Last time we looked at having the right product, the audience, and advertising. We looked at the fact that the product has to be something that a person needs, but having a great product or service and advertising isn’t enough. A connection with integrity from you is also important.
A Lesson in Integrity
I will never forget my Navy Recruiter’s integrity and how it affected his ability to sign up recruits. When I went into the Navy Recruiter’s office, the US Navy recruiter’s name was Petty Officer Angel. He was not one of those recruiters that you hear about who will tell you anything you want to hear just to get you to sign on the dotted line. PO Angel told me exactly what I could expect. He told me that nothing was guaranteed unless it was in writing. He told me about what I could expect from boot camp. He told me that if I wanted a guaranteed school, I would have to wait for a few months to get that school. I chose instead to go into the Seaman Apprenticeship program which gave no guarantees of schools. It just guaranteed that I would be able to get into the Navy more quickly.
PO Angel treated all of the people that he recruited the same way. He treated each individual with integrity. He told them exactly what to expect and how to avoid pitfalls along the way. He was honest. He had a certain quota that he had to bring in every month. Do you think that being honest kept him from meeting his quota? If anything it was the opposite. While other recruiters had difficulty meeting their quotas, PO Angel not only met his quota for that month but had met his quotas for several months in advance. He benefitted by giving accurate facts because the recruits that he brought in told their friends and they went to him rather than to other Navy recruiters or other military services.
Petty Officer Angel knew the first rule of customer service. You’re not dealing with numbers, you’re meeting with people. You’re not just selling, if you’re smart, you are developing a relationship.
Integrity and Appreciation in Social Media
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Francois-Marie de Voltaire 1694-1773
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. This is one of the reasons that social media is a powerful tool in book marketing. When I say using social media for a tool for marketing, I don’t mean that I blast my friends on Facebook with the fact that I am promoting a book every hour. What it does mean is that I get to know each person individually. I learn about their children and pets, kind of like a politician shaking hands and kissing babies. However, unlike politicians, the interactions have to be genuine. This is, after all, a post about integrity. I treat people with respect. I don’t rant. I post things that reflect who I am as a person.
I friend people I know and get to know their friends. I let people get to know me as a person and that I am more than just a historical fiction writer. I share memes that are humorous or inspiring. I let them know I am an author who knows a lot about gardening, canning and writing. I have three adult children. I love raising chickens and goats (even though I currently don’t have any, I thinking about getting more). I share free online articles. I have an interest in environmental issues. I have a free digital book that I give to people who want to limit toxic chemicals in their homes. I am a pastor and encourage spiritual growth.
I care about their lives as well. If my friend has a birthday, I don’t just say “Happy Birthday”. I give them a birthday blessing. If someone is getting married or has an anniversary, I send my congratulations. I love their baby and pet pictures. I am enthusiastic about their special events. If someone is sick, I tell them I am praying for them and then do. I do my best to care about people and to let them know that I do.
I avoid online drama. If an issue comes up online, but it should remain private, I make it private by taking it to PM on Facebook, sending an email, or phoning them. Because I am a pastor, it is my job to do religion. My online message, however, is the message of love. I avoid politics altogether.
I give credit where credit is due. I treat people with respect. I avoid arguments especially where others are looking for a fight.
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has published a nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga. The next book Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag will be out in the near future.