Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver is a followup to Kerpens’ Likeable Social Media.
This book is not primarily about online marketing, though Kerpen is an expert on social media. The book is about making your business likeable to customers and to your team, so your marketing will be welcomed by consumers and your staff will stay with you and be happy. This is, in fact, a book about management and customer service, as well as marketing.
I don’t usually review general business management books here — that’s not what we do here — but this one focuses on an aspect of business that has an enormous effect on the success of your online marketing: how people feel about your company.
Why does this matter to your online marketing? The truth is, no amount of SEO skill or online marketing investment makes up — from the point of view of ROI and business success — for poor service, a bad reputation, or disgruntled employees who bad-mouth your firm.
My personal philosophy about marketing is this:
Be very good at what you do and let people know about it.
My first step in working with clients is to figure out what they do very well, so we can be effective at letting people know about it. Google is planning to use customer reviews in its local search rankings. Consumers already use reviews — 40% of them list customer reviews as a major factor in their buying decisions. Social media demands transparency, engagement, and downright likeability if your company is to succeed. We’ve come a long way from the days when you could put up a nice brochure-like website that made your company look good and feel like you’d finished your online marketing.
So it’s a good time to make sure your business is likeable.
Here’s Kerpen’s list of characteristics that create likeable business:
- Team Playing
- Surprise and Delight
Each item on that list — which also happens to be the table of contents — is illustrated with many, many examples from a wide range of companies. The inside glimpses into the benefits businesses have received from likeable behavior are fun to read, but they’re also a testament to the power of storytelling. Kerpen shares his own experiences, as well, from his practice of writing three thank you notes each Wednesday to ways he has gained (and lost) clients.
Each chapter ends with action items: steps you can take, whether your company is big or small, to increase the characteristic covered in the chapter. While the examples include big, dramatic things, the action items are all practical and possible — and they probably include some things you’re not already doing, even if you’re a likeable person already.
This book is an easy read, so take it to the beach with you and enjoy it. Then take the action steps it recommends. You may be surprised at how much more likeable your company can be.
[Disclosure: The publisher of this book sent me a copy for review. I am not paid for reviews, and you know I always tell you the truth.]