclamation of otherwise offensive terms by members of an oppressed group, spiritual or secular beliefs that don’t fit in the previous paragraph, or political statements ditto.
Go on, then
You know you want to. Let the commenting begin!