I attended a networking function last week.
It was a Christmas event and there were 60 people there. We each received a bag with the fliers and business cards of around 35 of those people.
Yesterday I went through my bag of cards and fliers, candy canes, and baubles, single sheets and folders of information.
Many went in the recycling bin.
Many caught my eye, but went into the recycling bin. Nevertheless I scanned them all, and read most.
I learn from these marketing tools.
One caught my attention enough to make me search for the real value of the product and company.
They offer a session for children using a particular type of building block.
I spent many years working in a school library. It’s probable I will have little children in the house in the foreseeable future. And I still maintain an interest in finding, and sharing links to, products and information for those who want the best for children, though I have been more busy with story this last couple of years.
So I was very interested in the possibilities for this particular offer, for me, for those around me, for those who care.
It proclaimed in large letters and bold font, that it supported the current initiative called S.T.E.M. – Science Technology Engineering Mathematics – “The Australian Government has committed an extra $12 million to restore the focus, and increase student uptake of, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in primary and secondary schools across the country.” (link)
There were pages of detail on the programs offered, many images of children having fun and learning.
There were, however, no images of the staff or members of the company doing whatever they do, with children.
There was no story.
I had no idea who those people were or what they believed in or how they interacted with children.
Why should I trust you? Why would I invite you into my home or birthday party?
Why would I recommend you rather than another company?
There’s a full A4 sheet about a women. Her image is at the top of the sheet.
An impressive list of credentials …
… in HR (Human Resources – employment and training) – corporate, tertiary academia and government.
What does she know about children?
What does she know about how they learn?
Does she care?
It doesn’t say.
Ooops, wrong sheet – she’s the manager – highly qualified in business management no doubt!
No indication about what it is like to have this company work with children.
Nothing to make me want to trust, invite or refer you, for myself, for those around me, or for those who care.
I am not your ideal client, obviously.
I suspect that your ideal client is the harried education employee who needs to book someone to fill a spot on a professional development day, or who needs to bring in someone to fulfill the institution’s commitment to STEM.
They will see the STEM with its own page, capital letters, bold font.
They will see an impressive-looking resume (not bio – resume) and they will hire you.
Perhaps if enough of those harried education employees hire you, you will make enough to continue.
Perhaps you really do care.
Perhaps you really do know something about how children learn.
Perhaps, then, word of mouth and testimonials will reach me, tell me the story, and I will look, again, at your impressively presented folder, and consider how you will fit into my life and the lives of those around me and the lives of those who care.
But only then.
Your story matters!!