Have you heard of the 5 Love Languages?
Basically, it’s a test you can take to determine which “language” of love you speak in relationships. The idea is that there are 5 areas in which a person can and often expects love to be shown and while each of us has our own language, so too do our partners.
What’s so great about the love languages is that they can be translated for not just personal relationships but professional as well (in fact there’s a book dedicated to just that).
Nine times out of ten, how you want love to be shown is a lot like how you desire feedback, criticism, praise, acknowledgment or appreciation.
For me, I prefer gifts and words of affirmation.
When I was little my Mom was always telling me how proud she was of me. I’d return home with construction paper artwork and paper mache who-knows-what and she’d tell me how great I was and how much she loved it.
And as an only child, you can bet gifts were kind of a big deal in our house!
There didn’t need to be many but they needed to be meaningful.
Gifts became a big part in how I expect someone to show me love.
Your love language might be different (I know my husband’s is!) and you can find yours here.
So how do the 5 Love Languages translate into your marketing?
How you give and expect love are intimately tied to how you not only show up for your potential customers but also the quality of your working relationship, your expectations and how you’ll best work together.
As an example, as someone who sees gifts as kind of a big deal I like to give out lots of free goodies, new e-guides, content, discounts and other surprises to both new and potential clients. For me, this is an obvious way to show how much I care.
From the consumer side,, if I’m constantly being sold to and have yet to receive much value (or free goodies that aren’t just opt-in bait), you can bet I don’t buy AND I unsubscribe REAL QUICK.
Whether you’re like me and prefer gifts or identify with one of the other four languages, I challenge you to think outside the box of your current marketing efforts – starting with some ideas below!
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
Letting people know you value them, their work or their time is an important part of this particular language. In your marketing, write openly about how proud you are of your clients or the people who are “doing the work” so-to-speak. Share with them your appreciation and praise, either online or in a handwritten note.
Words of affirmation go a long way! If you love small notes of encouragement, why wouldn’t your clients? If you value and find inspiration in positive feedback, try it out with your team. I’d put money on the fact that most people find value in words of affirmation, no matter their love language.
ACTS OF SERVICE
This is my best friend’s primary love language and every time her husband does the dishes or picks up the dry cleaning without having to be asked has my friend all sorts of giddy. Start by doing something small (again, no need for grand gestures if you don’t want) for your clients that could be meaningful, like remembering their birthday and sending a small gift in the mail.
Depending on your business model, an act of service could be ringing up your top clients and seeing how you could be of better service to them (identifying their needs and pain points so you’re positioned to solve their problems better) without a sales pitch or triple-checking they aren’t receiving any email regarding your latest product launch if they already bought in the past (you guys have no idea how many times I see this seriously sickening faux pas!).
While I love receiving gifts, they need to be meaningful and relevant for me to feel loved. Any old item or e-guide just won’t do! Creating quality content, products, services, and experiences for your clients so they actually get something out of it is what matters most.
Avoid drag & drop re-purposing templates or mashing content together because you’re low on time. The attention to detail and quality of the gift are equally important for this love language.
If this is your love language, why not create office hours once or twice a month to connect with your community? Host live gatherings or quarterly retreats, whether online or off. Take the time to answer questions via email or get even more personal with a voice recording or quick video.
What’s most important with this particular love language is your presence. Without it, those you serve will feel distance between you – which often translates into low sales, lack of participation or not feeling appreciated.
While I often don’t recommend you reach out and touch someone randomly, if this is your love language than hosting physical retreats and events is a vital aspect to your business-building efforts.
Not only that, but you’ll want to focus on video to boost your presence digitally. While it’s easy to hide behind a screen and do the work alone, those who require physical touch need to get out and actually work with and around clients on a regular basis.
No matter your love language, the important element is this: a customer-centric marketing strategy built on value and empathy wins the day. Every day.