#BlogPaws: Building ‘Zombie Loyalists’ With Peter Shankman

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blogpaws peter shankmanPost by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

“Be one or two levels above ‘crap,'” BlogPaws Keynote Speaker Peter Shankman advised the packed house on the Friday morning kick-off. “No one deserves customers, you have to earn them.” The way to do that, he said, is to be better than everyone else. “People don’t expect good customer service, so if you give it to them, they will flock to you.”

Listening to your audience should be job one for pet bloggers and any service provider. “Most people don’t listen, they are merely waiting for you to take a breathe so they can talk. Be a listener.”

During his laugh out loud keynote, Shankman shared that because everything we do is online — the good and the bad — that if you screw up you need to “own it.” He gave the example of NY politician Eliot Spitzer whose sexual exploits came to light in years past; when it happened he stepped up, owned it and will likely be back. Another NY politician, Anthony Weiner, who tweeted a photo of his… well, body parts… never owned up. He insisted he was hacked, to 20150529_094829which Shankman asked, “someone hacked your zipper then tweeted?” Because trust needs to be at the core of all we do online, you need to fix your mistakes and you will become ¬†beloved by your audience.

The four ways he shared to earn your audience are by:

  1. Being transparent
  2. Being relevant
  3. Being brief
  4. Being top of mind

He also shared that if you don’t know how your audience wants to receive its information from you, then ask. Do they want a podcast, video, blog post, enewsletter. “If you don’t ask you could be offering up content in a way they just don’t consume it.”

Did you know? That an engaged blog reader is two and a half times more likely to do something once they come to your site? The “something” is your call to action whether it’s sign up for your newsletter, buy your product, hire you, etc. “We don’t have a right to our audience, we have to earn it, and keep earning it,” he said.

What is the average attention span of your audience?¬†It’s 2.7 seconds. “That’s all you have. Two point seven seconds to get your audience to do something.” He shared that is why Twitter is so popular: Because it takes about 2.7 seconds to read a 140 character tweet.

How can you grab your audience’s attention? Become a better writer. “Did you know that one of every two home pages has a typo?” he asked.

Become more engaging. How? “Reach out to people when you don’t need or want anything. They will be more likely to remember you when they finally do need what you’re selling.”

Bottom line. “Stop doing things for likes and do things that are likable.”