What is “Take Away” Value?

In my post last month I referred to our need to have “take away” value. Sometimes that’s pretty obvious, but other times it’s as subtle as how you’re presenting your product or services. I find at times it’s a fine line that we can easily cross into the “me” zone.

I have a feeling, though, that you’ve seen and know what that looks like. How about Twitter? I get a fair amount of requests but have little time to follow people who are just throwing stuff out there for the sake of being visible. Plus, I want to follow people that I can relate to and connect with. I’m most likely not going to follow a furniture company located in a different state.

Except, this time I did. Why?

Take a look at the Twitter page for Mealey’s Furniture, (@FollowMealeys) located in Warminster, PA. They do a lot of things right.

  1. They don’t over-tweet. Mealey’s tweets about 2 to 3 times a day. When I see a Twitter page loaded with hourly tweets of stuff just thrown out there, I’m not going to pay attention. The delete button is my friend.
  2. Their tweets are helpful. They have take away value. Not only do they have it, they personalize it. They’re not just putting tweets out there about a sale, they’re giving you decorating ideas and hints for better living. They also support causes. Basically, they don’t want to just sell you a piece of furniture. They want to add quality to your life. Again, motivation is key.
  3. They’re not just about the product. Mealey’s presence is clearly not about them. They are about the customer and serving those needs. They’re focused on their audience and serving them, not on themselves.

This is brilliant marketing. Would I buy furniture from Mealey’s? If they had a store in San Jose, CA, you bet they’d be the first place I’d think of next time I needed something.

The key here is they make a lasting and positive impression. You walk away from this page with the understanding that to them, it’s not just about the sale. They want to do more for their customers. They want to connect with them.

Today’s market takes more than just what we have to offer, which in nonfiction is a lot. We have a clear message, an idea, or something to share. But there’s already so much out there. We have to be clear about the “why.” Think about why we write what we write and how we can translate that into connecting with our readers, which in turn translates into word of mouth marketing—the best kind. Just as I’m talking about Mealey’s furniture because they offered me take away value, we want our readers to talk about our books, our message, and what we stand for.

But even that comes back to our motivation. Are we doing it to just sell books? Or are we, like Mealey’s, genuinely trying to give quality to our readers? That’s our origination point in writing these books to help others. Let’s not leave that motivation in the pages of our books. Let’s figure out ways we can we bring that over into our marketing too.