What is Long Distance Marketing

Long Distance Marketing – defined

As far as I know, I am the first person to coin the phrase “Long Distance Marketing” in the sense I am using it. If you put the phrase into a search engine in quotes (meaning find the phrase exactly as it is), you will find countless references to the selling of long distance services. However, nowhere will you find it to be described in the manner used on this site.

In a nutshell, I define Long Distance Marketing as finding and developing a customer base that is not located near your base of operations.

I have been in marketing since I got involved in radio in the mid-seventies. However, in almost every case where I have helped a client market his or her product, the target demographic has been in the same community as the client. One can use local media, mixers, and even co-promotions to do his marketing.

Because Humboldt County (where I live) is a rural area, and is isolated from any major population base, it is not as easy for me to survive marketing only around me. I must reach people in other areas.

The question is “How?” That is one foundation on which this site is built. How do you reach potential clients and customers who live far away from you? What works? What doesn’t? In this “new” age of marketing, what are the most effective tools to find your clients? Of even more import is how do they find you?

I am obviously not the only person or business in this type of situation. There must be countless others. However, part of what makes my situation unique is that there is no major population center within 200 miles of me. In effect, I live or die based on how well I do with this.

From the pain of air travel comes forth a concept

Being a speaker, I spend an inordinate amount of time traveling. Of course, you would have to live in a cave to know that traveling on a plane these days cannot feel very different than how cattle must feel being escorted across the county in boxcars. You’re poked and prodded, forced to queue up in long lines that go nowhere. No one tells you what’s happening. You rarely arrive on time; sometimes not even where you want to go. Along the way, they might – if they’re feeling benevolent – toss you a few packages of pretzels. And, as icing on the cake, they charge you a ridiculous amount of money for the honor.

No other industry in the world would survive long treating its customers the way the airlines treat its. If an alternative to air travel were developed, it would immediately be successful.

Alas, no alternative yet exists.

Loving it all

In order to be successful in any career, one of the most important things is you must be happy. I know, it’s almost heresy to say that happiness is part of success. But, it’s not the money, it’s how you view your life.

A fellow speaker, and a man whom I admire, Doug Stevenson, and I were at a speakers’ conference in 2007. Like me, he loves what he does, but he was lamenting the process of doing it, basically the travel. His wife had told him, “You have to love it all.” If you want to do the speaking, you can’t just love the speaking. The travel and all its headaches are part of the career. You don’t get to have one without the other. Why would you want to spend so much of your time hating what you’re doing?

In effect, either “love it all” or find something else.

The conversation really resonated with me and I decided to adjust my attitude to “love it all.”

And I did — until summer of 2007.

Stuck in DFW with the airline travel blues

Hired by a non-profit to travel to several offices in Texas and do some motivational customer service training, I was in and out of DFW (Dallas Fort Worth airport) countless times. DFW — especially during the summer — is known for problems with weather. June 2007 was a particularly bad.

I was schedule to arrive from Sacramento in the early afternoon and catch a flight to Amarillo late afternoon. Due in part to a storm, and in part of bad planning on the airline’s part, I was not able to get into DFW until around 8:30 pm. I, like hundreds of other travelers, had been on the phone all day rescheduling flights. Fortunately, they rebooked me to leave on a 9:30 flight. I would arrive in Amarillo tired but in time for my presentation.

That is until we sat on the tarmac for one hour, waiting for a gate. I missed the last flight. I missed the engagement. I slept on a cot, which they would not have even offered, should I have not fussed loudly.

The next day they rebooked me to another city in my itinerary, Lubbock. In the process, they cancelled all my remaining “down-leg” seats so that after I got to Lubbock, I found out I was stranded with no way out of Texas and no empty seats anywhere.

“Love it all” is a nice theory. However, I am only human. I could not.

Increasing web presence – an alternative career?

I didn’t want to give up my career. I come alive when I speak. I didn’t want to be in airports that much. I die when I travel. What to do?

So, I thought, “Why not use the technologies that exist to reach out and touch people? In reality, as a speaker, I impart knowledge and motivation. Why can I not do that via the internet and postal service? If people enjoy what I do and want more of it, no problem. I’ll travel. But because of what I have been able to do here (and in other places) my value will be enhanced. I can command a better rate. That allows me to travel earlier and make sure I arrive on time, refreshed. I do a better job for my client. I get to do what I want. I indeed can “love it all.” (Or, at least “like” it all – loving the speaking at least.)

But what do I do on the web?

Since my background was marketing, many people have continued to tell me I need to speak on marketing more. I do several presentations a year on marketing but the “big money” is in my motivational and wellness talks. I also get more “juice” from them. Going back to the initial concept about success, how do I get “happy” from marketing so that when I speak on it, I deliver to my audiences the same enthusiasm and energy that I provide in my keynotes, “Striving for Imprefection”?

The Magazine

This website, Long Distance Marketing, is documenting what I am doing to achieve that goal, right, wrong, or in-between to get 1,000 subscribers in two years for an inspirational magazine I am developing, entitled Two Words: A magazine dedicated to hope, inspiration, and change from a simple two word phrase. However, I have lots of ideas on marketing and they are all are here for you to use or to start a conversation. Additional esources are available. Ideas are exchanged. As I write this, I have no idea whether 1,000 is too low or too high or just right. But, I’m going on a journey to find out and I hope you’re with me.

Your ideas are welcome. Please spread the word to others who might benefit and share. And, of course, subscribe to my magazine. (To read about the magazine, or to submit to it, please follow this link.)


One Response to “What is Long Distance Marketing”

  1. Scott: 1,000 subscribers is a worthy goal in two years – just over 40 a month or 1+ person a day. I subscribed last week, so you only need 39 more people in March.

    My ideas to promote this include:

    – A #twowordsmag hashtag campaign on Twitter (#twowords is already taken – lots of future titles for you there!)
    – Sending complimentary copies to opinion leaders (including influential bloggers)
    – User generated content
    – Controversy
    – Porn

    OK, OK, the last is a joke. But that would get another 999 subscribers, although HP would kick you off magcloud.com

    Good luck with the inspirational future!

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